paper aims to flick that Samuel Beckett’s Waiting
for Godot is a theatrical upshot of Postmodernism which is sharply inspired
by Existential philosophy and its view is at the root of emptiness in human existence.
Post Modernism is the sure of fragmentation, illogical and dubious statements.
It refers that nothing is shaped in the theoretical world. The breakdown of
communication is a crucial part of this play and the dialogues are futile and
meaningless. Man lives the modern world denying the objectives of a rightly ordered
state in the society. The world is a place where things happen randomly. Butler
says that, “There is as we shall see a deep irrationalism at the heart of
postmodernism – a kind of despair about the Enlightenment – derived public
functions of reason – which is not be found elsewhere in the other developing intellectual
disciplines of the late 20th century” (11).
this play, the plot is found with no opening, middle and an end but just repeating
the same in the two acts. The play clearly shows its characterization and elements
switched around the absurdity and emptiness is filled with vagueness. Beckett has
portrayed the scene skillfully at the very calm and deserted place with leafless
tree. The portrayal of tree in any literary text is usually the representation of
human life, however in this play, leafless tree which symbolizes emptiness of human
life in this play. The depiction of peacefulness at the very first act represents
the emptiness of post world war II. Bari Khan et al. (2015) argues that,
country road, leafless tree and two homeless men. So from the point of view of
setting, it is an absurd play and no meaningful thing is present. The setting
of the play reminds the post war conditions of the world which brought
violence, uncertainty, despair and pessimistic outlook. (2)
The two old homeless men, Vladimir and
Estragon appear with vagueness and despair that clearly exhibits the meaningless
of human existence. They seem to be indistinct of what happened in their past. Beckett
emphasizes the meaning of meaningless or empty life sharply through the portrayal
of waiting for someone that is Godot and therefore it suggests that every
common individual is entangled with the worthless deeds in the world and
nothing is remained till at the end. Multani states that, “. . . The two tramps
must wait in order to evade the realization that there is actually no Godot,
that there is nothing to wait for, there is no saving them” (132).
and Estragon are Waiting for Godot
and they are ignorant of the figure of Godot and his arrival which is revealed by
the conversation of Vladimir and Estragon after seeing Pozzo. They think of him
as Godot but he introduces himself as Pozzo:
Undertone. Is that him?
Trying to remember the name. Er . .
I present myself: Pozzo. (WG, 15)
dialogues of Vladimir and Estragon revolve around the same thing throughout the
whole play which also reveals the forgetfulness of Estragon. Emptiness stands
behind every action is the main subject of the play. Estragon often forgets the
reason of his staying near the leafless tree, when he tries to move Vladimir
reminds him that they are Waiting for
What do we do now?
I don’t know.
We’re waiting for Godot.
Despairingly. Ah! …
What do we do now?
Wait for Godot?
Ah! WG, 41, 54
two characters named Pozzo and Lucky play two atypical roles as master and
slave. Pozzo rides Lucky as his slave by tying rope around his neck and Pozzo
stops on his way as he wants to sell his slave in the market. He stops at the
place where Vladimir and Estragon are Waiting
for Godot for a while to converse with them. Lucky is commanded to entertain
them by dancing and thinking. The illogical dialogues and interruption are the literal
elements of ‘Absurdity’ that can be observed from long illogical monologue of the
salve, and it is interrupted and stopped by the command of his master Pozzo by
taking his hat.
. . . I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished
the skull the skull in Connemara in
of the tennis the skull alas the stoned Cunard Melee, final vociferations tennis . . .the stones . . .so calm . . . Cunard . . .
unfinished . . .
seizes LUCKY’s hat. Silence of LUCKY. He
falls. Silence. Panting of the victors. (WG, 38)
Pozzo and Lucky leaving the place, Beckett has insisted one more character, a
boy comes with a message from the Godot and he says, “In a rush. Mr Godot told me to tell you he won’t come this evening
but surely tomorrow” (WG, 44).
three more characters are portrayed excluding Vladimir and Estragon there is no
meaningful message is added but illogical and emptiness is remained. Even at
the second act, the features are repeated what actually happened at the first
act. The characters are encircled with twilight state of consciousness which is
emphasized in the dialogues of Vladimir and Estragon. Estragon has unaware of
what happened in the past, especially at the first act and he often relies on
Vladimir to remember the past but sometimes he fails to assent the past.
Vladimir is also being confused when he is talking to a messenger boy from
Godot who already came at the first but refused to accept.
. . . Do you not recognize me?
It wasn’t you came yesterday.
This is your first time.
Yes, sir. (84)
men are simply repeating the same without any worthy in their lives but just
passing the time that can be understood in the play. Vladimir and Estragon’s insignificant
actions are struggling against the emptiness throughout the play that is easily
observed especially on swapping their hats like a joker in circus. Samuel
Beckett emphasizes that, “ESTRAGON takes
Vladimir’s hat. VLADIMIR adjusts
LUCKY’s hat on his head. ESTRAGON puts
on his VLADIMIR’s hat in place of his own which he hands to VLADIMIR
. . .” (63).
two tramps have decided to get away but they don’t move at the end of the first
act until curtains. The actions of the first act is repeated in the second act
with a few changes and the changes are nothing but the tree has some leaves,
Pozzo is blind, his slave is dumb and again the messenger boy comes with a
message from Godot is that Godot will
come on tomorrow.
play begins with a same thing that the two characters are waiting and the play
also end with the same thing that they are still waiting and Godot has not come
even at the end of the play. Everything in the play is repeated which happened
already in the past is remained. Beckett shows the paradoxical instance of
human existence through the characterization of empty life in the play. There
is no development seems to have been throughout the play. Usually a tree is a
symbol of life portrayed in literary text but leafless tree shows the poor condition
of modern man human beings in this play. It is an absurd play and closely
related to the life of modern human beings. Becket’s work concerned with the
civilization of today. It is a world of fragmentation and alienation where
individual has no sense of self and history which reflects by the forgetfulness