Dramatic significance of the Pozzo Lucky scenes in Waiting for Godot

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Waiting for Godot is a notable literary work by Samuel Beckett. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Waiting for Godot.


How would you relate the Pozzo Lucky episodes to the theme of the play Waiting for Godot as a whole?
Or, what is the dramatic significance of the Pozzo Lucky scenes in Waiting for Godot?
Or, Write a note on the relevance or the Pozzo-Lack appearances to the total scheme or waiting for Godot.

The Pozzo-Lucky relationship constitutes a subsidiary theme in the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1906-1989). The dominant theme of this play is “waiting”-waiting, boredom, ignorance, and impotence. The Pozzo-lucky relationship does not seem to have any basic or integral connection with this dominant theme. In fact, the connection between the two pairs of characters in the play is not very close or intimate. The Pozzo Lucky scenes representing a master-slave relationship are thus intended to add to the substance of the play and to introduce some variety as regards the subject matter.

The Mood of Gloom and Despair: This does not mean, however, that the Pozzo-Lucky episodes have no connection at all with the main theme of the play. These scenes reinforce the mood of gloom and despair, which the play is intended to create. Lucky’s plight under the tyrannical mastership of Pozzo is very wretched indeed. We first see Lucky driven by Pozzo by means of a rope tied around his neck. More dog-like than human, he must respond to the cracking of a whip, which he himself carries between his teeth till his master” has need of it.

He is also to carry upon his shoulders the weight of Pozzo’s belongings. Bent under the weight of his burden, Lucky resembles the Biblical ass. He has a sore neck, which excites the sympathy even of the two tramps. His plight seems to us all the more pathetic in the light of his past brilliance when he radiated “beauty, grace, the truth of the first water” and when he could really dance and sing with real joy. 

Two Speeches Producing Despair: Two speeches, one by Lucky and the other by Pozzo, are especially noteworthy as regards the role of these two characters in reinforcing the general mood of gloom and despair in the play. Lucky’s speech, incoherent though it is, terrifies the others because it foretells the extinction of the world. This speech begins with a postulate of the existence of a personal God and ends with the image of an empty, fossilized skull. The other speech, by Pozzo, pertains to the brevity of human life and is wholly tragic, without any comic touches whatsoever

“One day like any other day, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die….” 

The Contrast of Characters: The Pozzo-Lucky scenes are dramatically important from another point of view. They enable us to see the contrast between the two pairs of characters. Pozzo and Lucky create a metaphor of society, not as it is but as the tramps might see it, with the social structure reduced to an essential distinction between master and slave.

Pozzo reminds us of a feudal lord who dominates through his gestures and his inflated language. Pozzo and Lucky represent the relationship between body and mind, the material and the spiritual sides of man, with the intellect subordinate to the appetites of the body. The relationship between these two men is on a more primitive level than that between the two tramps.

One Way of Getting Through Life: Pozzo-Lucky scenes have another link with the main theme. These two men may be master and slave or body and intellect. They have also been thought to represent capitalist and proletarian, colonizer and colonized, Cain and Abel, sadist and masochist, and even Joyce and Beckett. But essentially, and more simply, they represent one way of getting through life with someone else, just as Vladimir and Estragon more sympathetically represent another way of doing so.

Pozzo a Gruesome Product of the Modern Age: There can be another approach to the Pozzo-Lucky scenes. Pozzo could be interpreted as a gruesome product of the modern age. He has been called a “Small bundle of subjective feelings and responses.” He sometimes indulges in self-pity, but he represses his fear with an egotistical flourish: “Do I look like a man who could be made to suffer?” Deeply hidden under a mask of hardness, however, there lies in him an unconscious longing for lost values. In Lucky, on the other hand, we can see destroyed contact with the creative sources of the inner consciousness.

In termination, we can say that like the main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, Pozzo and Lucky are initiable parts of the play Waiting for Godot.” They are the best paradigm of colonizer and colonized, master and slave. Pozzo basically is a dominant master like modern upper-class people, and Lucky is the symbol of the common man.