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Waiting for Godot

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on 8 August 2014

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Transcript of Waiting for Godot


Samuel Beckett
Irish playwright and writer on the second half of 20th century;

Samuel Beckett
Theatre of the Absurd
Absurdist elements
Main characters
Born - Ireland - 1906
Waiting for Godot
Died - Paris - 1940
REFERENCES
BECKETT, Samuel.
Waiting for Godot
: a tragicomedy in two acts. New York: Grove Press, 1994.

ESSLIN, Martin.
The Theatre of the Absurd
. New York: Vintage, 2004.

ESSLIN, Marin.
Introduction to "Absurd Drama"
(Penguin Books, 1965.

Works
Romances / Theater / Poetry / Non-fiction / Short stories and novels
Style
Deal with human feelings / Minimalist style / Against the modernity's styles / Reality of human conditions
Aspects of Beckett's writing
thrown out most of the rules in conventional writings
plays and novels - simply style
Non-descripting setting
Act 2
VLADIMIR
: You’re right, we’re inexhaustible.
ESTRAGON
: It’s so we won’t think.
VLADIMIR
: We have that excuse.
ESTRAGON
: It’s so we won’t hear.
VLADIMIR
: We have our reasons.


ESTRAGON
: All the dead voices.
VLADIMIR
: They make a noise like wings.
ESTRAGON
: Like leaves.
VLADIMIR
: Like sands.
ESTRAGON
: Like leaves.
Act 1:
LUCKY
: Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outise time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine...
Act 2:
ESTRAGON
: I wasn’t doing anything.
VLADIMIR
: You must be happy too, deep down, if you only knew it.
ESTRAGON
: Happy about what?
VLADIMIR
: To be back with me again.
ESTRAGON
: Would you say so?
VLADIMIR
: Say you are, even if it’s not true.
ESTRAGON
: What I am to say?
VLADIMIR:
Say, I am happy.
ESTRAGON
: I am happy.
VLADIMIR
: So am I.
ESTRAGON
: We’re happy.
VLADIMIR
: We’re happy.


Act 2:
ESTRAGON
: I knew it was him.
VLADIMIR
: Who?
ESTRAGON
: Godot.
VLADIMIR
: But it’s not Godot.
ESTRAGON
: It’s not Godot?
VLADIMIR
: It’s not Godot.
ESTRAGON
: Then who is it?

Short and chopped sentences
Stream of consciousness
Use of repetition to emphasize a main point
ESTRAGON
: Of character.
VLADIMIR
: Nothing you can do about it.
ESTRAGON
: No use struggling.
VLADIMIR
: On is what on is.
ESTRAGON
: No use wriggling.
VLADIMIR
: The essential doesn’t change.
ESTRAGON
: Nothing to be done.
Act 1
ESTRAGON
: Fancy that. Funny, the more you eat the worse it gets.
VLADIMIR
: With me it’s just the opposite.
ESTRAGON
: In other words?
VLADIMIR
: I get used to the muck as I go along.
ESTRAGON
: Is that the opposite?
VLADIMIR
: Question of temperament.

Important writers: Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter.


Existential philosophy
Martin Esslin ­ 1960s
A world without meaning / The isolation of the individual
Lack of plot / Questions without answers
Devaluation of language/ Poetic images
Dreams x Reality
Tradition
Albert Camus - 1942
A good many playwrights who have been classed under this label, when asked if they belong to the Theatre of the Absurd,will indignantly reply that they belong to no such movement - and quite rightly so. ESSLIN, 1965.
Myth of Sisyphus
By all the traditional standards of critical appreciation of the drama, these plays are not only abominably bad,
they do not even deserve the name drama. ESSLIN, 1985.
express a sense of shock at the absence, the loss of any such clear and well-defined systems of beliefs or values. ESSLIN, 1985.
Theatre of the Absurd
Pozzo
Godot
Godot could be any of this men or all of them - omnipresence - idea of god
Pozzo's divine atributes / phonetic confusions between Pozzo's name / GOGO - DIDI / Lucky's white hair as a reference to Godot white beard.
Popular belief
: alpha male / more intellectual / better memory / more logical


Vladimir - Didi
Vladimir's problems and suffering are his fault / he's restricted by the waiting, but the act of waiting for Godot is a choice itself / commitment to wait the next day
Inability to handle with suffering - difficulty to stablish relationships

Act 1

ESTRAGON:
I had a dream.
VLADIMIR:
Don't tell me!
ESTRAGON:
I dreamt that—
VLADIMIR:
DON'T TELL ME!
ESTRAGON:
(gesture toward the universe). This one is enough for you? (Silence.) It's not nice of you, Didi. Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can't tell them to you?
VLADIMIR:
Let them remain private. You know I can't bear that.

The "other" guy / comes off as inferior to Vladimir / poor memory / struggling with his boots / he needs to be told what to do
Smartness - he had the idea of hanging themselves and realizes that the bought might not suport Vladimir / it would be worse be left alone than dead.
Didi & Gogo
Ambiguous relationship / they keep asking themselves if they should be apart / too scared to part - too hesitant to have a real friendship
Vladimir and Estragon need each other. Didi feeds Gogo, but Didi needs Gogo to need him.

Lucky
Estragon - Gogo
ESTRAGON:
(with effort). Gogo light—bough not break—Gogo dead. Didi heavy—bough break—Didi alone. Whereas—
VLADIMIR:
I hadn't thought of that.
(...)
VLADIMIR:
Well? What do we do?
ESTRAGON:
Don't let's do anything. It's safer.
He condensed all the play's action in three lines:

ESTRAGON:
(giving up again). Nothing to be done.

ESTRAGON:
No, nothing is certain.

ESTRAGON:
Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!
Tyrannical, cruel, focused on himself
Seems like a god / possess a mystical watch / has control over Lucky (even his thoughs)
He has control of time while he has his watch, then he lost it / blindness / he blames time for the meaninlessness of life - Didi blames habit "the great deadener"
Pozzo's slave / abused physically and verbally / ironic name
He has someone telling him what to do / no consciousness / no agony of choice / he doesn't have to worry if he is or isn't happy - he is really lucky
Lucky has in Pozzo the certain Didi and Gogo desire from Godot
Vladimir and Estragon wait in the hope that he will "save" them or if angered he might "punish" them
VLADIMIR:
We'll hang ourselves tomorrow. (Pause.) Unless Godot comes.
ESTRAGON:
And if he comes?
VLADIMIR:
We'll be saved.

ESTRAGON:
And if we dropped him? (Pause.) If we dropped him?
VLADIMIR:
He'd punish us.
Absurdist aspects
Didi and Gogo represent mankind
ESTRAGON:
People are bloody ignorant apes. (Act 1)
Expectations x Reality
Solutions x Frustration
ESTRAGON:
(step forward). You're angry? (Silence. Step forward). Forgive me. (Silence. Step forward. Estragon lays his hand on Vladimir's shoulder.) Come, Didi. (Silence.) Give me your hand. (Vladimir half turns.) Embrace me! (Vladimir stiffens.) Don't be stubborn! (Vladimir softens. They embrace.)

(Estragon recoils.) You stink of garlic!
VLADIMIR:
It's for the kidneys. (Silence. Estragon looks attentively at the tree.) What do we do now?
ESTRAGON:
Wait.
VLADIMIR:
Yes, but while waiting.
ESTRAGON:
What about hanging ourselves?
Act 1
Act 1
“A country road. A tree. Evening.”
Trapped characters
Vladimir and Estragon try to find
a way out of a world with no meaning.

- suicidal thoughts
- always forgetful
- eternal wait
Lack of plot
- "nothing happens"
- no conflict is solved
Nonsense
VLADIMIR:
Well? What do we do?
ESTRAGON:
Don't let's do anything. It's safer.
VLADIMIR:
Let's wait and see what he says.
ESTRAGON:
Who?
VLADIMIR:
Godot.
ESTRAGON:
Good idea.
Act 1
VLADIMIR:
We can still part, if you think it would be better.
ESTRAGON:
It's not worthwhile now.
Silence.
VLADIMIR:
No, it's not worthwhile now.
Silence.
ESTRAGON:
Well, shall we go?
VLADIMIR:
Yes, let's go.
They do not move.
Act 1

VLADIMIR:
Well? Shall we go?
ESTRAGON:
Yes, let's go.
They do not move.

Act 2
Full transcript