Write a short note on Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket.
Waiting for Godotis a landmark drama that introduces us to Beckett’s notion of the alienated consciousness. The essential elements of theater are carefully and deliberately broken down.
Plot: it has been said that this is a play where “nothing happens—twice.” The action of the play centers around two tramps waiting near a tree for a man named Godot, whom the audience knows will never appear. At the end of the play, a messenger tells the tramps that Godot will not be there, but that he would appear the next day.
Character: Not only are the players’ personalities and histories never fleshed out, but we are never certain even of their real names. The lack of fixed nomenclature parallels the lack of fixed identity.
Set:The set of this play consists of only three elements: a tree, a path, and the moon. The tree is bare one day and full the next (a symbol of stasis, but without a sense of place). The path apparently originates and leads to nowhere (a symbol of movement which is deprived of direction). The moon moves about in an absurd manner (a potentially identifying mark in the cosmos behaving erratically).
The theater of the absurd exhibits a blatant and deliberate disregard for logical coherence.
The term “theater of the absurd” was coined in 1961 in a book by Martin Esslin, and refers to the existentialist theory of the fundamental disharmony between people and the world around them.
Beckett presents images of absurdity rather than writing an existential play. Time and causality are suspended, but without making a principle of it. The play is full of nonsensical contradictions and defies both theological and socio-political analyses. Waiting for Godotis an experience, not an allegory or statement. Beckett suggests that we live in a world of stark desolation. We face blankness, cut off even from our fragmented minds.