Man's Search for Meaning in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

Man's Search for Meaning in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

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Beckett was interested in putting everyday banality onto the stage in
an experimentation of what theatre is. He attempts to provide a truer
interpretation of ‘real life’ than that often depicted in previous
theatre, which may typically contain excitement, exaggeration and
liveliness. He suggests that one of the major constituents of human
experience is boredom, indeed the very concept of ‘Waiting for Godot’
echoes this, and Beckett implies that much of life is spent waiting
for something. The play is therefore a means of undergoing the
difficult task of dramatising boredom. Routine and repetitiveness are
apparent throughout the play and are key to creating the world of
Vladimir and Estragon. This is reflected by the characters often
having very similar arguments or discussion, such as frequent talk
about committing suicide; or the concept that the two Acts, which make
up the play merely appear to be repetitions of one another. Indeed
‘Waiting for Godot’ has been described as a play where “Nothing
happens, twice”.

Beckett’s struggle to make sense of things is evident in the
combination of his characters acceptance that life may be meaningless,
and their continuous questioning and search for meaning. The major
refrain of the play, “nothing to be done”, first arises when Vladimir
cannot find anything in his hat. It is suggestive of a domestic, banal
failure but also implies an acceptance and resignation over such a
failure. The disappointment felt when there is nothing inside
Estragon’s boot evokes the idea of futility. Similarly the refrain
implies that there is literally nothing for the characters to do and
thus has associatio...


... middle of paper ...


...ly a serious survival tactic.
This leads to the idea that friendship is fundamental for people to
deal with the harshness of life and its nonsensicality at a time where
people have become less religious.

The literal concept of ‘waiting for Godot’ is important in creating
meaning in Beckett’s world. In Act II Estragon says, “We always find
something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?” this echoes
Beckett’s use of ‘Godot’ as a metaphor for something that we all need
- a search to give people a sense of narrative and purpose. The sense
of meaning that comes in humanity’s reluctance to give in, contrasts
with the concept that it is a repetitive and inescapable routine.
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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