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Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett - Essay Example

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Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot stands alone among the rest of thirty-two dramatic works produced by the author. Outstanding value of this longest ever written by Beckett play was officially recognized by the Swedish Academy in 1969, when the author was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Waiting for Godot is arguably the most controversial and complex for understanding piece of playwriting produced during the last century. Actually, the whole plot and action of the play is reflected by the title - waiting for Godot. Two homeless and jobless males named Estragon (Gogo) and Vladimir (Didi) are waiting for someone named Godot on the country road. While waiting for this person, the two tramps talk to each other, discuss different things and meet two other characters of the play: Pozzo and Lucky, the master and servant. This couple and a boy whom informs Gogo and Didi that Godot will not come to meet them are the only characters of the play. The play is far from being intensive at all. The characters discuss various topics, tell jokes and do absolutely meaningless things, but the reader can feel a sort of laziness in absolutely all discussions and actions. As for Godot who is supposed to be the main character of the play, the reader never knows whom he is, what he is and why he has to meet the tramps.
Despite countless interpretations ...
Consequently, Beckett and other writers of that epoch tended to put their literary characters in paradoxical and absurd circumstances. From this perspective, Waiting for Godot is a typical absurdist play in which the author reveals isolation of individuals in contemporary world, absence of hopes, absurdity of life and many other universal problems of human existence.















MAIN DISCUSSION
In order to understand what makes Waiting for Godot an absurdist play and if it is an absurdist play we must reveal the meaning of the term 'absurdist'. The term 'theatre of the absurd' was coined in 1962 by Martin Esslin whom applied it to a group of post-war plays written by different authors. Esslin believed that the philosophical meaning underlying all those plays was common and relied upon the philosophy of Albert Camus (Esslin, 1969:18).
Camus' theory of absurd is perfectly illustrated in his well-known work The Myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was a mythological king of the Greek city of Corinth. The gods did not like his cruelty and invented a torture for Sisyphus to suffer until the end of time. He had to roll a heavy stone up a huge hill in the kingdom of Hades, but he never reached the peak: each time Sisyphus was on the verge of rolling the stone over the top, the resistance became overwhelming and the stone rolled downhill, and Sisyphus had to start his toil over and over again (Camus, 1955).
Camus thinks that the human life has much in common with the toil of Sisyphus. Men and women of the modern world are doing nearly the same the mythological king did. They try to find some universal meaning and purpose of human existence despite the fact that no universal meaning or purpose really exists. Human life is irrational and absurd, and any ...Show more

Summary

The novels, plays, short stories, essays and poetry of Samuel Barclay Beckett, the famous Irish author of the first half of 20th century, reflect the spirit of those storming and violent days he lived in. While Beckett's literary heritage is not rather scarce, the number of works devoted to the author himself and his output is very abundant…
Author : dkunze
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett essay example
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