The theatre is always about the play, the characters and the drama. The three questions that the theatre asks are: what the play is, why it is the way it is and what the characters learn during the play?
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The play “Waiting for Godot” is about two people who are waiting for a person named Godot. In reality, Godot never comes and the two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, spend much time waiting for this individual. They talk about all kinds of things. Their wait seems to be eternal which is representative of life. The play is both a comedy and a tragedy. It is a comedy because it seems impossible and comical how these two characters are waiting for another one for so long.
They also have a special relationship with each other which is rather humorous. The unexpected things that happen throughout the play add to the humor of the wait. But at the same time, it is a tragedy because Godot never comes, and it is devastating to Estragon and Vladimir. They are frustrated that they have to wait for so long, and they even think of killing themselves several times during the play.
The tree is an important representation, and it stands for several things, as there are a few references by the characters to kill themselves, the tree could be seen as a tool for that. Estragon and Vladimir talk about hanging themselves from it. It could be a direct reference to Jesus and the crucifixion because Jesus was said to be crucified on a wooden cross (Feitsch, 2008).
The visitors, Pozzo and Lucky represent a duality. It seems impossible how these two characters who are so different can stay together. Another line that can be drawn is the connection between mind and body. It is a constant battle between the two forces in the struggle for what each wants and needs. It could also be said that Vladimir is the mind of the two, as he is the one coming up with ideas and concepts, and Estragon is the body, and this can be seen in his naps, the want to sleep and complaints.
The names of the characters represent another duality. The name “Lucky” in no way represents the fate of the person, as it is illustrated in the play. It shows how the obvious can oppose the hidden. And there is the contrast between the reason of the wait and the wait itself. The main goal is to wait for Godot but while they wait, there are things that happen to the characters, which display different aspects of life and its turns.
The wait is aligned with the grim reality of life, when a person waits for something to happen and it never does. The tree also represents the divinity of heavens, as the characters wanted to hang themselves on it and the theme of morals, which are high above, and the material needs of the human body (Patkovszky, 2009).
Both acts describe the same place. It is a lonely tree by the road. This represents the theme that time stood still for these two characters. The only difference is that in the second act there are some leaves on the tree (Beckett, 2011). The mystery of Godot stays unsolved until the end. It is unclear who it is or why they wait for him, but it seems to be the point of their existence.
Beckett, S. (2011). Waiting for Godot. New York, United States: Grove Press.
Feitsch, V. (2008). Waiting for Godot – a cultural approach. Norderstedt, Germany: GRIN Verlag.