Existentialism In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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Theatre of the absurd seemed to draw light to a new genre of literature in which messages were displayed and hidden through the absurdity of action. This world is a result of the destruction of individualism and the deterioration of the human condition. It contains some existential ideas in which the characters are helpless and the explanation of the universe is far beyond their reach. Through meaningless action, they go about their lives with no purpose at all. Although Samuel Beckett himself did not identify as an existentialist, his work in Waiting for Godot contains traits of existentialism through the characters themselves, the reoccurring theme of waiting over time, and the overall, hidden meaning of hope and waiting for a savior.…show more content…
Vladimir has a stronger memory than Estragon and helps him by remembering for him, therefore, helping establish his identity (“Analysis”). By remembering for Estragon, Vladimir also helps remind Estragon of his existence. Estragon cannot even remember a kick from Lucky the day before (Valentine). An existential theme that can be found in Waiting for Godot is the lack of individuality which is related to the lack of meaning in their lives. Without meaning or a purpose, Vladimir and Estragon go on to live a pointless existence in which their life is full of despair. In their world full of repetition and suffering, it is necessary that they remember each other because no one else in the play remembers them. Pozzo proves that he does not remember who Vladimir and Estragon are as displayed in the line “I don’t remember having met anyone yesterday” (Valentine). This line also proves that traces of existentialism from lack of meaning can be found in all characters in Waiting for Godot (“Is Samuel Beckett’s…”) Existentialist literature also displays hidden meanings by having the readers look deeper than what is on the surface at the subtle meanings. Perhaps Samuel Beckett included this message to show the readers how important it is for one to find purpose in their life instead of just living in the
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