Monday, April 14, 2014

Waiting for Godot?

       Waiting for Godot embraces such absurdity and abstraction that it's quite hard to figure out what's actually going on. The two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon seem to be anchored in both time and place, endlessly awaiting a man who never arrives. The setting is bleak and minimal, a reflection of both the emptiness and meaninglessness within the two characters.They appear to be stuck in time, never progressing or growing, instead participating in meaningless banter and bottomless questions, only to be forgotten moments later. While the characters remain cemented in their own pointlessness, this play holds nothing concrete.

      Who is Godot? Where is he? Where are Vladimir and Estragon? What is meaning of Pozzo and Lucky? The questions are endless. However, individual perspective plays a large role in how this play can be interpreted. What truth does this play hold? Perhaps Godot is a god. Or perhaps he is an equal to Vladimir and Estragon, trapped in the same meaningless void. Nothing is certain, and perhaps that's what people find intriguing and beautiful about this play: there is no absolute truth. Each line can be interpreted differently by each individual and applied to one's own life.

While exploring the importance of personal perspective in respect to this play, I was intrigued by the quote: "At least Lucky can see the rope around his neck. Vladimir and Estragon can't." It introduced a new strain of thought and debate.  However, I don't feel as though Lucky's ability to see his own rope is ultimately beneficial. Lucky suffers far worse than either Vladimir or Estragon. He is painfully aware of his reality, controlled by an outside force, perpetually trapped in a slave-like state. His bleak reality, manifested in the form of a noose-like rope wrapped around his neck, constantly reminds Lucky of his desolate destiny. He portrays a capacity for deep thought, yet is unable to conduct himself in a useful or self-fulfilling manner. He is instead degraded to obeying simple commands: "Stop! Turn! Think!," a puppet to Pozzo and a slave to his existence. Vladimir and Estragon, however, live in a blissful naivety. While reality offers the same hopeless and meaningless destiny to these men, they live in a comforting sense of ignorance, only merely confused by the situations they face rather than interpreting their experiences to be utterly futile. Vladimir and Estragon appear to be childlike in nature and thought, living in a world separate of reality. They cannot be responsible for keeping track of time, let alone their own existence.

So what is the truth? I could brood over this play for a lifetime and never figure it out. The ambiguity of this play invites floods of perspectives and interpretations, encouraging new ideas and truths. Like most literature, nothing is certain. The abstract comes to life in Waiting for Godot, ironically in the bleak lives of two men endlessly waiting for an arrival of a man who may be waiting for something himself. In a way, Waiting for Godot illustrates the limitlessness of thought and perspective; it challenges the idea that everything must contain truth. Maybe everything is meaningless, but that's just one perspective.

No comments:

Post a Comment