The Concept Of Time In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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As I previously mentioned, literature is almost always a reflection of the vibes and ideas of the times it was written. Isn’t it interesting then, that during the twentieth century, a time with of such cultural and social vitality, one of the most famous and influential plays of the period is commonly is commonly considered to be a ‘play about nothing’? I’m talking of course about Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot. The stage is set to desolate, unfamiliar and strangely empty scene, where the audience waits with the plays main characters Vladimir and Estragon (nicknames Didi and Gogo respectively) for the arrival of a mysterious figure named ‘Godot’ The entire lack of plot is driven only by entertainingly nonsensical dialogue and the hope…show more content…
In the play, the concept of a past and future feels illusory. Though the play appears to be set in the present, the audience/reader is struck by the impression that the present does not have a fixed beginning or end. Waiting for Godot, could also be, like Women in Love, a response to a increasingly secular society in which life’s purpose and meaning was becoming increasingly vague. This concept was especially prominent in the existential philosophy of the time and likely influenced Beckett. Albert Camus for instance once said: ‘The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world’ The absurd, is in many ways, the main character of the play providing the endless uncertainty that makes Waiting for Godot so confusing and controversial. Humour might be the only way to deal with the emotional strain of a meaningless and uncertain existence, and it is in the plays humour that the Waiting for Godot’s most interesting literary techniques can be observed. Most notably Samuel Beckett makes use of dark humour, making light of situations that are essentially too sad to be funny, for instance Didi and Gogo’s juvenile and carefree attitude to the possibility of their
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