Discuss Waiting for Godot as an Absurd Play or Drama

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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.


Write a note on the theme of nothingness in “Waiting for Godot”.
Or, “Waiting for Godot” is a play to show the sense of nothingness.
Or, Discuss Waiting for Godot as an Absurd Play or Drama.
Or, “Waiting for Godot” is a drama of nothingness, discuss.

Samuel Beckett (1906-89) is considered an essential figure among French Absurdists. “Waiting for Godot” (1952) is one of the masterpieces of Absurdist literature. The play primarily deals with the absurd tradition. Elements of Absurdity for making this play are so engaging and lively. 

Definition: It is very clear from the word “Absurd” that it means nonsensical, as opposed to reason, something silly, foolish, senseless, ridiculous, and topsy-turvy. So, a drama having a cock and bull story would be called an absurd play. Moreover, a play having a loosely constructed plot, unrecognizable characters, and metaphysical is called an absurd play. 

The Setting of the Play: The setting creates an absurd mood. A deserted country road, a ditch, and a leafless tree are barren, facing otherworld landscapes, the only occupants of which are two homeless men who wander. The landscape is a symbol of barren and fruitless civilization or life. There is nothing to do and no better place to go. The tree symbolizes life with flowers and fruits or its spring advice, apparently dead and lifeless. However, this is where they believe Godot has told them to come. This may mean that Godot wants men to experience infertility in their lives. At the same time, it simply means they get the wrong tree. 

Loose Plot Construction and Characters: “Waiting for Godot” is an absurd play because its plot is loose, and its characters are just mechanical puppets with their incoherent colloquy. Its theme is unexplained. “Waiting for Godot” is an absurd play because it lacks characterization and motivation. Though characters are present, they are not recognizable for whatever they do, and whatever they present is purposeless. So far as its dialogue technique is concerned, it is absurd as there is no witty repartee or pointed dialogue.

A reader or spectator hears simply incoherent babbling without clear and meaningful ideas. After studying this play, we know that nothing special happens in the play, nor do we observe any significant change in the setting. Though a change occurs, it is only that now the tree has sprouted out four or five leaves. 

Nothing happens, nobody comes … nobody goes, it’s awful!

The play’s beginning, middle, and end do not rise to the level of a good play, so absurd. Though its theme is logical and rational, it lies in umbrage. 

Lack of Literary Technique: “Waiting for Godot” can also be considered an absurd drama because it differs from “poetic theatre.” It does not use dreams and fantasies or conscious poetic language enough. The situation is almost unchanged, and a secret vein runs throughout the drama. The mix of comedy and near tragedy is astonishing. In Act 1, we are unsure what attitude we should take at various stages of its non-action. The ways that the Trumps spend their time looking like they are living their lives in a transparent deception. Godot remains a mystery, and curiosity persists. 

No female characters: “Waiting for Godot” is an absurd drama because there is no female character. The characters are there, but they are unrecognizable. These two are old acquaintances of Estragon and Vladimir, but they are unsure of their identities. Even if they breathe, their lives are eternal rain. They wait for the ultimate extinction but in disappointing ways. This thing creates nonsense, thus making the play unreasonable. 

Absurd Ending: Moreover, what makes the play absurd is its ending. The ending of the play is not a conclusion in the usual sense. The wait continues; the human contacts remain unsolved; the problem of existence remains meaningless, futile, and purposeless. The conversation between the two tramps remains jargon, a humbug and bunkum speech. So, all this makes the play an absurd play. Of course, the audience realizes their endless waiting is crazy and completely without reason.

Vladimir has been trying to determine whether the waiting is making them lose their reason, but Estragon goes straight to the heart of the matter. Everyone is born mad (crazy or without reason); some never escape it. Despite Vladimir’s thinking and reasoning, he and Estragon may not have escaped the madness of existence. Estragon relates,

We are all born mad. Some remain so

“Waiting for Godot” challenges traditional narrative structures and explores themes of meaninglessness, the search for purpose, and the human tendency to create routines. Its distinctive features align with the principles of absurd drama and have made it a seminal work in that genre.