Entrapment in Waiting for Godot and Existence and Existents Essay

Entrapment in Waiting for Godot and Existence and Existents Essay

Length: 2080 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Entrapment in Waiting for Godot and Existence and Existents

 
    Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot has been criticized as a play in which nothing happens-twice. Not only are Vladimir and Estragon, the two primary characters, unable to change their circumstances in the first act, the second act seems to be a replay of this existential impotence.

Vladimir's remark "Nothing to be done," at the opening of the play, may be said to characterize the whole. Estragon complains that "Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!" (Beckett 27).

Ostensibly, the play is a series of meaningless conversations on subjects of no importance. One wonders, then, if it isn't true that nothing happens in this play and, hence, if the play has my real artistic merit. But something is happening. The characters are struggling to free themselves from a treadmill of an existence in which they are trapped-a struggle that is, perhaps, significantly like our own.

Let us first consider the role of time in the play. Vladimir and Estragon want time to pass but are forced to acknowledge that even when it does, nothing changes. In other words, the time they recognize offers them no genuine future. On the contrary, it promises them more of the same:

Estragon:

We came too soon.

Vladimir:

It's always at nightfall.

Estragon:

But night doesn't fall.

Vladimir:

It'll fall all of a sudden, like yesterday.

Estragon:

Then it'll be night.

Vladimir:

And we can go.

Estragon:

Then it'll be day again. (Pause. Despairing.) What'll we do, what'll we do! (Beckett 45-

46)

 

If night would only come there would be an end to this day. But that is no hope since another day ...


... middle of paper ...


...h, Colin. Angels of Darkness: Dramatic Effect in Beckett and Ionesco. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1792.

Fletcher, Beryl S., and John Fletcher. A Student's Guide to the Plays of Samuel Beckett. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1985.

Fletcher, J. Action and Play in Beckett's Theater. Modern Drama 9 (1966/67) 242-246.

Iser, W. Beckett's Dramatic Language. Modern Drama 9 (1966/67) 251-259.

Kenner, Hugh. A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett. New York: Farar, Straus, and Giroux, 1983.

Lamont, Rosette. Beckett's Metaphysics of Choiceless Awareness. Samuel Beckett Now. Ed. Melvin J. Friedman. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1975.

Lyons, Charles R. Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove Press, 1983.

Metman, Eva. Reflections on Samuel Beckett's Plays. Samuel Beckett: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Martin Esslin. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1965.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Beckett 's ' Waiting For Godot ' Essay examples

- Humans spend their lives searching and creating meaning to their lives, Beckett, however, takes a stand against this way of living in his novel ‘Waiting for Godot’. He questions this ideal of wasting our lives by searching for a reason for our existence when there is not one to find. In his play, he showcases this ideology through a simplistic and absence of setting and repetitious dialogue. Beckett’s ability to use these key features are imperative to his ability of conveying his message of human entrapment and existence....   [tags: Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett, Lucky]

Powerful Essays
804 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Futility of Human Existence in Waiting for Godot

- We live on a planet revolving around the sun, while there are at least about one septillion other stars in this universe. What is the significance of our existence in this infinite cosmos. What is the purpose of our lives. With the explosion of scientific knowledge and the WWII bombs in the modernity epoch, the insignificance of our lives was realized; Samuel Becket staged the futility of human existence in the play Waiting for Godot. He portrayed nothingness through the use of structure, language, dialogue, and setting....   [tags: existentialism, absurdism]

Powerful Essays
551 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Play ' Waiting For Godot '

- Everything Comes to Those Who Wait When Alan Schneider put the first American performance of Waiting for Godot, he asked Beckett who Godot is or what is Godot, Beckett said: “If I knew, I would have said so in the play.” This is a useful warning to anyone who is coming to the Beckett’s play with the intention to find the key to understand and accurately identify the meaning. However, it is not surprising that the plays written in this unusual and mysterious manner are perceived as if there is a particular need to disclose their secret meaning translated into everyday language....   [tags: Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett]

Powerful Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Human Existence and Human Suffering

- All throughout our history, we humans have constantly evolved and developed to an extent where we can give an account to the world we live in. From Epicurus to Thomas Aquinas, from Aristotle -who taught one of the greatest kings namely Alexander the Great- to Sartre and Camus were all for the search of why we are on this planet. What drives us to live or perhaps to die, even if it is by one’s own hand. When arguing about the meaning of life, one has to take into account that every doctrine, thesis, antithesis, thought and emotion can only be explained and defined through the human perspective....   [tags: Human Existence]

Powerful Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty Essay

- Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty In his play "Waiting for Lefty" Clifford Odets attempts to stir up the weary American public of the 1930s by providing examples of everyday people who, with some coaxing, rise above the capitalist mess they've inherited and take control of their destinies. In his work, Odets paints the common man as honest, sacrificial, and exploited, while big business and the government are portrayed as the proletariat's enemies, anonymous corporations of rich men intent on shattering dreams....   [tags: Waiting Lefty]

Powerful Essays
786 words (2.2 pages)

Waiting For Godot and the Theater of the Absurd Essay

- Who is Godot and what does he represent. These are two of the questions that Samuel Beckett allows both his characters and the audience to ponder. Many experiences in this stage production expand and narrow how these questions are viewed. The process of waiting reassures the characters in Beckett's play that they do indeed exist. One of the roles that Beckett has assigned to Godot is to be a savior of sorts. Godot helps to give the two tramps in Waiting for Godot a sense of purpose. Godot is an omnipresent character that helps to give meaning and function to the lives of two homeless men....   [tags: Waiting For Godot Essays]

Free Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

Waiting for Godot is Not an Absurdist Play Essay

- Waiting for Godot is Not an Absurdist Play         Samuel Beckett's stage plays are gray both in color and in subject matter. Likewise, the answer to the question of whether or not Beckett's work is Absurdist also belongs to that realm of gray in which Beckett often works. The Absurdist label becomes problematic when applied to Beckett because his dramatic works tend to overflow the boundaries which scholars attempt to assign. When discussing Beckett, the critic inevitably becomes entangled in contradiction....   [tags: Waiting for Godot Essays]

Free Essays
1863 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

- An empty road, a single tree, a friends company. These sickly rewards are the ones given to men, theorizes Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot, when they wait for the arrival of God. Stark barren surroundings and perpetual loneliness are the only gift, in Beckett's mind, when one waits for a supernatural being who does not deign to visit mere mortals. This aloof and impersonal deity is symbolized in the aptly named character of Godot, who restricts the plot of the play. He keeps Vladimir and Estragon from taking action, strands the theme in an unending wait for supernatural meaning, and restricts the characters' development by keeping their thoughts turned towards the always-impendi...   [tags: Waiting for Godot Essays]

Powerful Essays
532 words (1.5 pages)

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

- Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot In Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett asks what it is that we are really doing on Earth. He feels that God plays a key role in the solution to the human condition, however, since we do not truly know if God exists, life it would seem is simply a quest to search for an alternate explanation. Most of the time we attempt to distract ourselves from the issue and try desperately to bring some sort of meaning into our life while silently waiting for someone or something to come and give us an answer....   [tags: Waiting for Godot Essays]

Powerful Essays
2006 words (5.7 pages)

Entrapment Essay

- Entrapment Last year, sixty seven thousand people called the police due to elevator entrapment. About seventy six percent of those people who used those elevators were lethargic. The other twenty four percent had legitimate reasons for using the elevator. Elevators should only be used when you are physically disabled. American’s all over the world try to take the easy way out of any exercise. Elevators have become a major part of everyday life for many Americans. Entrapment occurs when there is too much weight or to many people....   [tags: Personal Narrative Elevators Essays]

Free Essays
1354 words (3.9 pages)