Book rants, raves, & (w)rite-ups.

This is open to a lot of interpretations – Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett

First Page of Act II

First Page of Act II

Really, I do not know what to make out of this. A tragicomedy in two acts, the book cover says. A paradox, if you ask me, because comedies are not supposed to be tragic. Right?

I see the comedy part. Two men, made apparently absurd by their dialogues, are waiting for a man named Godot. Why they are waiting for him, we are never explicitly told. If you ask me, this is not about the arrival of this Godot, who by the way, never comes, but it’s about what transpires during the waiting.

On the surface, there’s nothing going on. It’s just two men, Estragon and Vladimir, trying to kill their time while waiting. These two have a rather complex relationship. We don’t get any detailed background from the two. In fact, it was never mentioned in the dialogues that their names are Estragon and Vladimir. They call each other Gogo and Didi.

Which could only mean that they know a lot of each other to assume such pet names. There’s a mention that they’ve been together for fifty years, but I really don’t buy it because their memories are so unreliable. In fact, I don’t know what’s true in this.

I will not try to dissect this as a literary critic. Besides, this is the first ever play that I’ve read. I’ll just interpret this in the way that it comes to me. Here we go.

I think Godot signifies death. The two miserable men are waiting for an uncertain arrival. Has death ever sent a one-week notice? Unless this world is created by Saramago, no, never. They are waiting for death so that they can be saved.

One may also see Godot as God. Believers keep their faith in God to be saved. As I mentioned, there’s many ways on how to interpret this. I did a little Googling just now, and I found out that there are political, psychological, philosophical, Christian, autobiographical, and homoerotic themes in the play. Which is funny because I didn’t find anything homosexual in it. I can hardly consider all the hugging between the two men homosexual because they could be just plain lunatics doing lunatic stuff.

Oh well. Here is one lucid moment from Vladimir, a moment when a fallen man was asking for their help:

Let us do something , while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say?

Now that I have read a play, perhaps I should make arrangements to watch one?

Date Started: January 29, 2012. 11:00 PM. Book #03 of 2012.

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4 Responses to “This is open to a lot of interpretations – Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett”

  1. El Quebin

    Hello there, if you are interested in Mr Beckett, I would suggest you try to see Godot on stage where it will open up a lot (and if that is logistically tricy they did a centenary DVD set that works too) and if you like that, then see Endgame

    Reply
  2. Sarah S (@SarahReads2Much)

    Very interesting…. I’ve never read this, but I know that a few people are planning to for this challenge. I really enjoy reading a play and then seeing some sort of performance of it if possible – and then compare how I pictured it to the director’s interpretation.

    Reply
    • Angus Miranda

      It’s really short, you can read this during in one sitting. There aren’t a lot of plays in my country, and I don’t think a play such as this will be chosen.

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