The play "Waiting for Godot" is one of those things that makes a reader asking the eternal question about the meaning of life. There is no direct answer to this question in the play, which is filled with allegories instead, but thinking about it is very interesting because of the reach soil for arguments.
In the course of reading the play, a feeling of complete absurdity of what is happening it is transformed into the understanding of what is our reality. The drama "Waiting for Godot" gives a feeling of anxiety and alarm. The main characters Didi and Gogo are constantly scurrying around, panicking, arguing, talking nonsense; make a lot of meaningless actions like taking shoes off, checking a hat, but all this fuss for nothing: every day they are in the same place with the same aim, they never move forward, they are static and “Nothing to be done”(Beckett). The viewer does not known how long they have been there, and the characters themselves do not know what day it is, whether it is Friday, or Sunday, or maybe Saturday, which is impossible for some unknown reason (Beckett). They also have no idea when Godot is going to come and how long they have to wait. This waiting has not only a religious reference to the expectation of the second coming, or resurrection but also the universal expectation of a sign which points to the supreme goal of human existence (Gordon 30). The audience must recognize themselve in the characters and images to reflect on, and each one should make his own conclusion.
The process of waiting is very symbolic, but the represented characters, their names, habits, behavior can tell a lot to a spectator. For example, the etymology of the name Godot sounds like a weakened form of God, and the fact that Didi and Gogo wait for him, and believe that he is going to come and make their lives better confirms that idea. The waiting is absurd, but everything the characters do, while waiting, is more senseless (Gordon 26). Beckett shows very ordinary everyday things and actions from a different angle, so they become ridiculous. That makes the audience to look differently to the world they live in. In the play it is actually doesn’t matter, how characters look, what do they do, and even what they say because nothing changes in their live.
But nevertheless characters themselves are very important for the play; therefore they represent different kinds of people and has a symbolic meaning (Catanzaro 89). The characters are so different, one of them believes that Godot is sure to come, and the other all the time, doubts and wants to leave, do not wait any longer. Vladimir is more practical, Estragon claims he was a poet. Estragon says that the more he eats carrots, the less it is to your taste. Vladimir has the opposite reaction: he likes everything that is familiar to him. Estragon is a dreamer, Vladimir could not hear of dreams. Vladimir remembers the past, Estragon instantly forgets everything. Estragon likes telling funny stories, Vladimir hates them. Vladimir hopes that Godot will come, and their lives will change. Estragon is skeptical and sometimes forgets the name of Godot. Estragon is mentally unstable; every night some unknown people beat him. Sometimes Vladimir protects him, sings him a lullaby, covering his coat. The dissimilarity of characters leads to endless bickering, and now and then they decide to separate. They complement each other and, therefore, are dependent on each other and are destined never to leave (Catanzaro 90).
Pozzo and Lucky also complement each other, but their relationship is more primitive: Pozzo is a sadistic master, Lucky is an obedient servant. In the first act, Pozzo is rich, powerful and self-assured: a surface is a practical man with myopic optimism, illusory sense of power and strength position. Lucky drags the heavy luggage and dances and thinks at Pozzo’s command. Pozzo and Lucky represent the relationship between body and mind, the material and the spiritual in man, obedience intelligence needs of the body (Catanzaro 93).
So the play is existential and quite depressive because it ends with recursion, which makes think that this pointless existence will last forever.
Catanzaro, Mary F. The “Psychic Structure of the Couple in Waiting for Godot” Journal of Dramati c Theory and Criticism. Wisconsin. 1986. p. 87 – 98
Gordon, Lois. Reading Godot Yale University Press. New Haven. 2002.
Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. Web 28 Jan. 2016