Essay about Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot: The Theater of The Absurd

Essay about Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot: The Theater of The Absurd

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Samuel Beckett was Nobel Prize winning author, a modernist, the last true modernist according to many. Beckett is credited for creating “The Theater of The Absurd”. The Theater of The Absurd is a term coined by Matin Esslin, a term first used in his 1962 book of that same title. The basis for this “absurdness” was to show the idea that mans lifetime was in the strictest sense, meaningless and that our universe and creation was inexplicable and any attempt to find meaning was absurd. In the 20th century this idea was present in the productions of modern artist who looked to distance themselves from conventional theater. Of all however, “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett, is the most recognized works in the theater of the absurd. Other artist such as Eugene Onesco and Harold Pinter left a mark in the theater of absurdity. The plays contained no logic, the dialogue was composed of nonsense hard to comprehend and usually irrational characters in ceaseless situations leading back to the same place.

Now we will explore the world of one of Beckett’s most famous play from the “Theater of the Absurd”, Waiting for Godot. The play is seen by many as meaningless and irrational, however it contains inner symbols and ideas that Beckett had on life and religion.

First, we take a look at two of the protagonist, Vladimir and Estragon have a very comical and nonsense relationship, completely opposites, they however compliment one another perfectly and offset the lonesomeness and personality of each one another. Vladimir for example is good at recollecting things and events, constantly he reminds Estragon of events past or of things such as the gospels in the Bible, whereas Estragon keeps forgetting things and sometimes cannot remember...


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...s will never come to terms with the fact that Godot will never come and they will stay there forever (Beckett Act II).

The statement, “Vladimir represents the intellectual and Estragon the body, both of whom cannot exist without the other” is trying to explain the need the mind has to the body and the body to the mind. A body needs a mind to think, to walk, to eat, to survive, and the mind needs the body which energizes the mind, feeds the mind, and keeps it alive. All in all the mind brings life to the body, the body feeds the mind what it needs to bring life.



Works Cited

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting For Godot. 1954: Grove Press, New York, NY.

Hutchings, William. Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot: a reference guide. 2005: Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT

The Meaninglessness of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot." 123HelpMe.com. 18 May 2015


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