Waiting For Godot: Overview

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Editor: D. L. Kirkpatrick
Date: 1991
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Work overview; Critical essay
Length: 998 words

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Waiting for Godot is seen by many critics as a parable of man's hope and persistence in the face of disappointment, and by some as an absurd, repetitive study in futility. The latter take their cue from the reiteration of the idea of the opening line and closing stage direction: ``Nothing to be done,'' and ``They do not move.'' The former put more emphasis on the fact that two homeless men return day after day to the appointed place, where they wait for Godot and show each other tenderness and affection in spite of pain and the sight of physical cruelty.

The audience watches Vladimir and Estragon pass two in an apparent series of days by the side of the road, in a landscape distinguished only by a mound and a tree which sprouts a few leaves for the second act. Each day domineering Pozzo and his human beast of burden, Lucky, come through, divert the tramps for a while, then go out on some journey that is never explained. While Vladimir and Estragon are tied to each other by need for company, and tied to the spot by the expectation that Godot will come and save them, Pozzo and Lucky are physically linked by a rope that serves as leash for Lucky in the first act and guide for the now blind Pozzo in the second act. Near the end of each act, a boy who cannot remember ever seeing the tramps before brings a message that Mr....

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420000652