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The Theatre Of The Absurd Waiting For Godot Analysis.

1573 words - 6 pages

The first line from Waiting for Godot, "Nothing to be done", could be said to sum up the Theatre of the Absurd, except that there's always something happening.Discuss this statement with reference to the theatrical features and dramatic action of the Theatre of the Absurd as realised in performance"Nothing to be done," is one of the many phrases that is repeated again and again throughout Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot. Godot is an existentialist play that reads like somewhat of a language poem. That is to say, Beckett is not interested in the reader interpreting his words, but simply listening to the words and viewing the actions of his perfectly mismatched characters. Beckett uses the standard Vaudevillian style to present a play that savors of the human condition. He repeats phrases, ideas and actions that has his audience come away with many different ideas about who we are and how beautiful our human existence is even in our desperation. The structure of Waiting For Godot is determined by Beckett's use of repetition. This is demonstrated in the progression of dialogue and action in each of the two acts. The first thing an audience may notice about Waiting For Godot is that they are immediately set up for a comedy. The first two characters to appear on stage are Vladimir and Estragon, dressed in bowler hats and boots. Vladimir is usually cast as tall and thin and Estragon just the opposite. Each character is involved in a comedic action from the plays beginning. Estragon is struggling with a tightly fitting boot that he just cannot seem to take off his foot. Vladimir is moving around bowlegged because of a bladder problem. From this beat on the characters move through what amounts to a comedy routine. A day in the life of two hapless companions on a country road with a single tree. Beckett accomplishes two things by using this style of comedy. Comedy routines have a beginning and an ending. For Godot the routine begins at the opening of the play and ends at the intermission. Once the routine is over, it cannot continue. The routine must be done again. This creates the second act. The second act, though not an exact replication, is basically the first act repeated. The routine is put on again for the audience. The same chain of events: Estragon sleeps in a ditch, Vladimir meets him at the tree, they are visited by Pozzo and Lucky, and a boy comes to tell them that Godot will not be coming but will surely be there the following day. In this way repetition dictates the structure of the play. There is no climax in the play because the only thing the plot builds to is the coming of Godot. However, after the first act the audience has pretty much decided that Godot will never show up. It is not very long into the second act before one realizes that all they are really doing is wasting time, "Waiting for...waiting." (50) By making the second act another show of the same routine, Beckett instils in us a feeling of our own waiting and daily...

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