In his play "Waiting for Godot", Samuel Beckett draws heavily
from an absurdist influence to make an indelible statement on mankinds'
existence. One of the most unique and noticeable features of the play
is the lack of any real action by the main characters.
The play opens as our two main characters, Estragon
and Vladimir, greet each other and discuss various topics, notably
variations in the stories of the Gospels. Estragon expresses the desire
to leave, but is reminded that they must wait for one M. Godot by
Vladimir. The embedding of "god" in Godot has led many people to
believe the play is a statement about mankind's persistence of
believing in a religion, while proof is always a day away.
Their discussions are interrupted by the entrance of
Pozzo leading his servant, Lucky, on a chain. A convoluted scene
follows, invoking the anger of Vladimir on multiple occasions and
ending with the exit of Pozzo and Lucky while our main characters
remain stuck onstage.
After they leave a boy enters, claiming to have a
message from M. Godot. He had been waiting until the departure of Pozzo
and Lucky, he says, because they frightened him. Estragon in turn gets
frustrated and begins to harass the boy. Vladimir consoles him into
giving the message, which states that M.Godot will not come tonight but
will absolutely come tomorrow.
One of the most recurring themes in the play is that of
repetition. Estragon and Vladimir repeat each other's lines, or some
minor variations of them. This is most noticeable in the beginning, but
is evidenced throughout. Repetition is even woven into the plot itself.
The two acts of the play are themselves structurally identical, each
beginning with an introduction of the two main characters, and leading
into the entrances of Pozzo and Lucky. The second scene of the second
act, on the following day, plays out somewhat differently as Pozzo and
Lucky have now become blind and dumb, respectively, and neither
remember being there before. After their exit the boy returns, who also
denies being there yesterday and gives his message that M. Godot will
not come today but will surely come tomorrow. The second act ends in an
almost identical fashion to the first.