LiteratureWaiting for Godot

Existentialism in Waiting for Godot

5 Mins read

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a play that presents battle between non secular and spiritual beliefs, and by an existential philosophy, which asserts that it’s for the person to find the meaning of life via personal experience within the earthly world.

Waiting for Godot is a complete study in existentialism. The play incorporates many existentialist themes and ideas that are relayed to the viewers via the actions and ideas of the main characters. The fundamental existentialist theme which Beckett creates with is that death is the one eventual chance. He makes use of the virtually religious action of waiting and turns it on its head. He does this by decreasing the action to a fruitless exercise. Vladimir and Estragon are actually waiting for nothing. Beckett strongly questions the notion of faith in “Waiting for Godot”. He makes use of certain non secular symbols such like the tree, which is among the very few props seen on the stage.

The tree may be very religious. It is believed that the tree represents life and death in a cyclical style. Also waiting is a central element the play. Waiting could be interpreted as a religious exercise. Many individuals of the catholic religion imagine that they’re on this earth waiting to go to heaven i.e. the afterlife. Beckett hits out at this notion. He does this by displaying that nothing occurs on the finish of Vladimir and Estragon’s waiting. The title, waiting for Godot, is highly symbolic. It will be, and has been read as waiting for god. It would seem, on first look that Vladimir and Estragon are certainly waiting for god, or a godlike figure.

Read About: Symbolism in Waiting For Godot

“But that is not the question. Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come.”

We are by no means made conscious as to whom Godot really is. Is his character cloaked in mystery or, does Godot merely not exist? We the viewers, together with the central characters, have never seen Godot. We are too merely to consider on this mysterious figure. Beckett plays on the idea of religion excellently right here. He calls for religion from everyone and within the final scene he destroys this belief. He strongly communicates his message, there is no such thing as a afterlife and we’re merely waiting on this earth for one factor solely, death. Beckett, as an existentialist author, may be very conscious of his mortality and this echoes all through his works, particularly waiting for Godot. The title may also be read as waiting for nothing, because the elusive Godot doesn’t make an appearance throughout the play.

Beckett, as an existentialist author, isn’t overly religious. It could be a mistake in opinion to narrate his writing to religion. Beckett is criticizing the people’s blind religion. Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for nothing within the play. Beckett is making an attempt to convey this message in his drama. He is ambiguous in his writing. He inserts false religious symbols and metaphors in waiting for Godot and as soon as he has baited the religious readers he bombard  them with existentialist beliefs. This is a de-conversion of faith as he tries to strip the reader’s religion away. Beckett sees God to be a joke simply as Godot is a joke. The ready is nothing greater than the delayed inevitability that they’re waiting for nothing, however their very own inevitable death. Godot is nothing, and thus god is nothing. This ties in with the existentialist view that demise is the one inevitable consequence in life.

“Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. 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!”

Beckett’s writing exists freshly within the wake of the world war. Morality is a key idea in Waiting for Godot. In life, morality is handed down from god. It is obvious conflict and its damaging functionality triggered many individuals to query their morality. The shedding of Pozzo’s watch is a really important scene to the play. We see how one character, Pozzo, is certain to the constraints and rules of time. Time itself will be seen as an excellent image and a metaphor for death. Beckett refers to time via the character of Pozzo. He reveals the viewers how they’re mortal and that everybody’s days are numbered. Pozzo’s worry of time could also be linked to the existentialist themes of this play. Pozzo is effectively conscious of his mortality. The watch marks his ageing and with every tic he’s shifting nearer to his death. He is certain to this and it’s a belief that he can not escape. The watch is a continuing reminder of this. When the watch is misplaced Pozzo is free from all anxieties. He no longer is certain to time or no longer acknowledges his personal mortality, though it nonetheless exists and is ever present. When the watch is misplaced time turns into redundant. Time turns into nothing, simply as Godot is nothing. This is one other check of religion laid down by Beckett. It is an experiment to see if one thing which isn’t present can nonetheless exist. Through the on stage characters, he reveals us that this isn’t fully possible. Time is banished from the world of which they inhabit. The banishment of time is a vital image. Beckett reveals us that it’s possible to take away a belief system, even one as controlling as time. We see that even time is simply one other idea thought up by someone else.

Read About: Waiting for Godot as Anarchy of Present Society


In conclusion we are able to say that Godot has some physical presence within the play. Godot is the tree. The tree is the central prop within the play. But it could possibly be argued that Godot is the central prop. Vladimir and Estragon weren’t waiting by the tree for Godot, however have been waiting alongside Godot unknown to themselves. Godot is in front of everybody from the beginning. The tree on stage is lifeless. Godot can be lifeless. Estragon and Vladimir have faith all through the play regardless that they’re waiting by a symbol which declares religion to be lifeless. Beckett is making an attempt to say that individuals will all the time have faith even when they’re bombarded with indicators that there is no such thing as a God. This could relate to the World War. Beckett fought within the war and witnessed the devastation brought on by it. The war copper-fastened Beckett’s belief that there is no such thing as a god as there was no divine intervention to cease the bloodshed. The war itself was an excellent image, just like the tree in waiting for Godot, to point out that religion is lifeless and god doesn’t exist. But individuals are blind to the obvious.

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