Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

analytical Essay
2235 words
2235 words

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

POZZO: Wait! (He doubles up in an attempt to apply his ear to his stomach, listens.

Silence.) I hear nothing. (He beckons them to approach. Vladimir and Estragon go towards him, bend over his stomach.) Surely one should hear the tick-tick.

VLADIMIR: Silence! (All listen, bent double.)

ESTRAGON: I hear something.

POZZO: Where?

VLADIMIR: It's the heart.

POZZO: (disappointed) Damnation!

VLADIMIR: Silence!

ESTRAGON: Perhaps it has stopped. (Beckett 46)

If an important feature of the novelization of any genre is the element of indeterminate uncertainty (Bakhtin 7), Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot may be said to have taken novelization of drama to great heights. Throughout the play, the open-ended element that Bakhtin accrues to the dominant process of novelization (7) is found not only in Godot's ending and characters, but in every dramatic action as well. Beckett infuses each action and speech with uncertainty. A central idea of the play that this paper seeks to explore is that the need to believe that time passes in a linear direction is a consequence of the notion that this concept, the passage of time in linear fashion, lends a sense of meaning to existence. Critical essays on Godot have often highlighted particularly well-known passages in the play (Cormier & Pallister 1998:96-105, Nealon 1998:106-113), such as the ending sequence (Beckett 94), and especially poetic and intense moments where Pozzo or Vladimir expound upon important ideas and then forget them (Beckett 89, 90-91). Yet any extract from the play yields a similar haunting pattern. Taking a less-known excerpt from Act I of the play (as shown above), this paper aims to establish how the dram...

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...London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1965.

Bakhtin, M. M. "Epic and the Novel." The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael

Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981. 3-40.

Cormier, Ramona and Janis L. Pallister. "En attendant Godot: Tragedy or Comedy?" Culotta Andonian 96-105

Culotta Andonian, Cathleen (ed). The critical response to Samuel Beckett. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Denith, Simon. Parody. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. 2000.

Nealon, Jeffrey. "Samuel Beckett and the Postmodern: Language Games, Play, and Waiting for Godot." Culotta Andonian 106-113.

Rose, Jacqueline. Parody: Ancient, Modern, and Post-Modern. Cambridge: CUP, 1993.

Wilson, Deirde & Dan Sperber. "On Verbal Irony." The Stylistics Reader. Ed. Jean Jacques Weber. London: Arnold, 1996. 260-279.

In this essay, the author

  • Narrates how he doubles up in an attempt to apply his ear to his stomach, listens.
  • Opines that one should hear the tick-tick. vladimir and estragon go towards him, bend over his stomach.
  • Analyzes how beckett's waiting for godot takes the novelization of drama to great heights.
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