Waiting For Godot Essay, Research Paper
Who is Godot and what does he represent? These are two of the questions that Samuel Beckett allows both his characters and the audience to ponder. Many experiences in this book expand and narrow how these questions are viewed. The process of waiting comforts the characters in Beckett’s play that they do indeed exist. One of the roles that Beckett has assigned to Godot is to be a saviour of sorts. Godot helps to give the two hobos in Waiting for Godot a sense of purpose. Godot is a universal character that helps to give meaning and function to the lives of two homeless men.
The main characters in Waiting for Godot are dependant upon each other for reassurance of their existence. Existentialism is defined as being grounded in existence or being able to affirm existence. Vladimir and Estragon are able to confirm their existence in the world by the constant need to remind each other of what is happening. Estragon forgets every day what events occurred the previous day. The forgetfulness casts doubt on the actual existence of these two men. Vladimir needs to tell Estragon every day what happened the previous day; this reinforces their need for each other. Since no one else in the play remembers Vladimir and Estragon, this game of remembering is very important. When the boy and Pozzo forget meeting Vladimir and Estragon, it once again casts doubt on the actual existence of these two men. The two hobos constantly reaffirm their being by recalling that they are waiting for Godot.
Godot is a significant figure despite never physically being in the play. The reader finds out about him only through the conversations in the play. Despite never being physically present in the book, Godot’s presence is everywhere. The whole book, including all the actions and the theme itself, is affected by the mention of Godot. Vladimir and Estragon spend the entire play waiting for this unknown being. Vladimir and Estragon are not even sure if they are at the right place or time for their meeting. They do not even know why they are waiting for Godot. The two homeless men never express any understanding about the reason for the meeting with the unknown man. Both the characters and the audience see Godot as a saviour of some sort. He is the one who will bring salvation. He could be a Christ figure or another religious figure. Godot may also be a representation of salvation; this may or may not be a religious rescue. Godot may also be symbolic of the meaning of life that Vladimir and Estragon are searching for. . He is a reason they are still alive. Every day, Estragon wants to kill himself, but not only is there not enough rope, but there is also a hope that maybe, just maybe, Godot will appear the next day and everything will be different. Interestingly enough, Godot is also the one who keeps two friends coming back to the same spot, instead of wandering off and looking for a better place to live. Because of the endless promise that this one person will actually come, they do not leave the place. The character of Godot may be an interpretation of death since that would bring an answer to the questions that the two men are searching, and waiting for. Godot is open to interpretation by all involved with Beckett’s play; he could be anything from the meaning of life to a religious saviour to a forerunner of death. Regardless of what a person chooses as Godot’s purpose, it is the journey to the purpose that is the important part.
Vladimir and Estragon spend most of their time waiting for Godot. This passage of time is illustrated by the changing of seasons with regards to the tree and it’s leaves. Lucky and Pozzo also show that some time has passed since the last meeting. The passing of time leads everyone closer to death, and the closer to death one is the less chance of salvation there is. Beckett seems to believe that people spend too much time in their lives waiting for something or someone who may not appear. For Vladimir and Estragon, the belief is more important than the being. The two men need a firm belief in Godot more than actually meeting with him. Their belief gives them a reason to live, to keep going. In fact when Estragon thinks Godot is actually coming the two men hide; they are afraid to meet with Godot. Godot represents something that everyone is waiting for, something that will make everything all better in life. Vladimir and Estragon are always waiting and perhaps this wait is more important than whether or not Godot ever arrives. His appearance is not as important as a belief in him. The two friends, Estragon and Vladimir spend their lives waiting for this one person to show up. It never does, but as Vladimir says, “It passes the time.” It might appear startling that the lives of two people can be based on the life of a third one, whom they never actually met. But in reality, they do not need him as a person. All they need is something to believe in, something to wait for. Most people spend their lives waiting for something, but they are not sure of what exactly. Vladimir and Estragon can consider themselves lucky. They know specifically what, or rather whom, they are waiting for: Godot
The actual existence of Godot is not as important as the belief in his existence. The belief is what keeps Vladimir and Estragon firmly secured in their being. They are sure that Godot will eventually arrive and this belief is what keeps them going every day. The wait keeps the two friends together and gives them both a path to follow.