Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

540 Words 3 Pages
An empty road, a single tree, a friends company. These sickly rewards are the ones given to men, theorizes Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot, when they wait for the arrival of God. Stark barren surroundings and perpetual loneliness are the only gift, in Beckett's mind, when one waits for a supernatural being who does not deign to visit mere mortals. This aloof and impersonal deity is symbolized in the aptly named character of Godot, who restricts the plot of the play. He keeps Vladimir and Estragon from taking action, strands the theme in an unending wait for supernatural meaning, and restricts the characters' development by keeping their thoughts turned towards the always-impending appointment.

Vladimir and Estragon are
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By refusing to come or even acknowledge their arrival with more than a small messenger boy, Godot prevents any climax in the plot. In Beckett's estimation, the search for a caring God keeps humankind from making a difference in the world - the only purpose for life in the existentialist worldview.

Likewise, the play is shackled to a single, mind-numbing pattern by Godot's refusal to arrive. Certainly the arrival of their eagerly-awaited guest would bring the plot to a conclusion and perhaps allow the introduction of purpose and meaning. But without his star appearance, the play's theme is left wandering like the Israelites in the desert of normalcy - surviving only on the manna of Pozzo's ritual appearance. Just as the play's theme leads nowhere and circles back in on itself, Beckett believes that mankind's quest for an uncaring God will lead nowhere and will not provide more meaning for life.

The play's twin protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon, are similarly deprived of a chance to develop and grow. Estragon always reacts the same to Vladimir's news that they must continue waiting, and both keep their nervous habit of inspecting hats and boots. Only late in the play does Vladimir realize their impending doom, and it does not impress or even draw a reaction from his longtime friend. They are shallow two-dimensional characters, robbed of a chance to develop and grow by the continual wait for an appointment that wil never

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