Godot Straight Man

Decent Essays
In any comic act, there are two characters, traditionally known as the "straight man" and the "fall guy." Vladimir would be the equivalent of the straight man. He is also the intellectual who is concerned with a variety of ideas. Of the two, Vladimir makes the decisions and remembers significant aspects of their past. He is the one who constantly reminds Estragon that they must wait for Godot. Even though it is left unclear, all implications suggest that Vladimir knows more about Godot than does Estragon, who tells us that he has never even seen Godot and thus has no idea what Godot looks like. However, for all his intellectual capacities he consistently changes his mind and his opinion can easily be swayed by a change in circumstances. In contrast, Estragon is concerned mainly with more mundane matters: He prefers a carrot to a radish or turnip, his feet hurt, and he blames his boots; he constantly wants to leave, and it must be drilled into him that he must wait for Godot.. He is willing to beg for money from a stranger (Pozzo), and he eats Pozzo's discarded chicken bones with no shame. He also has a poor memory, as…show more content…
The beginning of the play makes Vladimir and Estragon seem interchangeable; they constantly parrot each other, to the point where even they seem bored. Pozzo's statement about his pipe, that the second pipe is never as "sweet" as the first, applies to this play and life in general—it suggests that feelings and events dull with repetition. Throughout his works, Beckett refers to habit as the “great deadener”. The end of Act I establishes Vladimir and Estragon's hopelessness. Even when they both agree to go, and Vladimir says "Yes, let's go," the two men do not move. Even their resolution to go is not strong enough to produce action. This inability to act renders Vladimir and Estragon unable to determine their own fates. Instead of acting, they can only wait for someone or something to act upon
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