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Essay about Waiting For Godot

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ESSAY : Waiting For Godot



Absurdism is the belief that a search for meaning is intrinsically conjoined with the lack of meaning. One should both accept this statement  and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing the essence of life itself. As Camus puts it in The Myth of Sisyphus: “The absurd is born out of the confrontation between the basic human needs and the unreasonable silence of the world”. "Absurdist Theatre" repudiates traditional action, plot and  characters, to violate its audience  with a bewildering and perplexing experience. Characters often engage in seemingly meaningless repetitive dialogue or activities, and, as a result, bestow an understanding of what comes of an incoherent universe. Waiting for Godot remains to this day,  the most famous example of this unusual form of drama.

Repetition is a literary device that repeats a specific term or action to emphasize its significance. Throughout time, repetition has evolved into not only conveying emphasis but also absurdity, expressing both meaning and meaninglessness.

No unequivocal conclusion or resolution can ever be accorded to Waiting for Godot as the play is essentially made up of a cyclical and repetitive nature.

The play has two acts that mirror one another. Each act begins early in the morning, just as Estragon and Vladimir awaken, and both acts close with the moon having risen.  At the start of each, the routine begins with Vladimir and Estragon engaging in nonsensical conversation, with the arrival of Pozzo and Lucky, who simultaneously leave, making room for the entrance of a young boy who informs Vladimir and Estragon that Mr Godot won't be coming on that particular day. Both acts end with Vladimir and Estragon pledging to "go" but  then ultimately,  not moving. In essence, excluding the minimal differences between the two parts of the play, the same encompassing structure can be established. This repetitive nature gradually gives the audience the feeling that nothing is happening, that nothing is being accomplished.

Consequently, such a structure gives way to an overall feeling of meaninglessness to the present audience, a sense of unaccomplishment.

Additionally, this brings about, as well as a feeling of fruitlessness, an irrelevance in acting altogether : a play within a play illustrated by instances such as but not limited to, the occasion Estragon and Vladimir decide to act as if they were their predecessors. “I’ll be Pozzo, you’ll be Lucky.” In other words, Beckett's use of repetition in structure is one of the primary ways that he constructs a feeling of futility and lack of inherent meaning, which are two fundamental aspects of absurdist theatre.

Furthermore, Vladimir, when first noticing Estragon, uses for all intents and purposes, the same words: "So there you are again" in Act I and "There you are again" in Act II.

The use of repetition may be illustrated when at the beginning of both acts, Vladimir and Estragon emphasize repeatedly that they are there, waiting for Godot, a stranger they have never met. In the endings of both acts, Vladimir and Estragon discuss the feasibility of hanging themselves, intention reciprocated all throughout the play, and in both endings they decide to bring some good strong rope with them the next day so that they can, in truth, hang themselves, act they never de facto commit.

In addition, both acts end with the same dialogue like sentences, voiced asymmetrically :

ESTRAGON: Well, shall we go?

VLADIMIR: Yes, let's go. (act I)

VLADIMIR: Well? Shall we go?

ESTRAGON: Yes, let's go.(act II)

Moreover, the stage directions following these final lines are explicitly interchangeable in each case: "They do not move."

Likewise, the Boy Messenger, while theoretically different, brings the exacting same communiqué : Mr. Godot will not come today, but he will surely come tomorrow.

Thus, from Act I to Act II, there is no dissemblance in either the setting nor in the timeframe and, therefore, rather than a linear progression of time within an identifiable setting, there is a repetition in the second act of what has been seen and heard in the first one.

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