20th Century English Literature
Estragon calls him Didi, and the boy addresses him as Mr. Albert. He seems to be the more Vladimir calls him Gogo. He seems weak and helpless, always. In fact, their relationship on the whole reflects the whole message of the play—in a world of absurdity, no one really has any control or dominance because life. Estragon calls him Didi, and the boy addresses him as Mr. Albert. He seems to be . Answer: The relationship between Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) are.
Suddenly, Pozzo and Lucky reappear, but the rope is much shorter than during their last visit, and Lucky now guides Pozzo, rather than being controlled by him. As they arrive, Pozzo trips over Lucky and they together fall into a motionless heap.
Estragon sees an opportunity to exact revenge on Lucky for kicking him earlier. The issue is debated lengthily until Pozzo shocks the pair by revealing that he is now blind and Lucky is now mute. Pozzo further claims to have lost all sense of time, and assures the others that he cannot remember meeting them before, but also does not expect to recall today's events tomorrow.
His commanding arrogance from yesterday appears to have been replaced by humility and insight. His parting words—which Vladimir expands upon later—are ones of utter despair.
Alone, Vladimir is encountered by apparently the same boy from yesterday, though Vladimir wonders whether he might be the other boy's brother. This time, Vladimir begins consciously realising the circular nature of his experiences: Vladimir seems to reach a moment of revelation before furiously chasing the boy away, demanding that he be recognised the next time they meet.
Estragon awakes and pulls his boots off again. He and Vladimir consider hanging themselves once more, but when they test the strength of Estragon's belt hoping to use it as a nooseit breaks and Estragon's trousers fall down.
They resolve tomorrow to bring a more suitable piece of rope and, if Godot fails to arrive, to commit suicide at last. Again, they decide to clear out for the night, but, again, neither of them makes any attempt to move. Characters[ edit ] Beckett refrained from elaborating on the characters beyond what he had written in the play.
He once recalled that when Sir Ralph Richardson "wanted the low-down on Pozzo, his home address and curriculum vitaeand seemed to make the forthcoming of this and similar information the condition of his condescending to illustrate the part of Vladimir I told him that all I knew about Pozzo was in the text, that if I had known more I would have put it in the text, and that was true also of the other characters.
They are never referred to as tramps in the text, though are often performed in such costumes on stage.
When told by Vladimir that he should have been a poet, Estragon says he was, gestures to his rags, and asks if it were not obvious. There are no physical descriptions of either of the two characters; however, the text indicates that Vladimir is possibly the heavier of the pair. The bowlers and other broadly comic aspects of their personas have reminded modern audiences of Laurel and Hardywho occasionally played tramps in their films.
Comedy and the Movies. Estragon "belongs to the stone",  preoccupied with mundane things, what he can get to eat and how to ease his physical aches and pains; he is direct, intuitive. He finds it hard to remember but can recall certain things when prompted, e.
He continually forgets, Vladimir continually reminds him; between them they pass the time. Vladimir's life is not without its discomforts too but he is the more resilient of the pair. While the two characters are temperamentally opposite, with their differing responses to a situation, they are both essential as demonstrated in the way Vladimir's metaphysical musings were balanced by Estragon's physical demands.
This became "Adam" in the American edition. Beckett's only explanation was that he was "fed up with Catullus".
What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice. In the first stage production, which Beckett oversaw, both are "more shabby-genteel than ragged Vladimir at least is capable of being scandalised She explained how it begins with a trembling, which gets more and more noticeable, until later the patient can no longer speak without the voice shaking.
So I said, 'That sounds exactly what I need. As such, since the first appearance of the duo, the true slave had always been Pozzo. His rhetoric has been learned by rote. Pozzo's "party piece" on the sky is a clear example: Little is learned about Pozzo besides the fact that he is on his way to the fair to sell his slave, Lucky.
He presents himself very much as the Ascendancy landlord, bullying and conceited. His pipe is made by Kapp and PetersonDublin's best-known tobacconists their slogan was "The thinking man's pipe" which he refers to as a " briar " but which Estragon calls a " dudeen " emphasising the differences in their social standing. He confesses to a poor memory but it is more a result of an abiding self-absorption. That's why he overdoes things These were things Beckett said, psychological terms he used.
Lucky is the absolutely subservient slave of Pozzo and he unquestioningly does his every bidding with "dog-like devotion". Lucky speaks only once in the play and it is a result of Pozzo's order to "think" for Estragon and Vladimir. Pozzo and Lucky have been together for sixty years and, in that time, their relationship has deteriorated. Lucky has always been the intellectually superior but now, with age, he has become an object of contempt: Despite his horrid treatment at Pozzo's hand however, Lucky remains completely faithful to him.
Even in the second act when Pozzo has inexplicably gone blind, and needs to be led by Lucky rather than driving him as he had done before, Lucky remains faithful and has not tried to run away; they are clearly bound together by more than a piece of rope in the same way that Didi and Gogo are "[t]ied to Godot".
Beckett struggled to retain the French atmosphere as much as possible, so that he delegated all the English names and places to Lucky, whose own name, he thought, suggested such a correlation. The boy in Act I, a local lad, assures Vladimir that this is the first time he has seen him. He says he was not there the previous day. He confirms he works for Mr. Godot as a goatherd.
His brother, whom Godot beats, is a shepherd.
Godot feeds both of them and allows them to sleep in his hayloft. The boy in Act II also assures Vladimir that it was not he who called upon them the day before. He insists that this too is his first visit. When Vladimir asks what Godot does the boy tells him, "He does nothing, sir. This boy also has a brother who it seems is sick but there is no clear evidence to suggest that his brother is the boy that came in Act I or the one who came the day before that.
In the first Act, the boy, despite arriving while Pozzo and Lucky are still about, does not announce himself until after Pozzo and Lucky leave, saying to Vladimir and Estragon that he waited for the other two to leave out of fear of the two men and of Pozzo's whip; the boy does not arrive early enough in Act II to see either Lucky or Pozzo. In both Acts, the boy seems hesitant to speak very much, saying mostly "Yes Sir" or "No Sir", and winds up exiting by running away.
Godot[ edit ] The identity of Godot has been the subject of much debate. It is just implied in the text, but it's not true. The first is that because feet are a recurring theme in the play, Beckett has said the title was suggested to him by the slang French term for boot: This seemed to disappoint him greatly.
Waiting for Godot - Wikipedia
But you must remember — I wrote the play in French, and if I did have that meaning in my mind, it was somewhere in my unconscious and I was not overtly aware of it. However, "Beckett has often stressed the strong unconscious impulses that partly control his writing; he has even spoken of being 'in a trance ' when he writes. Unlike elsewhere in Beckett's work, no bicycle appears in this play, but Hugh Kenner in his essay "The Cartesian Centaur"  reports that Beckett once, when asked about the meaning of Godot, mentioned "a veteran racing cyclist, bald, a 'stayer', recurrent placeman in town-to-town and national championships, Christian name elusive, surname Godeau, pronounced, of course, no differently from Godot.
Beckett himself said the emphasis should be on the first syllable, and that the North American pronunciation is a mistake. Borchardt checked with Beckett's nephew, Edward, who told him his uncle pronounced it that way as well. Vladimir and Estragon's discussion about the noise made by "all the dead voices" brings back the theme of Estragon repeating himself to end a string of conversation.
Three times in a row, Estragon repeats his phrase, with silence following each repetition. Estragon's repetition of the phrases "like leaves" and "they rustle" emphasizes these phrases, especially since Estragon comes back to "like leaves" in the third part of their discussion.
In this section we see again Vladimir's desire to protect Estragon. He believes that the primary reason Estragon returns to him every day, despite his declarations that he is happier alone, is that he needs Vladimir to help him defend himself.
Whether or not Vladimir actually does protect Estragon, Vladimir clearly feels that this duty and responsibility define their relationship. Estragon's statement that he will go and get a carrot, followed by the stage directions "he does not move," recalls their immobility in Act I's conclusion, and is another illustration of the way that the characters do not act on their words or intentions.
Vladimir recognizes this problem after he decides that they should try on the boots; he says impatiently, "let us persevere in what we have resolved, before we forget. Pozzo and Lucky Scene Here again Vladimir seems to recognize the problem of inaction when he decides that they should help Pozzo.
He becomes suddenly vehement and shouts, "Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! This suggests that, even with good intentions and resolution, the habit of inaction cannot be broken immediately.
In this speech Vladimir also declares that at this point, "all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Estragon also illustrates the parallel between the two men and the rest of humanity when he tells Vladimir that "billions" of people can also claim that they have kept their appointment.
In this case Vladimir attempts to distinguish them from the rest of mankind, but Estragon insists that they are actually the same. Another biblical allusion is presented here through the comparison of Pozzo and Lucky to Cain and Abel. However, when Pozzo responds to the names Cain and Abel, Estragon decides that "he's all humanity.
Vladimir's need of Estragon's help in order to get up is somewhat of a role reversal. For a brief exchange, Estragon holds the power in the relationship as Vladimir calls to him for help. However, when Estragon does finally stretch out his hand to help Vladimir up, he only falls himself.
This seems to indicate that Estragon does not belong in this position of power and responsibility and cannot act to fulfill it. Pozzo and Lucky's Exit to Conclusion By this point in the play, the dialogue about waiting for Godot has been repeated so many times that even Estragon knows it. Every time he asked Vladimir to go previously, they went through the entire dialogue about why they could not go.
However, this time, Estragon goes through a miniature version of this dialogue by himself: Similarly, by the time the boy arrives in Act II, Vladimir already knows what he will say, and the boy does not have to tell him anything.
This suggests that this dialogue has occurred many times before and furthers the indication that the play is just a representative sample of the larger circle that defines Vladimir and Estragon's lives. The play's conclusion echoes the end of Act I. Even the stage directions reflect this similarity: The repetition of the final two lines from the previous act at the play's conclusion shows the continued importance of repetition and parallelism in Waiting for Godot.
However, the characters have switched lines from the previous act, suggesting that ultimately, despite their differences, Vladimir and Estragon are really interchangeable after all. What do you think is the most effective way that Beckett presents repetition in Waiting for Godot?
If the play is meant as a representative sample of what happens every night in the lives of Vladimir and Estragon, why does Beckett choose to present two acts instead of three, or one? The presentation of essentially the same action twice in the two acts is the most important form of repetition in the play.
More than one act is necessary to show the repetition of actions in the play, but this does not explain why Beckett chooses to use two acts instead of more than two. The choice of two acts may be somehow related to the use of pairs of characters, emphasizing the importance of characters and actions that occur in twos. Describe the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon. Why do you think they stay together, despite their frequent suggestions of parting?
Vladimir saved Estragon from Rhone fifty years ago. They are like the same person. Some critics have suggested that Vladimir and Estragon remain together because of their complementary personalities, arguing that each fulfills the qualities that the other lacks, rendering them dependent on each other. Think about what evidence there is in the play for this type of interpretation.
The two most important sets of characters in the play occur in pairs. Does this emphasis on pairs create some significance for the boy, who appears alone? Vladimir and the boy discuss his brother; could this brother be the boy's pair?
Perhaps the most important "character" in the play, Godot, is also a single character rather than a pair. Does this distinguish him from Vladimir and Estragon, Pozzo and Lucky? Does Beckett seem to prefer single characters or pairs? For example, Gogo in this play cannot remember what he did yesterday.
He depends on Didi, who owns better memory, to tell him everything about the past.
With a Little Help from My Friend: Godot and Friendship
Although he can remember what has happened, Didi depends on Gogo to remind him what they have done together. Without each other they will live in uncertainty and suspicion, because no one actually remembers them. In the beginning of the play, we are not sure if there is really a guy named Godot, for he never appears in the play.
How does the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon compare with the relationship between Pozzo and Lucky? What is the effect created by the contrast between these two pairs of characters? Is it significant that the characters appear in pairs, rather than alone? Do you think the play warrants a religious reading? Can Godot be considered a Christ figure or simply a religious figure? If so, what is implied by his failure to appear?
What about Estragon's attempts to equate himself with Christ? Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. And yet, somehow, we manage to laugh. Somehow, we find in this tender relationship between these old and tattered clowns that which allows us to Godot has been categorized as absurdist, existential, and tragicomic, but between the laughter and the tears, the screaming and the silence, the day and the night, there is a profound and important ethical dimension.
Perhaps the central theme is relationship, conversation, helping others, and, that most foundational of ethical moments, friendship. Aristotle devotes two entire chapters to friendship in his foundational Nicomachean Ethics.
For Aristotle, this type of friendship is the model of justice and the essential ground for the realization of happiness eudaimonia. If you press me to tell why I loved him, I feel that this cannot be expressed, except by answering: Because it was he, because it was I.