LiteratureWaiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot; An Insight of Humor

5 Mins read

Waiting for Godot is certainly a conventional farce and burlesque. Burlesque by definition is “A literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style” and it’s marvelously depicted in waiting for Godot. Farce is such dramatic work through which extremely unbelievable plot conditions, exaggerated characters and infrequently slapstick components are utilized to create humor and mocking themes. Throughout waiting for Godot we witness these structural associations which mirror “theater of absurd”.

Samuel Beckett’s works include many comedian features however are usually not comedies within the normal sense, and it’s unlikely that viewers would really laugh at them. Often our laughter at a comedy includes a sense of launch in response to the transgression of some rule of social conduct acted out by the performer. This shouldn’t be the sort of response Beckett tries to elicit. The norms of social conduct handled within the comedy of manners for instance, or the mistaken identities and misunderstandings of farce don’t happen in Beckett’s world as a result of they’re grounded within the particular person’s involvement in society. Aspirations, financial, social, or psychological are conditioned by the social group, and this angle isn’t related to Beckett’s subject material. He is anxious at a extra fundamental degree with man as a rational animal, or with a person’s alienated existence in time.

Read About: Importance of Lucky’s Speech in “Waiting for Godot”

Yet Beckett’s works have many components that are in impact, or by conventional affiliation, comic. These components, corresponding to clown-like characters, slapstick motion and cross-talk are a fundamental part of a lot of Beckett’s works. In contemplating why he makes use of them we should take a look at the impact they’ve on the viewers, and the contribution they make to the play as a complete.

A dualism is obvious within the dialogue of Beckett’s performs in addition to within the nature of the characters. Many interchanges have an amusing comedian side to them, however with a extra critical subtext. In Waiting for Godot and Endgame specifically there are numerous scenes during which the characters talk in a type of cross-talk derived from the music-hall double-act. Most of the dialogue in Waiting For Godot is on this type, and the method was picked up and utilized by Harold Pinter in lots of his works.

Cross-talk is fast, easy and direct. We do not have time to ponder or digest what’s being stated, however are hit with the punch-line whereas making an attempt to maintain up with the 2 speakers. By borrowing the shape Beckett not solely borrows the comedy but additionally pushes home his philosophical factors with equal rapidity and power.

In Beckett’s hands cross-talk turns into an economical and highly effective method of manipulating concepts.

Vladimir: You must be happy too, deep down, if only you knew it.

Estragon: Happy about what?

Vladimir: To be back with me again.

Estragon: Would you say so?

Vladimir: Say you are, even if it’s not true.

Estragon: What am I to say?

Vladimir: Say, I’m happy.

Estragon: I’m happy.

Vladimir: So am I.

Estragon: So am I.

Vladimir: We are happy.

Estragon: We are happy (silence). What do we do now, now that we’re happy?

Vladimir: Wait for Godot.

Read About: Symbolism in Waiting For Godot

Beckett amuses his viewers whereas on the similar time demolishing one of the crucial acquainted solutions to the query of what offers human life worth.

Vladimir and Estragon, alone on the stage, are depending on each other as touchstones to try to preserve hold of some relationship to actuality and protect their sanity.

Estragon; I asked you a question.

Vladimir: Ah!

Estragon: Did you reply?

Vladimir: How’s the carrot?

Estragon: It’s a carrot.

Vladimir: So much the better, so much the better. What was it you wanted to know?

Estragon: I’ve forgotten.

In the context of a music-hall double-act such an interchange would provoke laughter from the viewers. In the context of Waiting For Godot it’s amusing, however there’s far more to it as a result of it’s built-in into the themes of the play. The rapidity of the change appears indicative of a state of insecurity. Every utterance calls for an instantaneous response, as if there isn’t a time to suppose and no psychological power to spare for reflection or consideration of meanings.

Their existence appears restricted to the present as they reside and suppose actually from second to second, their instant worries being too urgent for them to make any try and relate their scenario to any wider context. The quick lack of reminiscence is itself a sign of a state of insecurity and unreality. They can’t grasp any type of conception of their situation, and with no certainties to narrate to their reminiscences can’t perform correctly.

Many of Beckett’s gadgets achieve which means by an implicit distinction with their unique context. For instance Estragon’s trousers falling down refers to a complete conference within the theater, the farce. Beckett’s theater is fiction too, in fact, nevertheless it introduced new meanings to the theater and emphasised its novelty partly by reminding us of what it was not. Waiting For Godot shouldn’t be a melodrama, farce, tragedy, music-hall act, or another acquainted type of theatrical leisure. It was something new, which is now typically known as the Theater of the Absurd.

A break with tradition appears to be one of many factors made by Pozzo’s comedian entrance. When Waiting For Godot was first carried out the viewers will need to have been ‘waiting for the actors’ and ‘waiting for the drama’. When Pozzo arrives they could have thought that eventually an actual actor had arrived and the drama would start, however in reality his arrival is a giant anti-climax.

Pozzo: (Terrifying voice) I’m Pozzo! (Silence) Pozzo! (Silence) Does that name mean nothing to you?

He is ‘an actor’, however he’s misplaced on this stage. His melodramatic type falls flat on this world of empty waiting. His performing style, like his attitudes, is outdated and irrelevant, and his significance for Vladimir and Estragon, in addition to for the viewers, extends little beyond serving to time to go extra quickly.

Read About: Waiting for Godot as Christian Play

By implicitly dismissing conventional types of theater on this approach, Beckett added to the influence with which his plays had been in a position to tackle his view of the truth of life within the twentieth century.


Thus Beckett makes use of comedy in varied methods. On the surface, we may be amused, and it will assist maintain our enthusiasm in plays which may in any other case grow to be boring. But the humor is all the time just one side of a statement which, both by its content material, its implied meaning, or its implied relationship to different dramatic types, has a deeper significance for the meaning of the play. We can thus safely conclude that Waiting for Godot relies structurally on conventional farce and burlesque.

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