WAITING FOR GODOT BY SAMUEL BECKETT


Hareshwar


 'Waiting for Godot' is a beautiful play of Samuel Beckett. It is known for the richness of its themes. Firstly, it seems that this play is about nothingness. This nothingness is very mysterious in itself. In fact, the play is not about waiting for certain Godot. But it about man's endless wait for Christ or for death. In short, it deals with the purposelessness and meaninglessness of human life.



Some critics are of the view that waiting is the major theme of this play. It is the waiting for Christ for man's redemption. Some others are of the view that it is the waiting for death that relieves from misery and suffering. When we analyse the play, we find a similarity between God and Godot. We come to know that the tramps are afraid of Godot. When Estragon proposes that they might drop Godot, Vladimir replies that he would punish them if they do that. Thus the action of waiting for Godot becomes applicable to all Christianity. The tree which has leaves in the second act represents the cross.



Some critics find that the play deals with existentialism. The characters express doubt about Time. In the second act they loose their identity. Their relationship is also in doubt. The major problem of the tramps is to make time pass. They have nothing to do. On this basis, we can say that this play deals with nihilism. It is about ignorance, impotence, boredom etc. Here the characters suffer. Suffering seems an inseparable part of the human life. Estragon and Vladimir suffer intensely and incessantly. They have nothing to eat. They want to suicide. Lucky and Pozzo suffer great physical affliction. They become blind and dumb. Thus suffering is one of the major themes of the play.



'Waiting for Godot' deals with the theme of the meaninglessness of life and exploitation. The waiting is symbolic of the boredom and triviality of human activities. Estragon and Vladimir have nothing to do. Life is meaningless for them. They always talk of suicide. Nothing is serious for them. Here helplessness is also obvious. Even suicide is not within the reach. In the episode of Pozzo and Lucky the theme of exploitation is clear.

In fact, this play deals with various themes. It deals with human situation and man's existential problems. It studies life, death, God, salvation, alienation, loneliness, suffering and helplessness. Here the playwright talks about the loss of meaning in life and the loss of faith in God. It is a play that mocks at the futility of man's life and its meaninglessness. Even characters contemplate suicide. Their situation does not change. The endless cross talk act of the two tramps is always funny and at the same time sad.



Thus in 'Waiting for Godot', life is treated like a joke. Here death is mocked at. God is made a non-entity. Man's identity is shown in danger. There is no obvious action to be taken, nothing to be done.


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