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Christianity and Waiting for Godot

School Project

Caroline Martin

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Christianity and Waiting for Godot

By Caroline Martin Christianity in Waiting for Godot Imagery of the Tree The image of the tree with the two tramps on either side echoes the image of Christ and the two thieves crucified along with him (Massoud).

Vladimir’s analysis of the Bible story supports this image. The Tree of Life The tree can be viewed the tree of life.

"Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that?" -Vladimir (4)

The expression of hope in the few leaves that appear in Act 2. Image of Lucky and Pozzo's Relationship Lucky and Pozzo's slave-master relationship is a symbol for the relationship between humans and God.

Lucky is bound to Pozzo by a rope around his neck, which chafes his neck and gives him sores. Lucky's Bags "He wants to impress me, so that I'll keep him." -Pozzo (30)

Vladimir asks Pozzo, "What is in the bag?" He responds, "Sand" (102).

This is a symbol for the Christian concept of sin. The Use of Christian Imagery and its Meaning in Waiting For Godot Their reason for the discussion: "It'll pass the time." -Vladimir (6)

"Why believe him rather than the others?" -Vladimir (7)

"People are bloody ignorant apes."
-Estragon (7)

"The basis of their salvation and damnation is unclear, and it leaves the audience uncertainty of their own situation." -Shobeiri (290) Though the tree has a few leaves in Act 2, nothing more happens. No desires were fulfilled.

Even though there is this expression of hope, the day is repeated very much like the last.

Wang argues that since there are leaves, "human beings’ waiting is no longer hopeless. Waiting gives significance to existence." (200) Lucky as a slave Godot as God Lucky's Definition of God Lucky defines God as "personal", "with a white beard", "who... loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown" (45).

The boy is asked what color beard Godot has. He replies "I think it is white, sir" (106).

“He believes these questions to be of profound importance” when Vladimir asks about Godot's beard- Cohen (190) They are waiting for salvation. They asked Godot for "a kind of prayer" or "a vague supplication" (Beckett 14).

“It’s Godot! At last!.. It’s Godot! We’re saved!” -Vladimir (83)

They consider leaving repeatedly throughout the play, but are afraid "he'd punish [them]" (Beckett 107).

"Godot, whose role as a savior must appear to offer hope and comfort to Vladimir and Estragon, damns them unreasonably" -Shobeiri (291). Vladimir and Estragon's View of Godot The Tree as the Cross Image of the Boy The Boy as the Messenger The boy in Act 1 tends to the goats for Godot.

Vladimir: "He doesn't beat you?"
Boy: "No sir, not me."
Vladimir: "Whom does he beat?"
Boy: "He beats my brother, Sir... He minds the sheep, Sir."
Vladimir: "And why doesn't he beat you?"
Boy: "I don't know, Sir." (55) The Boy as the Goat Herder The boy appears from no where, bearing an important message from Godot, like an angel descending from heaven. (Liljeström 11)

The message is one of fake hope. “This also echoes Luke’s report of the Crucifixion, cited and critically analyzed by Vladimir at the play’s beginning, in which one of the thieves crucified beside Jesus is saved, while the other is not”- Cohen (190)

“There is the same illogicality and irrationality in terms of salvation and damnation in Godot‘s treatment of the boy and his brother” –Shobeiri (291)

"God is arbitrary in his dealings with man, and the biblical image of a just and loving father is a false one" -Shobeiri (291) Image of Waiting for God The two tramps are trapped in the same cycle of false hope, waiting for a salvation that will never come.

“An obvious references to the two-thousand-year-old Christian dilemma, in which the hope of Godot’s appearance is repeatedly reduced to despair, only to be once more revived, buoying and teasing man”- Liljeström

They represent "the entire human race... looking forward to the coming of the Lord once again." Only this can relieve their suffering. (Wang 199) Godot Doesn't Come Matthew 25: 32-34 (King James Version)

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Biblical Reference Meaning Atheism in Waiting for Godot
“It is a portrayal of characters facing – if unwillingly – Sartre’s Dieu manqué”- Cohen (192)

"One can see that the Christian symbols and images do not actually form any cohesive network of references and are mentioned and discussed by the characters sporadically and rather 'to pass the time'.”- Liljeström (12)

"The numerous references to the Bible... strengthen the major existential theme of God who has left people"- Liljestrom (14) Sources Cohen, Robert. "Pozzo's Knook, Beckett's Boys, And Santa Claus." Modern Drama 54.2 (2011): 181-193. Literary Reference Center. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Jing, Wang. "The Religious Meaning In Waiting For Godot." English Language Teaching 1 (2011): Directory of Open Access Journals. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Liljeström, Tatiana. "Waiting for Godot - What Is Everybody Waiting For?" Existential Atheism in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (2012): n. pag. Luleå University of Technology. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Massoud, Mary M. F. "Beckett’s Godot: Nietzsche Defied." Irish University Review: a journal of Irish Studies. 40.2 (2010): n. page. Web. 20 Oct. 2012.

Matthew. The Bible: Authorized King James Version. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Google Books. Google. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.

Shobeiri, Ashkan. "Beckett’s Atheism in Waiting for Godot and Endgame: A Proof for Absurdism." International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 1.21 (2011): 289-94. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Balaskas, Peter A. "Waiting for Godot Theatre Review - A Noise Within's 2010 Opener of Beckett's Absurdist Classic Is Worth the Wait." Splash Magazines. N.p., 15 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.

Finkle, David. "Waiting for Godot - Review." TheaterMania.com. N.p., 31 Dec. 1969. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.

"God." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God>.

Motz, Andy. "Who Do They Say I Am? Waiting for Godot." The Alternative Chronicle. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.

"Waiting for Godot -- Act 2." Waiting for Godot -- Act 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://samuel-beckett.net/Waiting_for_Godot_Part2.html>. Picture Sources
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