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En Attendant Godot - Waiting For Godot
(Beckett, Samuel)

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. Waiting
for Godot, Beckett's first play, was written originally in French in
1948 (Beckett subsequently translated the play into English himself). It
premiered at a tiny theater in Paris in 1953. This play began Beckett's
association with the Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later
playwrights like Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. Absurdist Theatre
discards traditional plot, characters, and action to assault its audience with
a disorienting experience. Characters often engage in seemingly meaningless
dialogue or activities, and, as a result, the audience senses what it is like
to live in a universe that doesn't 'make sense.' Beckett and others
who adopted this style felt that this disoriented feeling was a more honest
response to the post World War n world than the traditional belief in a
rationally ordered universe. Waiting for Godot remains the most famous
example of this form of drama.

Two pathetic clownish figures suffer through an endless wait for the
Godot amusing themselves with gallows humor, religious allusions and
tricks. In one act repeated twice. They are Vladimir and Estragon who
meet near a tree. They converse on various topics and reveal
that they are waiting there for a man named Godot.
While they wait, two other men enter. Pozzo is on his way to the market
to sell his slave, Lucky.
He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Estragon. Lucky
them by dancing and thinking, and Pozzo and Lucky leave.
After Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy enters and tells Vladimir that he is
a messenger from Godot. He tells Vladimir
that Godot will not be coming tonight, but that he will surely come
Vladimir asks him some questions about Godot and the boy departs. After
departure, Vladimir and Estragon decide to leave, but they do not move
as the
curtain falls.

The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the
tree to wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again, but this time Pozzo is
blind and Lucky is dumb. Pozzo does not remember meeting the two men the night
before. They leave and Vladimir and Estragon continue to wait.

Shortly after, the boy enters and once again tells Vladimir
that Godot will not be coming. He insists that he did not speak to Vladimir
yesterday. After he leaves, Estragon and Vladimir decide to leave, but again
they do not move as the curtain falls, ending the play.

In this richly evocative story about two men who wait for another
who never comes there are so many possible themes that it is very difficult to
enumerate them. Those that are readily apparent include the issues of
absurdity, alienation and loneliness, appearance and reality, death,
doubt and ambiguity, time, the meaning of life, language and meaning
and the search for self. But one theme that encompasses many of these
at once is the question of the human condition who are we as humans and
what is our short life on this planet really like?

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