Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot Essay

579 words - 2 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 the pinnacle of human indecisiveness - while vowing several times to leave their barren and lifeless surroundings, they dare not flinch or move a muscle lest they offend Godot or miss a promised appointment. Mired by vows and politeness, they take no action with deep meaning, nor do they change their surroundings with the clarion call of thier existence. Instead, the feeble whistle of their purpose is lost in the oppressive, stifling silence of unanswered questions. 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...

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