LiteratureWaiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot and Language as a Theme

3 Mins read

Beckett’s plays are involved with expressing the problem of discovering meaning in a world. His use of language probes the restrictions of language each as a way of communication and as a vehicle for the expression of legitimate statements, an instrument of thought.

His use of the dramatic medium reveals that he has tried to seek out the technique of expression beyond language. On the stage one can dispense with phrases altogether, or at the least one can reveal the truth behind the phrases, as when the actions of the characters contradict their verbal expression. “Let’s go”, say the 2 tramps on the end of every Act of Waiting for Godot, however the stage instructions inform us that “they don’t move”. On the stage language will be put into such a relationship with action that details behind the language will be revealed. Hence the significance of, knockabout comedy, and silence in Beckett’s plays—Krapp’s eating of bananas, the pratfalls of Vladimir and Estragon, the variety flip with Lucky’s hat, Clov’s immobility on the close of Endgame, which places his verbally expressed need to depart in question. Beckett’s use of the stage is a try to cut back the gap between the restrictions of language and the sense of the human scenario he seeks to specify, despite his sturdy feeling that phrases are insufficient to formulate it. The concreteness and three dimensional nature of the stage can be used so as to add new assets to language as an instrument of thought and exploration of being. Language in Beckett’s plays serves to present the break-down of language. Where there isn’t any certainty, there will be no particular meanings—and the impossibility of ever attaining certainty is likely one of the important themes of Beckett’s plays. Godot’s guarantees are imprecise and unsure. In Endgame, Hamm asks, “We’re not beginning to mean something?” Clov merely laughs and says: “Mean something! You and I mean something!”

Read About: Symbolism in Waiting For Godot

Language and Communication

Ten totally different modes of the breakdown of language have been noted in Waiting for Godot. They vary from easy misunderstandings and double-entendres to monologues, cliches, repetitions of synonyms, lack of ability to seek out the appropriate phrases, and lack of grammatical construction, communication to Lucky’s farrago of chaotic nonsense and the dropping of punctuation marks, similar to question marks, as a sign that language has lost its role as a way of communication, that questions have become statements probably not requiring a solution. An entire listing of passages drawn up by a critic from Waiting for Godot reveals that the assertions made by one of many characters are gradually certified, weakened, and hedged in with reservations till they’re utterly taken back. In a meaningless universe, it’s at all times foolhardy to make a optimistic assertion.

But more essential than any merely formal indications of the disintegration of language and meaning in Beckett’s plays is the character of the dialogue itself, which repeatedly breaks down because no really logical dialogue or alternate of ideas happens in it both via lack of meaning of single phrases or via the lack of characters to recollect what has simply been stated. In a purposeless world that has lost its ultimate goals, dialogue, like all action, turns into a mere recreation to pass the time.

Read About: Waiting for Godot; Why they are waiting for Godot?

Beckett’s use of language is thus designed to devalue language as a vehicle of conceptual thought or as an instrument for the communication of ready-made solutions to the issues of the human situation. And but his continued use of language should, paradoxically, be considered an try to speak the incommunicable. Such an undertaking assaults the cheap, and facile complacency of the view that to name an issue is to resolve it or that the world will be mastered by neat classification and formulations.

Mastery of Language and Beckett’s Contribution

Beckett’s whole work will be seen as a seek for the truth that lies behind mere reasoning in conceptual phrases. He might have devalued language as an instrument for the communication of ultimate truths, however he has proven himself an amazing master of language as an inventive medium. He has molded phrases into an outstanding instrument for his objective. In the theater, he has been in a position to add a brand new dimension to language—the counterpoint of action, concrete, many faceted, not to be defined away, however making a direct impression on viewers. In Beckett’s theater, it’s possible to bypass the stage of conceptual pondering altogether, as an abstract painting bypasses the stage of the recognition of natural objects. In Waiting for Godot and Endgame, plays drained of character, plot, and significant dialogue, Beckett has proven that such a seemingly unattainable feat can in reality be achieved.

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