Time is a subject present in the play to help illustrate absurdism. Time presents a slew of problems in Waiting for Godot. The very title of the play reveals its central action: waiting. The two main characters are forced to whittle away their days while anticipating the arrival of a man who never comes. Because they have nothing to do in the meantime, time is a dreaded barrier, a test of their ability to endure. Because they repeat the same actions every day, time is cyclical. That every character seems to have a faulty memory further complicates matters; time loses meaning when the actions of one day have no relevance or certainty on the next. The concept also plays a role thematically and structurally, but only together can they promote and exemplify the playwright’s message. Beckett incorporates duality into many aspects of the play structurally, because one can see that the play itself is divided into two acts, a clear indication of duality, not only the number, but because of the difference between how the characters act in the scene itself. The only differences be...
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...ers who abruptly shift emotions and forget everything, ranging from their own identities to what happened yesterday. All of this contributes to an absurdist humor throughout the play. However, this humor is often uncomfortably mixed together with tragic or serious content to make a darker kind of comedy, which then causes a discomforting effect on the audience, who is not sure how to react to this absurd mixture of comedy and tragedy, seriousness and playfulness. The absurdity causes the seeming mismatch between characters ' tones and the content of their speech, which can be seen as a reaction to a world emptied of meaning and significance. If the world is meaningless, it makes no sense to see it as comic or tragic, good or bad. Beckett thus presents an eerie play that sits uneasily on the border between tragedy and comedy, in territory one can only call the absurd.
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