The Absurdity of a Tragicomedy
Ranging from its utter simplicity to one’s alienation from society, Beckett creates a Nobel Prize winner.
BY MICHELLE NING
The plot of Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot is rather simple. Two tramps – Vladimir and Estragon – are sitting by an ailing mutated willow, waiting for Godot. Time passes as they argue over nonsense, tell stories, sleep, sing, play games, and gnaw on carrots. Midway through the first act, their waiting is interrupted by Pozzo and Lucky –master and slave – who were on their way to the market. The pair has been together for more than 60 years. In the presence of much mistreatment, Lucky continues to remain loyal to Pozzo. Throughout the play, Lucky only speaks once. As the thinking cap was put onto Lucky, he let out lengthy and disjointed verbal stream of coconsciousness. “…personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua time without extension who from the heights of divine…” (45). It was not long before everyone is annoyed, and the thinking cap was taken off. Both characters – Pozzo and Lucky – continue their journey after a tirade of more nonsense. As night approaches, a child who works for Mr. Godot comes with a message for Vladimir and Estragon.
“Mr. Godot told me to tell you he won’t come this evening but surely to-morrow.” (55). The reader would also be able to tell that this wait for Godot wasn’t their first. “VLADIMIR: It wasn’t you came yesterday? BOY: No Sir. VLADMIR: this is your first time? BOY: Yes Sir.” (55) It is not long till the reader is at Act Two. Beckett plays with the reader and creates a merry-go roundness continuation, when what has happened previously happens again, with the littlest changes. The act of waiting is repeated, and so is the tramps’ foolishness. However, to describe seasonal changes, a few leaves appear on the sickly willow. But this time, Lucky leads a blind Pozzo, both not remembering Vladimar or Estragon. This upholds the play’s absurdness. Again,...