Man's Search for Meaning in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

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Beckett was interested in putting everyday banality onto the stage in an experimentation of what theatre is. He attempts to provide a truer interpretation of ‘real life’ than that often depicted in previous theatre, which may typically contain excitement, exaggeration and liveliness. He suggests that one of the major constituents of human experience is boredom, indeed the very concept of ‘Waiting for Godot’ echoes this, and Beckett implies that much of life is spent waiting for something. The play is therefore a means of undergoing the difficult task of dramatising boredom. Routine and repetitiveness are apparent throughout the play and are key to creating the world of Vladimir and Estragon.…show more content…
For example on p.18 Vladimir asks, “What should we do now”, and in Act II the pair actually panic about what to do following the end of a previous discussion. Estragon tries to come up with ideas to pass the time, which is echoed by “Sing something,” and then “that’s the idea, let’s contradict each other”. An aspect of the play which echoes the depressing concept that life is fundamentally meaningless is the frequent reference to suicide. This comes about in Vladimir’s mention of the Eiffel Tower. Vladimir referring to committing suicide says, “ We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties… Hand in Hand from the top of the Eiffel Tower…”. The image Vladimir evokes of undertaking such an act is idyllic and the sense that he would like to ‘do it in style’ implies that he is glamorising suicide. It seems that there is a sense of their lives being meaningless, as it the boredom and pointlessness clearly evident in them, which forces the characters to contemplate suicide. Yet the very concept that the characters are searching for a means to do something ‘big’ implies that hope is nevertheless deep-routed in their psyche. The characters frequently suggest hanging themselves from a tree as shown by, “What about hanging ourselves” on p.18 and repeated often until the end of
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