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Waiting For Godot
(Samuel Beckett)

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Vladimir and Estragon are waiting by the roadside. What are they waiting for? Godot. Who is Godot? It is unclear. What will happen when he arrives? They don?t know. Why do then continue to wait? It is all they know. Is Godot worth the wait? They are of two minds. On the one hand, they have a sense that it is important for them to wait, that they would not know what to do if they did wait. On the other hand, they are tired of waiting and frustrated with not knowing the purpose of their wait. Each of them advances theories about who Godot is, what will happen when he arrives, and why they must continue to wait, but no explanation ultimately satisfies. When a stranger comes along ? a wealthy man with his browbeaten servant, his input gives them new ideas to consider, but ultimately they end up where they began, confused, unsure, waiting for they know not what.
Waiting for Godot is the ultimate Existentialist play. Beckett uses humor and philosophy ? and, often, philosophical humor, to force us to face our unsureness about the meaning and purpose of life, an unsureness that, for the most part, we gloss over of simply ignore. And by building a believable relationship between Vladimir and Estragon, Beckett shows us how we relate to one another in the midst of this unsureness. We make theories and others shoot them down. Others make theories and we shoot them down. But most often, we collude with each other, reassure one another that there must be a meaning, even when we don?t see it, that Godot will arrive, even if we have no evidence that he will. We laugh at Vladimir and Estragon, but the laughter is uncomfortable because we realize that, ultimately, we are laughing at ourselves.



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