Waiting for Godot

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The first stage play of S. Beckett, published in French as En attendant Godot, 1952, staged in French in Paris, 1953, first staged in English in Cambridge, 1955.

One of the most influential plays of the post‐war period, it portrays two tramps, Estragon and Vladimir, trapped in an endless waiting for the arrival of a mysterious personage named Godot. They amuse themselves meanwhile with various bouts of repartee and word‐play, and are for a while diverted by the arrival of whip‐cracking Pozzo, driving the oppressed and burdened Lucky on the end of a rope. Towards the end of each of the two acts, a boy arrives, heralding Godot's imminent appearance, but he does not come; each act ends with the interchange between the two tramps, ‘Well, shall we go?’ ‘Yes, let's go’, and the stage direction, ‘They do not move.’ There are strong biblical references throughout, but Beckett's powerful and symbolic portrayal of the human condition as one of ignorance, delusion, paralysis, and intermittent flashes of human sympathy, hope, and wit has been subjected to many varying interpretations. See also Absurd, Theatre of The.

Subjects: Literature.

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Samuel Beckett (1906—1989) author

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