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Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot (1952)

by Samuel Beckett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,24898380 (3.93)215
  1. 102
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (guyalice)
    guyalice: Stoppard's play's been called "Waiting for Hamlet," as both are existentialist plays featuring a pair of clueless (yet tragic) idiots.
  2. 20
    Incidences by Daniil Charms (ateolf)
  3. 10
    The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe (christiguc)
  4. 10
    Rhinocéros by Eugene Ionesco (interference)
    interference: Ebenfalls ein Klassiker des Absurden Theaters.
  5. 03
    Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (Othemts)

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» See also 215 mentions

English (89)  French (5)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
I read this in college. I didn't get it. I appreciate that I should see it rather than just read it, and if the chance comes up, I may do so. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
If there were no stars rating this would get it. A complete waste of time. See my critique of Beckett's other work. The same applies here. I give it an "F". ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I know this is one of those works that are supposed to be masterpieces, but it did absolutely nothing for me. To be fair, I'm not a theater person, and I never got the appeal of absurdist works or anything else along those lines. I got about a third of the way into this and just couldn't stand to read it anymore, it drove me nuts. If you can appreciate that kind of stuff then I guess I can see why so many people love it, I'm just not one of them. ( )
  ashleyk44 | Jul 8, 2014 |
Dull but thought-provoking. Just didn't provoke mine enough though... ( )
  LARA335 | Apr 30, 2014 |
Cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am", is a philosophical proposition by the French philosopher René Descartes. The simple meaning of the Latin phrase is that thinking about one’s existence proves—in and of itself—that an "I" exists to do the thinking; or, as Descartes explains, "[W]e cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt … ." While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception or mistake, the very act of doubting one's own existence arguably serves as proof of the reality of one's own existence, or at least of one's thought. It is the one thing of which one could be certain.
In Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot, there is one thing that is certain as well. It is that the characters, Estragon and Vladimir, are waiting for Godot. Estragon opens the play with the statement, "Nothing to be done." This is a sign that there will be little action in the traditional sense in the play. It is also a metaphysical statement about life, Estragon's life and life in general. As the play opens the dialogue between Estragon and Vladimir sometimes seems like parallel monologues. As often as they answer one another they also veer off on seemingly absurd tangents only to circle around to what seems like similar topics as the dialogue continues. I use the word continue because there seems to be a lack of progress. The setting is "A country road. A tree."; the time, "Evening." And it could be any country road with a lifeless, leafless tree at any time in the past, although from the dialogue one may infer that they are a significant number of years beyond the "90s", which may refer to the previous century. And they refer to the Eiffel Tower; thus they may be in France near the end of the nineteen-forties which is when Beckett began writing his "tragicomedy".
Beckett’s first serious dramatic work has become a landmark in modern theater. It was published in French as "En attendant Godot". According to the publisher, “the story line evolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone – or something – named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe. " The play is presented in two acts in both of which nothing happens.
Some moments from the opening pages of the first act serve to define the characters and their (imaginary? or not.) world. Estragon seems beaten down as he spent the night in a "ditch" and when asked by Vladimir, "And they didn't beat you?" Estragon replies, "Beat me? Certainly they beat me." Thus confirming that he is not only figuratively, but literally beaten down. Vladimir has a more upbeat tone to his commentary, more voluble yet still spare with words, and sometimes, however briefly, betrays doubts only to quickly move on to a more positive tone of thought. Thought is something that is clearly evident in the manner and words of Vladimir while Estragon is so terse in his remarks, often in the form of questions, that he seems to lack the ability to think. That is, until you pause to meditate on his remarks and they begin to assume metaphysical importance, or perhaps not. Slowly topics emerge from the dialogue: the thieves who were crucified with Christ, the barren tree beside the road, suicide, and others. Yet, the dialogue seems to drift off in directions that one would never expect when discussing these, or any ideas. The unexpected becomes what you expect and the absurd becomes the norm in this play whose characters search for meaning in the nothingness of their presumed existence. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (73 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Samuel Beckettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brée, GermaineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, Göran O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, Lill-IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouředník, PatrikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenfeld, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again. As before. Enter Vladimir
ESTRAGON: (giving up again) Nothing to be done.
"Don't talk to me. Don't speak to me. Stay with me."
ESTRAGON: Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!
ESTRAGON: We've lost our rights?
VLADIMIR: [Distinctly.] We got rid of them.
VLADIMIR: That passed the time.
ESTRAGON: It would have passed in any case.
VLADIMIR: Yes, but not so rapidly.
VLADIMIR: Abortion!
ESTRAGON: Morpion!
VLADIMIR: Sewer-rat!
ESTRAGON: [With finality.] Crritic!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802130348, Paperback)

A seminal work of twentieth-century drama, Waiting for Godot was Samuel Beckett’s first professionally produced play. It opened in Paris in 1953 at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone, and has since become a cornerstone of twentieth-century theater.

The story line revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Two old tramps wait on a bare stretch of road near a tree for Godot.

» see all 5 descriptions

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