"Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett.

Essay by CrabsnatcherUniversity, Bachelor's May 2003

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Most of the play, Waiting for Godot, deals with the fact that Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for something to alleviate their boredom. Godot can be understood to be one of the many things in life that people wait for. The play is often viewed as being existentialist in its views on life. The fact that none of the characters retain a clear mental history means that they are constantly struggling to prove their existence. This is shown clearly in the case of the messenger boy who does not remember either Vladimir or Estragon, and as a result this casts some doubt on their very existence.

Near the end of the first act, a boy enters "timidly", saying that he has a message from Mr. Godot. Estragon bullies the boy, who reveals that he has been waiting a while but was afraid of Pozzo and Lucky. When Estragon shakes the boy, Vladimir yells at him and Estragon limps off, "sits down and begins to take off his boots".

Meanwhile, Vladimir talks to the boy. He asks him if he is the one who came yesterday, but the boy tells him that he is not. The boy tells Vladimir that Mr. Godot will not come this evening, but that he will surely come tomorrow. Vladimir then asks the boy if he works for Mr. Godot, and the boy tells him that he minds the goats. The boy says that Mr. Godot does not beat him, but that he beats his brother who minds the sheep. Vladimir asks the boy if he is unhappy, but the boy does not know. He tells the boy that he can go, and that he is to tell Mr. Godot that he saw them. The boy runs off the stage just as night falls. Estragon gets...