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Compare And Contrast The Structure Of "Waiting For Godot" With The Structure Of Any Traditional Play.

962 words - 4 pages

Traditional drama, like in "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, reflects a world view composed of a rational, well-ordered universe, a comforting system of beliefs (faith in something, someone), a stable scale of values, an ethical system in working condition. (Johnson, 2006). Beckett, in "Waiting for Godot", has turned away from the traditional drama and has an entirely different world view. This world view is marked by chaos instead of order. The universe is void - nothing to believe in but nothingness. There is no moral ethical code. There are just people existing, being only for themselves, and sometimes by themselves. (Gordon, 2002)"Waiting for Godot", is part of the Theatre of the Absurd. This implies that it is meant to be irrational. Absurd theatre does away with the concepts of drama, chronological plot, logical language, themes, and recognizable settings. There is also a split between the intellect and the body within the work. Thus Vladimir represents the intellect and Estragon the body, both of whom cannot exist without the other. (GradeSaver, 1999)When comparing the structure of "Waiting for Godot" with the structure of a traditional play, like "Oedipus the King", the following can be noted:"Oedipus the King" is a story with a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. It has linear progression. There is firstly an exposition, followed by rising action, climax, falling action and lastly resolution. In the beginning, Thebes is suffering and Oedipus is trying to save it. In the middle, he searches diligently for the truth that will save it and at the end, he discovers the truth, and Thebes is saved. (GradeSaver, 1999). In "Waiting for Godot", the story seems meaningless or absurd. The progression is circular rather than linear. The two characters, Estragon and Vladimir, arrive to stand around waiting for Godot. They keep waiting, although Godot never comes. Act two repeats the same action as Act one. The play ends in the middle and the characters are still waiting. (SparkNotes, 2002).In "Oedipus the King", there are well defined characters with clear motivations. Seeing Oedipus in action, allows us to see that he is kingly, a man of power and accomplishment. He's kind-hearted but rash in his temper, intelligent but irreverent. He is powerful and determined to use his power to save Thebes, regardless of the personal costs. (SparkNotes, 2002). In "Waiting for Godot", character motivation is unclear and actions and dialogue may seem nonsensical. Vladimir and Estragon are nobodies, two bums. Why should Godot care about them and why should the reader care about them? They are trying to save themselves, but why? They don't do anything "meaningful" while they're waiting, except talk. They seem like clowns and their talk is mostly "blather", that doesn't lead to anything. (GradeSaver, 1999)In "Oedipus the King", there is a plot with causal sequence of events. The reader can reflect on why things are happening and what the causes and...

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