Beckett’s plays have changed our world forever. You can read and interpret his dramatic works in different ways: someone will find autobiographical motifs, someone will find religious symbols, etc. Reading the works of this author can not have a middle – either you accept it or not. Hopefully, you haven’t fallen into depression after reading this play and you have enough strength to write an essay. If you are experiencing temporary difficulties with reading the play or writing its analysis, you are welcome to read our Waiting for Godot analysis sample written by a professional writer about the idea of the meaninglessness of time in the Waiting for Godot play.
Discuss the idea of the meaningless of time in Waiting for Godot.
Time represents an existential category, a well of possibilities and decisions, shuffled and scattered throughout what a human being perceives as past, present, or future. Beckett observes it from a different angle, giving the reader an insight into its absurd nature.
Estragon and Vladimir are mere puppets of time who are waiting for the supposed arrival of Godot, although it is unknown who he is or when he will come (Withanage 7-8). According to Shalghin (103), the tramps could have invented Godot in their minds to justify the fact that they are not making, but killing time. Moreover, Godot could also represent the path to eternity, an escape from death. Eager waiting is in fact man’s desire to “fill the time between birth and death with something meaningful” (Withanage 8).
Estragon and Vladimir have no sense of time and cannot distinguish past from the future. They do not live in the present; however, their perception of future and past seems unrealistic as well (Withanage 8). They are unaware of the quantity of time they have already spent waiting and are not bothered by future; instead, they are persistently waiting for either Godot, or death (Bigham). Bigham claims this meaningless of time is a universal feature of human life. Time seems to be a repetitive process in which waiting for something results in its repetition. If that “something” does not occur, time spent waiting for it becomes useless.
It can be concluded that Waiting for Godot is a metaphor for human life. Rarely do people live in this very moment, unaware of how quickly “now” becomes “then.” Instead, they are constantly waiting for something to change. The fear of the unknown often prevents them from taking an action and influencing their future. They forget everything is uncertain but time. All the events, memories, and people change; however, time remains constant, flowing effortlessly, forcing them to accept it and adapt to it.
Bigham, Jeffrey Philip. The meaning of time as depicted in Waiting for Godot. Princeton University. n.d. Accessed 18 Oct. 2017. http://www.samuel-beckett.net/godot_jeff.html
Shalghin, Akram. “Time, Waiting, and Entrapment in Samuel Beckett.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 4, no. 9 (1). July 2014, pp. 101-117. Accessed 18 Oct. 2017.
Withanage, Ishara Hansani. Waiting for Nothing; an Analysis of “Waiting for Godot” By Samuel Beckett. Thesis. University of Iceland. 2011. Accessed 18 Oct. 2017.
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