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Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot And The Theater Of The Absurd

1413 words - 6 pages

With the appearance of Waiting for Godot at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris in 1953, the literary world was shaken by the arrival of a drama so different yet so thrilling that it gave rise to the "Theater of the Absurd". His contribution to this particular type of theater movement allows us to refer to him as the father of the genre. While other dramatists, such as Tom Stoppard, have also contributed to this genre, Beckett remains its single, most lofty figure. It is this type of theater that deals with the absurd aspects of life, to stress upon its native meaninglessness. It is the time and identity of characters that are usually vague or ambiguous in such plays from the theater of absurd. The plays are dreamy and impossible to implement in real life and the dialogues of such plays are irrational and make the play seem absurd because the whole structure of the play is in repetition.

In this play, Samuel Beckett emphasizes upon human suffering. The play revolves primarily around Estragon and Vladimir who endlessly wait for something to help overcome their boredom and sins because they seek redemption as mentioned in the play. Godot can be assumed as one of the many wishes that Vladimir and Estragon wait for. Waiting for Godot is part of the ‘Theater of the Absurd’. This implies that it is meant to be irrational and pointless in nature since you do not have a proper moral and conclusion to the play, i.e., it is an open ended play. The readers and audiences can have many conclusions towards the end of the play. The concepts of drama, chronological plot, logical language, themes, and recognizable settings are features of drama that a play from the Theatre of Absurd does not have. We see how the characters of Vladimir and Estragon are represented as two devoted, inseparable souls who cannot live without each other because Beckett shows Vladimir as the brain and Estragon as the body which obviously implies the fact that our body is nothing without our brain. The brain is the central element through which every process takes place. We can see many instances where Vladimir constantly keeps reminds Estragon of their past time together, about Estragon’s appearance, and also about why and who they were waiting for.

In the beginning of the play, the audience is flung into the absurd situation and conversation in which Vladimir and Estragon are in. We as readers and viewers have no knowledge about the fact as to how long the characters have been there or waiting before we start reading the play. As the play proceeds, the conversations are recurrent, appearing over and over and nothing really makes sense, i.e., everything is irrational. The ending is not perfect in the play, it technically does not end however, and the final conclusion of the play is left on the readers or viewers thoughts about the play. Both Vladimir and Estragon say they were going to leave but they never actually do. Readers and viewers are left to wonder how long they actually...

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