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Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot

Senior Project

Amber Young

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett Samuel Beckett "The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don’t want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the s--t the more I am grateful to him.
He’s not f---ing me about, he’s not leading me up any garden path, he’s not slipping me a wink, he’s not flogging me a remedy or a path or a revelation or a basinful of breadcrumbs, he’s not selling me anything I don’t want to buy — he doesn’t give a bollock whether I buy or not — he hasn’t got his hand over his heart. Well, I’ll buy his goods, hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty.
His work is beautiful." -Harold Pinter (Continued) Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906.
He was born in a Dublin suburb. on Good Friday.
He was the youngest of two sons born to William Frank Beckett and May Barclay.
The area where he grew up would be featured in some of his future poetry.
He attended trinity college from 1923-1927, earning a Bachelor's. (in French italian and other romance languages and poetry.
He took a teaching position at Campbell College in Belfast before moving to Paris to become a lecteur d'anglais at the École Normale Supérieure.
In Paris, Beckett met James Joyce, an Irish novelist. ( James Joyce would become a MAJOR influence in Becketts life.)
Becketts's first published work was a sort story called, "Assumption,".
Beckett won his First literrary prize the following year with the poem, "Whoroscope,". The loss of his father in 1933 was devastating to Beckett. ( He actually had to go to Tavistock Clinic for help mentally)
While there he studied under Dr. Wilfred Brion.
This was also Where Beckett wrote Watt, All that Fall, and his most famous work Waiting For Godot.
Samuel Beckett’s personal life was affected tremendously in his later life. His mother, with whom he had many difficulties, died in 1950 and his brother, Frank, died in 1954, both of these deaths affected Beckett’s later meditations on life and death in his work.
Samuel Beckett died on December 22 ,1989, just five months after his wife, Suzanne. Theatre of the Absurd Definition: A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. Vladimir - One of the two main characters of the play. Estragon calls him Didi, and the boy addresses him as Mr. Albert. He seems to be the more responsible and mature of the two main characters.

Estragon - The second of the two main characters. Vladimir calls him Gogo. He seems weak and helpless, always looking for Vladimir's protection. He also has a poor memory, as Vladimir has to remind him in the second act of the events that happened the previous night.

Pozzo - He passes by the spot where Vladimir and Estragon are waiting and provides a diversion. In the second act, he is blind and does not remember meeting Vladimir and Estragon the night before.

Lucky - Pozzo's slave, who carries Pozzo's bags and stool. In Act I, he entertains by dancing and thinking. However, in Act II, he is dumb. Waiting for Godot:
Characters Summary Act 1: The Introduction The play opens with Estragon sitting on a stump trying to take off his boot. While he struggles, Vladimir walks up slowly behind him. They greet each other, and Estragon proceeds to take of his boot. Meanwhile, Vladimir is examining his hat and talking about the two thieves' story in the bible or as he calls it "The Gospels". He questions which story is actually correct. Estragon was distracted by his boot during Vladimir's thoughts. He finally get the boot off and asks if they can leave, but Vladimir tells him that they can't because they are waiting for Godot. While waiting, Estragon falls asleep. Vladimir gets lonely and wakes him up. Estragon isn't happy beacause he's having a dream. He offers to tell Vladimir about his dream, but Vladimir doesn't want to hear it. They discuss going their different ways. Vladimir storms off stage. Estragon calls him back. They make up and start to think of things to past the time. Estragon suggests that they hang themselves from the tree that they are waiting by. Vladimir considers the logic of the whole idea and decides not to because they are to wait for Godot and see what he says about it. Estragon announces that he is hungry, so Vladimir gives him a carrot. Act 1:Pozzo and Lucky Pozzo enters the stage loudly with lucky on the other end of a very long rope. Didi and Gogo (Vladimir and Estragon) are very frightened. They both wonder if this is Godot. Pozzo announces himself and is shocked when Didi and Gogo has not heard of him. Pozzo commands Lucky to put his stool down. He sits in it and starts to eat chicken. Estragon and Vladimir take this time to examine Lucky. They notice a sore on his neck, and ask him about it. Pozzo, with his large voice, tells them to leave him alone. After Pozzo is finished, he throws his bones to the ground and Estragon asks for them. He tells him that Lucky has priority over them. Estragon asks Lucky for them and he gets no response. Pozzo allows Estragon to eat them. Vladimir gets angry with pozzo about how he treats Lucky. He wants to leave, but he is reminded he must wait for Godot. Vladamir asks if Pozzo wants to rid of Lucky and he says yes. He actually plans to sell him at the fair that he is on his way to. Pozzo offers to etertain them while they wait for Godot. Estragon wants lucky to dance and Vladimir wants him to think. He starts to speak but none of the words make since. Afterwards they exit. Act II: The Next Day This scene opens up in a new day at the same place. The stage is empty except Estragon's boot and Lucky's hat. Vladimir enters and starts to sing a song. Estragon enters and asks why do they always return to each other even though they both are happier alone. Vladimir tells him its because he can't defend himself on his own. Vladimir starts to talk about Pozzo and Lucky. However, his word are wasted because Estragon has already forgotten about Pozzo and Lucky. They argue again about separating. Vladimir reminds Estragon that he always come "crawling" back. Vladimir gives him his boots and Estragon argues about them being his. Afterward, Estragon sits on the mound and tries to sleep. He can't on his own so Vladimir sings him a lullaby. He wakes up shortly after another nightmare. Vladimir goes to pick up Lucky's hat. He puts it on and hands Estragon his hat. Estragon puts on Vladimirs hat and hand Vladimir his hat. This switch goes on and on until Vladimir gets Lucky's hat back. They start to pretend to be Pozzo and Lucky until they hear someone coming. Vladimir and estragon are sure its Godot, therefore Estragon goes to hide behind the tree. They start to talk at the same time, they get angry, and begin to insult each other. They stop and forgive each other and have a long embrace. After that, they start doing random exercises. Including "The Tree". Act II: Pozzo and Lucky return Pozzo enters and his blind. He is following Lucky in, Lucky stops at the sight of Estragon and Vladimir and Pozzo runs into him. knowing that it will help the time pass, Vladimir warmly welcomes Pozzo and lucky in. Pozzo is yelling for help. After much conversing, they try to help pozzo up. They fail and all three men are on the floor and Vladimir and Estragon start to sleep. Pozzo starts to yell. The yelling wakes up Didi and Gogo (Vladimir and Estragon). Vladimir starts to stike Pozzo to make him stop. He does and crawls away. All three men help each other up from the ground. Pozzo tells them that the blindness has come upon him all of a sudden. Pozzo asks about Lucky. They find him on the ground sleeping. Estragon goes over to him and kicks him. He hurts his foot so he gives up. Act II: The Conclusion Vladimir wakes Estragon. Estragon is upset at being woken up, but Vladimir tells him that he was lonely. Estragon gets up, but his feet hurt, so he sits down again and tries to take off his boots. Meanwhile, Vladimir reflects upon the events of the day. Estragon dozes off again after unsuccessfully struggling with his boots. "The boy" enters Vladimir recognizes the routine and knows what the boy is going to say before he says it. They establish that the boy was not there yesterday, but that he has a message from Mr. Godot saying that he will not come this evening, but definitely tomorrow. He approaches Vladimir and tells him that he wants to go. Vladimir tells him that they cannot go far away, because they have to come back tomorrow to wait for Godot. They discuss hanging themselves from the tree again, but they do not have any rope. Estragon tells Vladimir that he can't go on like this, and Vladimir tells him that they will hang themselves tomorrow, unless Godot comes. Vladimir tells Estragon to pull up his pants because they have fallen. Estragon took out the cord that was holding up his pants to see if it was suitable enough for them to hang themselves. Additional Information Theme: One main theme has to be existence in general. Trying to find meaning in a meaningless life. Other themes can be Hope, Devaluation of language, and Time. Motifs: The character Godot is a major motif. This subject is constantly repeated nut never really evaluated. This character actually transformed into a symbol. There are so many things that Godot can be. It ranges from God to Society. Symbolism: The tree is the only distinct piece of the setting. It is referenced to Jesus being crucified on a cross, but that cross is sometimes referred to as a "tree," as in, "Jesus was nailed to the tree." Vladimir and Estragon contemplate hanging themselves from the tree is likely a reference to the crucifixion, but it also shows the religious significance. If Jesus died for the sins of others, Vladimir and Estragon are dying for basically nothing. 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