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Waiting For Godot And Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead: The Theatre Of The Absurd

875 words - 4 pages

The absurdist plays Waiting for Godot written by Samuel Beckett and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead written by Tom Stoppard both incorporate human needs and concerns within their context through its whimsical and comedic dialogues. Both plays belong in the category of the theatre of the absurd, where the existentialist philosophy underlies all aspects of the plays. The central characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead share a deep friendship, this same friendship can also be seen within the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon who are the protagonists in Waiting for Godot. Beckett and Stoppard playfully express friendship and camaraderie throughout their plays, while both sets of characters delve deeper into human needs as it illustrates the dependency for one another that each character relies on .
Dependency can be easily seen within Waiting for Godot as the two protagonists Vladimir and Estragon are within each other’s company throughout the play. When Estragon attempts to sleep as the duo waits for Godot, he has a nightmare and Vladimir runs to help him. In effort to comfort Estragon, who was going into hysterics, Vladimir says, “There…there…Didi is there…don’t be afraid…There…there…it’s all over…” (Beckett 79). This interaction between them expounds on Estragon’s reliance on Vladimir. Estragon has a more fragile mental physique then Vladimir and needs Vladimir’s reassurance in order to know his dream was not reality. On the other hand, Vladimir would have a sunny disposition without Estragon, as Estragon is the friend he relies on for his own mental health as Estragon is the anchor that holds Vladimir to society and life. The two often quarrel in verbal exchanges however, they make up within a moment’s notice. This scenario can be seen when Estragon and Vladimir argue over a minor infraction and they begin to swear at one another. In an instant Estragon turns to Vladimir and says, “Now let’s make it up…” (Beckett 85). They embrace and the quarrel is over . This apology is imperative to them both as Estragon and Vladimir yearn for the other’s company. If the apology been absent in the play, Estragon and Vladimir would have continued arguing and Estragon lose his one friend in his destituted life and Vladimir would lose his friend and confidant. The pair’s friendship is also far from perfect, evident from a normal conversation. Towards the end of act one Estragon casually says to Vladimir, “…I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off alone, each one for himself…We weren’t made for the same road…[to which Vladimir calmly replies] It’s not certain…We can still part, if you think it would be better” (Beckett 58-59). Estragon simply state it is inconvenient at the time and the two sit together as the curtains...

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