Waiting for Godot

The Use of Absurdity in Waiting for Godot

“…man cannot endure for long the absence of meaning. And meaning, in it most basic sense, is pattern. If man cannot find pattern in his world, he will try by any means at his disposal to create it, or at least imagine it” (Webb 55). Aristotle originally expressed this idea, which manifests throughout all of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, as the protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon, impose on themselves a fruitless and piteous pattern: waiting for Godot. Though Godot is a vague figure and would never live up to the protagonists’ expectations if he made an appearance, he offers Vladimir and Estragon the illusion of meaning within their lives. Vladimir and Estragon (or Didi and Gogo, respectively) exhaust every extent possible to maintain this pattern of waiting, which, as Aristotle stated, gives them the impression that their lives do not have an “absence of meaning”—that despite being poor and homeless (deplorable traits in society) they are existential successes (Webb 55). All Didi and Gogo have is waiting; they essentially lost everything else, or never had any of it to begin with, such as money, prestige, memory, protection, happiness, etc. Through this pattern of absurdity and futility the two satirize the universal...

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