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Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot: Summary

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a tragic play with two acts depicting the unbearable miserable condition of modern man. There are two tramps; Estragon and Vladimir. They are subject to an apparently endless wait expecting some sort of help from Godot but he does not come except for a vague promise that Godot will come tomorrow. Nothing is certain or clearer in the play.The scope of time seems quite disturbed because a tomorrow could mean a day, a year, a season or even a whole of one’s life in this play.

The play begins with the appearance of two tramps on a road with a single tree. Time is evening and the two of them express joy for having met again while none of them shows anything more than mere pretence in words. Estragon remains busy in either taking off his shoe or putting back it on because it hurts him. His shoe does not fit him well. And Vladimir keeps on discussing the chances of survival for human beings are very small. Both of them fight, argue, abuse each other but stay together:

Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!

The playwright literally creates such a scope of nothingness in the life of the characters that:

Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!

The two tramps find themselves lost and their memory is very weak. They commit strange and odd things. They appear very shabby and poor. They seek repentance and want to change their condition but they feel they are unable to do so:

Very likely. They all change. Only we can’t

Lucky and Pozzo happen to cross the same road where the two tramps are sitting on a mound. Pozzo, a rich man, treats his servant Lucky no less than an animal. Every act of Lucky is considered as meant for pleasing Pozzo. His labours mean nothing to Pozzo, a symbol of inhuman behaviour attributed to modern man. This visit also exposes the financial weakness of the two tramps that are willing to eat even the bones thrown by rich Pozzo. The fight for bones may also be considered the gloomy failure of human civilization.

The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops.

The characters seem to have either no memory or a very weak sense of it. Pozzo does not remember to have met the two tramps before:

I don’t remember having met anyone yesterday. But tomorrow I won’t remember having met anyone today. So don’t count on me to enlighten you.

The two tramps entertain themselves with conversation, dull, blank, boring as well as sensational words but they do nothing. They even talk about suicide but action is not meant for them. Probably, they mean nothing but to show the burden of existence: “To every man his little cross. Till he dies. And is forgotten.”

The two tramps keep on waiting for Godot who never comes; however, messenger comes from him giving the message that he would come tomorrow. And the two tramps believe: “We always find something to give us the impression we exist” and they also associate their state of being to the modern man’s existence:” But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not”.

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