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Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot 
Written by
Samuel Beckett
Date premiered
5 January 1953
Original language
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Waiting for Godot 
(the proper name correctlypronounced "Goddo" /'g
/, stressing the firstsyllable in contrast to the syllabically even stresstypical of Standard French pronunciation) is a play bySamuel Beckett, in which two characters wait forsomeone named Godot, who never arrives. Godot'sabsence, as well as numerous other aspects of theplay, have led to many different interpretations sincethe play's premiere. Voted "the most significantEnglish language play of the 20th century"
Waitingor Godot 
is Beckett's translation of his own originalFrench version,
 En attendant Godot 
, and is subtitled(in English only), "a tragicomedy in two acts".
Theoriginal French text was written "between 9 October1948 and 29 January 1949 [...] after
 Malone Dies
but before
The Unnamable
Thepremiere was on 5 January 1953 in the Théâtre deBabylone with Roger Blin as the director who alsoplayed Pozzo.
1 Plot synopsis1.1 Act I1.2 Act II2 Characters2.1 Vladimir and Estragon2.2 Pozzo and Lucky2.3 The Boys2.4 Godot3 Setting4 Interpretations4.1 Political interpretations4.2 Freudian interpretations4.3 Jungian interpretations4.4 Existentialist interpretations
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4.5 Biblical interpretations4.6 Autobiographical interpretations4.7 Homoerotic interpretations4.8 Interpretations from compassion4.9 Beckett's reticence5 History6 Related works7 Works inspired by Godot8 References9 External links9.1 Study guides
Plot synopsis
Act I
Waiting for Godot 
follows two consecutive days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselveswhile they wait expectantly and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him anacquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognise him were they to seehim. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, talk, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, andcontemplate suicide — anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay".
"Silence," says Beckett, "ispouring into this play like water into a sinking ship",
arguably both true and ironic, given the play'swordy banter and patter.The play opens with the character Estragon struggling to remove his boot from his foot. Estragoneventually gives up, muttering, "Nothing to be done." His friend Vladimir takes up the thought andmuses on it, the implication being that nothing is a thing that has to be done and this pair is going tohave to spend the rest of the play doing it.
When Estragon finally succeeds in removing his boot, helooks and feels inside but finds nothing. Just prior to this, Vladimir peers into his hat. The motif recursthroughout in the play.The pair discusses repentance, particularly in relation to the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus, andthe fact that only one of the four Evangelists mentions that one of them was saved. This is the first of numerous Biblical references in the play, which may be linked to its putative central theme of the searchfor and reconciliation with God, as well as salvation: "We're saved!" they cry on more than one occasionwhen they feel that Godot may be near.Presently, Vladimir expresses his frustration with Estragon's limited conversational skills: "Come on,Gogo, return the ball, can't you, once in a while?". Estragon struggles in this regard throughout the play,and Vladimir generally takes the lead in their dialogue and encounters with others. Vladimir is at timeshostile towards his companion, but in general they are close, frequently embracing and supporting oneanother.
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Estragon peers out into the audience and comments on the bleakness of his surroundings. He wants todepart but is told that they cannot because they must wait for Godot. The pair cannot agree, however, onwhether or not they are in the right place or that this is the arranged day for their meeting with Godot;indeed, they are not even sure what day it is. Throughout the play, experienced time is attenuated,fractured or eerily non-existent.
The only thing that they are fairly sure about is that they are to meetat a tree: there is one nearby.Estragon dozes off, but Vladimir is not interested in hearing about his dream after rousing him. Estragonwants to hear an old joke about a brothel, which Vladimir starts but cannot finish, as he is suddenlycompelled to rush off and urinate. He does not finish the story when he returns, asking Estragon insteadwhat else they might do to pass the time. Estragon suggests that they hang themselves, but they quicklyabandon the idea when it seems that they might not both die: this would leave one of them alone, anintolerable notion. They decide to do nothing: "It's safer," explains Estragon,
before asking whatGodot is going to do for them when he arrives. For once it is Vladimir who struggles to remember: "Oh... nothing very definite," is the best that he can manage.
hen Estragon declares that he is hungry, Vladimir provides a carrot, most of which, and without muchrelish, the former eats. The diversion ends as it began, Estragon announcing that they still have nothingto do.Their waiting is interrupted by the passing through of Pozzo and his heavily-laden slave Lucky, whomay, according to Beckett, "shatter the space of the play".
Pozzo and Lucky have been seen torepresent a sort of double of Vladimir and Estragon, with similar roles, anxieties and incertitudes. At onepoint, Vladimir observes that they are "tied to Godot" as Lucky is tied to Pozzo. Vladimir also refers toEstragon as a "pig" several times later in the play, echoing Pozzo's abuse of Lucky."
 A terrible cry
from the wings heralds the initial entrance of Lucky, who has a rope tied around hisneck. He crosses half the stage before his master appears holding the other end. Pozzo barks orders at hisslave and frequently calls him a "pig", but is civil towards the other two. They mistake him at first forGodot and clearly do not recognise him for the self-proclaimed personage he is. This irks him, but, whilemaintaining that the land that they are on is his, he acknowledges that "[t]he road is free to all".
Deciding to rest for a while, Pozzo enjoys a pre-packed meal of chicken and wine. Finished, he casts thebones aside, and Estragon jumps at the chance to ask for them, much to Vladimir's embarrassment, butis told that they belong to the carrier. He must first, therefore, ask Lucky if he wants them. Estragontries, but Lucky only hangs his head, refusing to answer. Taking this as a "no", Estragon claims thebones.ladimir takes Pozzo to task regarding his mistreatment of his slave, but his protestations are ignored.hen the original pairing tries to find out why Lucky does not put down his load (at least not unless hismaster is prevailing on him to do something else), Pozzo explains that Lucky is attempting to mollifyhim to prevent him from selling him. At this, Lucky begins to cry. Pozzo provides a handkerchief, but,when Estragon tries to wipe his tears away, Lucky kicks him in the shins.Before he leaves, Pozzo asks if he can do anything for the pair in exchange for the consort that they haveaccorded him. Estragon tries to ask for some money, but Vladimir cuts him short, explaining that they
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