AD's English Literature : Samuel Beckett’s The Waiting for Godot: For a Savior Who Never Comes

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Samuel Beckett’s The Waiting for Godot: For a Savior Who Never Comes

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

En attendant Godot (1953; Waiting for Godot, 1954) composed by Samuel Beckett is a landmark in the realm of Modern English theatre. It is the first great success of the absurdist movement and probably the most known of all its plays. The drama has an ironic overtone compounded with a tragically slant.  It vitally reflects the pointlessness, the meaning lessens, boredom, ennui and Frustration of modern ex instance. Waiting for Godot is one of the best-known plays of the Irish-born writer Samuel Beckett. The tramps Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot, who never arrives. Beckett’s play addresses the absurdity of, and man’s need for, hope. 

The theme of the play is all about a perpetual waiting of the two tramps Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo). The two tramps of his play, Didi and Gogo, play pointless games to pass the time waiting for a savior who never comes. They have become two of the most familiar figures in modern theater. They wait for the arrival of ‘Godot’. But their expectation never finds fruition. In fact, this endless expectation is dashed against the rock of nothingness. Symbolically, ‘Godot’ is represented as an unknown entity, perhaps as the highest goal which we can never reach during our life time. 

Samuel Beckett
In fact, the modern man always aspires after a utopia, after an El Dorado, after a never -never world. The two tramps wait for time indefinite and for a thing unknown, unfamiliar and unseen yet ever attractive and alluring as it holding the key to highest happiness. Symbolically, the waiting foe Godot may be compared to a modern Bengali novel ‘Kothari Pablo Tare’ by Samaresh Bose. As a typical absurd drama, Waiting for Godot fosters the ironic technique and philosophical out looks typical of modernism and existentialism. It also states human conditions in their words: 

ESTRAGON: Let's go.
VLADIMIR: We can't.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We're waiting for Godot.

Let's answer these Questions: 

1. What is known as absurd drama?
2. Are Didi and Gogo representative of everyman?
3.In what perspective Waiting for Godot can be read as spiritual journey?

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert     
     2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature
      3. Microsoft Students’ Encarta

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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