“In Waiting for Godot, Beckett portrays a pessimistic view of human existence.”
How far do you agree with this statement?
I agree with the statement that Samuel Beckett presents a pessimistic view of human existence. The word “existence” is an important one and it is significant that the word “life” is not used, because Beckett believes that humans only exist and nothing else. In order for existence to become a life it must have a purpose, Beckett believes humans do not have a purpose and everything we do is purely to pass the time between birth and death.
In Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett uses the few characters and sparse surroundings to exaggerate his view that humans exist only to pass time. Vladimir and Estragon never progress through life but go round in circles in their conversation, actions and encounters with other characters. Vladimir and Estragon are representatives of humankind and the play is a microcosm of society, according to Beckett.
It may seem that Vladimir and Estragon’s purpose is to wait for Godot however Godot doesn’t come in the play so it can be argued whether or not they have a real purpose or are they only waiting for Godot to pass the time? Another opinion is that Godot represents death and everything that happens in the play is a way to pass the time between birth and death.
The two men have a conversation in Act 1 in which Estragon recognises that they are “Tied to Godot” and there is “nothing to be done”. This conversation supports the fact that Godot represents death because death is unavoidable and we can do nothing about it but wait. I think this is where Beckett got his theories from, he may believe that because death is inevitable then there is no point in living therefore all humans do is wait and exist.
Waiting for Godot is a tragicomedy and is for the majority of the time rather morose and dark, this alone creates a pessimistic image of life. The sparse setting of a tree and a road and the monotonous...