In this play, the story of two vagabonds,
Vladimir and Estragon, spending their days in the weary expectation of the
mysterious Godot, acquires the features of a universal model of human
existence.Beckett expands the artistic space of the play. On the one hand, we
have the story of two vagabonds; on the other – their memory is the historical
memory of mankind, invariably keeping the pain of suffering.
Estragon and Vladimir hear voices. These are
the voices of people who have already lived, who have already exhausted
themselves. But now they rustle, whisper, remind that this is their fate – the
senseless alternation of births and deaths, the monotonous change of
generations. The eternal expectation of Vladimir and Estragon organizes in the
same sequence every day: – the day is over, which will inevitably begin with
the same intolerable/impossible expectation.The expectation turns for the
heroes of Beckett into a terrible torture, in comparison with which the
suffering of the crucified Christ fades away.
Time in the play
has no real outlines: developing from the constant repetition of the same
actions, it is overturned into eternity. The composition in the play,
consisting of two acts, represents a complete ring structure: the finale of the
play closes with the situation that opened it – the same village road, all the
same characters, the same expectation of Godot.
Images of characters are ironically reduced. Their outward poverty is greatly exaggerated;
they are dressed in pathetic rags, barely move. Estragon is pressed by boots,
pants fall from it. The miserability / desolation of their inner world is
emphasized by tongue-tied language.
Vladimir and Estragon are not sure of
anything, even in the reality of their own existence.They find it difficult to
navigate in space and time. The next morning waiting for Estragon everything
seems new and unfamiliar. Vladimir is sure that the place is the same as the
day before. To convince a friend, he puts forward, it would seem, an undeniable
proof – the boots of Estragon, left to him the day before. Estragon dresses
them and it turns out that they are great and another color.
Characters that personify the model of the human
community in the play are divided into pairs: in addition to Vladimir and
Estragon, another pair is introduced – Pozzo and Lakki. Their relationship is
built on the dependence of one on the other.Vladimir and Estragon resemble a
married couple who endlessly quarrels, but can not exist without each other.
Their mutual co-presence is, as it were, a confirmation of the fact of their
Between Pozzo and Lakki, as master and
servant, a more precise relationship of dependence: the master can not live if
his orders and desires are not fulfilled by the servant. The servant can not
navigate without the instructions of his master.
Beckett’s characters rush between the word and
the void/null/useless, feeling powerless to express themselves. The tongue-tied
tongue and miserable language, silence
and pauses, dialogues deprived of interaction, are used by the playwright to
convey the eternal contradiction between the “thing” called and its
The irony that runs through the play makes it
possible for it to be polysemantic in its semantic readings. The expectation of
the mysterious Godot, who never appeared, is a symbol of the
“inexpressible,” which, from Becket’s point of view, can not be
encased in the husks/case/shall of words.