Essay about Friendship in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Essay about Friendship in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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Friendship is best served when it is shared by individuals who have defined themselves. Throughout “Waiting for Godot,” this notion is explored by demonstrating the problems friends experience when they define one another, look to each other for self-definition, have unfair expectations of one another, become self-centered, and maintain friendship out of need, a need to be needed, or habit. Through this exploration, the reader finds that the possibility of ending up in a stagnant relationship as a result of these problems can be simply reconciled. Friendship is best enjoyed between friends who have defined themselves and enter into the given relationship as an outlet for mutual understanding and support, thus stifling the human tendency to impose definitions and unfair expectations on one another. Defining oneself allows for strong relationships to flourish--along with all of the benefits such mature relationships offer.

Throughout “Waiting for Godot,” one’s definition becomes a point of interest and conflict. One of the first exchanges of conversation between Vladmir and Estragon consists of Vladmir saying, “So there you are again.” to which Estragon responds, “Am I?” (7). This introduces the concept of definition, an vital theme throughout the play. Vladmir’s seemingly insignificant observation, when questioned by Estragon, makes light of the fact that Vladmir has, in effect, defined Estragon. In turn, Estragon has neither defined Vladmir nor himself: rather, he questions his own existence. Later in the play, Vladmir looks to Estragon to aid in his own definition. He constantly beseeches his friend to confirm his existence and becomes frustrated and angry with him when he is unable to do so. By looking to one anoth...


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...e participant such insecure relationships will end up depending too heavily on the other for self-satisfaction. Friendship can not flourish when one is seeking outside to find what he should seek to find within himself. Thus, Vladmir and Estragon’s relationship could be strengthened, not ended, by that which the characters consider to be an end--their separation. If each were to spend time finding himself, both characters would be better able to support one another in a healthy friendship upon their reunion. “Waiting for Godot” demonstrates that by finding that many of our needs can be satiated by our own selves, our friendships can be self-giving rather than needy and stagnant--and in turn, will be self-gratifying.
Works Cited

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting For Godot. 3rd ed. N.p.: CPI Group, 2006. Print. Vol. 1 of Samuel Beckett: The Complete Dramatic Works. 4 vols

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