Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot

Tragicomedy in 2 Acts

Book - 1982
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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.

Publisher: New York : Grove Press, [1982]
ISBN: 9780802130341
Branch Call Number: 842.914 BEC
Characteristics: 111 p. ; 21 cm


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Mar 30, 2021

When we think of what a play typically consists of, our mind immediately goes to elements such as plot, resolution, and character development. However, the renowned play, Waiting for Godot, has little to none of that. The story takes place in a barren landscape with two men, Vladimir and Estragon, as they wait for someone named Godot, who they know nothing about. They have no idea when he will arrive, what he looks like, or even his purpose in their life. As they spend the entire play waiting for him, they encounter men such as Pozzo and Lucky, a rich man with a slave who barely speaks and is kept with a rope around his neck. Furthermore, a young boy arrives with a message from Godot, saying that he would be there eventually. The play is characterized by these long instances of waiting in which Vladimir and Estragon converse about meaningless topics, ending when they remark that they will leave but ultimately not moving at all.

There is no beating around the bush: this play is boring. The plot never develops and there is no resolution to the story. However, that is exactly the point that Beckett is trying to make. This play is based on the philosophy of absurdism, that life has no meaning and humans put too much faith in what they have no evidence of. Vladimir and Estragon are representative of the intellectual and physical aspects of humanity, waiting for Godot, or God, who never comes. This represents the notion that people spend their whole life waiting for something to happen, which never does, causing them to waste their life away in a meaningless universe. Its meaning is profound and evident, the repetition of the plot serving as evidence of this interpretation. The plot is not engaging in the least, which serves to develop the meaning, but has aspects of comedy.

For those who enjoy action-filled plays with sparkling and witty dialogue, this is definitely not the work of literature for you. However, if you are willing to sit through a lot of dialogue with contradictions and occasional meaningless blabbering to unlock the deeper meaning, then this play is worth a read.

Age rating: 15+
Star rating: 4 stars

Dec 12, 2018

"We always find something, eh Didi, to let us think we exist?”
The play is about Not the emptiness of one’s existence but the emptiness of existence itself. The characters have no personality, no goal, no obstacle to overcome they are just waiting. Waiting for Godot to come, waiting for Godot to give them meaning to existence.

Aug 23, 2018

I listened to the audio version of this play which adds to the story. This sad tale of two homeless men who wait day in and day out for Mr. Godot. They want to leave, but cannot because they have to wait for him. The story shares their daily adventures that are both humorous and sad.

Jan 28, 2018

In this short dramatic play, two homeless men, Vladimir and Estragon, sit around passively waiting for someone named Godot to arrive. Beckett is a master of comedic wordplay and the play's sparse minimalism offers several different allegorical interpretations.

Apr 25, 2017

This is one of many significant plays from the 20th century. Beckett's minimalistic approach to the absurd, as well as his witty and strange characters, show his tragicomedic form to be painstakingly crafted, intense, complex, and moving. Waiting for Godot shows the human condition to be difficult, indefinable, and unresolved.

Jun 08, 2015

A 20th century classic.

kurthallsman Oct 27, 2014

Definitely one of the greatest plays ever written. The Hamlet of the 20th Century.

May 02, 2013

This had an Abbot and Costello feel to it, like I was reading the "Who's on first" routine. I can imagine it being much more amusing on stage; it was a bit frustrating as a book.

Dec 27, 2008

"Waiting for Godot" is one of the titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts in the PM, and to also help him with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper, and has devoted a Web site to the book list and his kind and considered covering letters with each volume. Sadly, I think the whole exercise has been a rather "Waiting for Godot" exercise for Martel - I don't think he has received a single response or acknowledgement.

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Aug 24, 2013

liya6 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 25, 2012

Olasoko17 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 19 and 99

Mar 23, 2012

Dr_Inferno thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Aug 24, 2013

Sexual Content: Some


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May 02, 2013

E: I can't go on like this. V: That's what you think.


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