Waiting for Godot : summary

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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.


Waiting for Godot” is an absurd drama by the Irish Dramatist Samuel Beckett (1906-1989). Here is the detailed summary of the drama Waiting for Godot.

Estragon and Vladimir waiting for Godot: This is shown at the beginning of the drama, with Estragon standing under a tree trying to untie Shoe from his leg. Despite repeated attempts, he is unable to untie the Shoe. Then comes Vladimir. He said yesterday he was inside a pit/trench and was beaten a lot. After many attempts, Estragon finally succeeded in untying the Shoe from his leg. Then he looked to see if anything was stuck inside his shoe. Vladimir does the same thing with his hat. Vladimir then decided to leave. Then he started telling the story of the two thieves by himself. 

These two thieves were executed with Jesus Christ. He then asks Estragon if Estragon has ever read the Bible. Estragon references maps of various holy places from the Bible. Hearing this, Vladimir says that Estragon should have become a poet. Estragon shows his tattered clothes and says that he was indeed a poet once. To pass the time, Vladimir started telling the story of the two thieves again. Then Estragon wants to leave. But Vladimir holds him back. Because they are both here waiting for Godot. But they don’t know if they are waiting in the right place or when Godot will come to meet them. 

They don’t even remember what exactly they said about the meeting with Godot. While waiting for Godot, Estragon comes up with the idea of passing the time with a noose against a tree. Vladimir likes the idea. But a dispute arose between them as to who would take the noose from the tree first. Eventually, they realize that if one dies with the noose, the other will be left alone. So they rejected the idea of taking a leak and waited for Godot.

Estragon asks Vladimir if they still have any rights. Vladimir replies that their rights as human beings have already expired. Then Estragon hears a sound, but in reality, there is no sound. Vladimir then gives Estragon a carrot to eat.

Arrival of Lucky and Pozzo: Then there comes Lucky and Pozzo. Lucky has a rope barrier around his neck, and on his back are all of Pozzo’s belongings, such as a folding tool, a heavy bag, and a picnic basket. Pozzo has a whip in his hand. With this, he controls Lucky. Pozzo’s appearance resembles Estragon as Godot. Whatever Pozzo orders Lucky, Lucky obeys him without saying a word. Sitting on the couch, Pozzo began to eat the chicken from the picnic basket. And rates drop. Lucky holds down the picnic basket. 

After obeying Pozzo’s every command, Lucky gets a bit drowsy. And he falls asleep. Estragon and Vladimir are surprised by Lucky’s stupor and take a good look at him. They ask Pozzo, Why is Lucky not putting this bag down? Pozzo does not answer their questions. Estragon now goes to pick up Pozzo’s discarded chicken bones. Then Pozzo says these bones belong to Lucky. When Estragon asks Lucky about this, Lucky does not answer. So Estragon takes the bones. But when Estragon asks again why Lucky doesn’t put the bag down, Pozzo says that Lucky is afraid that if he disobeys him, he might give him to someone else. 

Hearing this, Lucky started crying. When Estragon goes to wipe his tears, Lucky kicks him. Pozo says Lucky has been with him for 60 years. Vladimir was shocked to hear this. Pozzo says Lucky is a burden to him now. Vladimir now scolds Lucky for treating his master like that. Pozzo now describes the night sky. Estragon and Vladimir admire Pozzo greatly after hearing his story. Hearing the praise, Pozzo expressed his desire to do something for them. Estragon asks him for ten francs (French currency). Vladimir then tells him to shut up. 

Pozzo then asks Lucky to dance for their entertainment. Lucky dances, and Estragon tries to copy him but can’t. Then the two keep thinking about Lucky, and at one point, the three jump on top of Lucky. Lucky now stops talking and falls asleep. His last words were “Unfinished”. After giving the bag to Lucky, he wakes up again. Then Pozzo and Lucky leave.

A small boy arrives with news of Godot: Meanwhile, Estragon and Vladimir wait for Godot. Then a young boy comes and tells them both that Godot has sent him. Estragon was very rude and frightened at the boy’s arrival so late. Then the boy says, Godot will not come today. But he will definitely come tomorrow. Estragon and Vladimir tell the boy to go and tell Godot that they are waiting for Godot. Then the boy left. Estragon and Vladimir gossip about their past and decide to leave. But it was seen that no one moved from their place. 

(Act One Ended)

Act Two

The Second Day

Waiting for the arrival of Godot on the second day as well: The next day, at the same time, the second episode of the play begins. This time four to five leaves were visible on that tree. Vladimir comes there and starts singing. But Estragon wasn’t there yet. Estragon is saddened to see Vladimir singing so happily in Estragon’s absence. They are basically better off alone. But they try to convey that they are better off together. They again waited for Godot. Vladimir hears the voices of the dead in nature. So he asks Estragon for help to get rid of the noise. They decide to ask each other different questions to escape this situation. This is how they pass the time.

Estragon has forgotten his past due to his poor memory. He doesn’t recognize his shoe and forgets about yesterday’s incident and the story of Lucky and Pozzo. The shoe on his feet was very nicely adjusted. And seeing two or four leaves on the tree, he thinks spring has come. Vladimir sees that the place where Lucky kicked Estragon’s leg yesterday is still bloody. Then they started talking about this and that.

At one point, Vladimir finds Lucky’s hat and wears it. They play with the hats for a while. Then Vladimir throws his hat and asks Estragon, how does he look now? They then decide to act like Pozzo and Lucky. Estragon walks away and comes back hurriedly. Then he says they are coming back. Vladimir thinks Godot might be coming. They get scared and try to hide behind the trees. But they cannot hide because the tree is small. At one point, they started insulting each other. Finally, they fix their relationship by embracing again.

Pozzo and Lucky arrive on the second day as well: Then Pozzo and Lucky come there. This time Pozzo was blind, and Lucky was dumb. Lucky stops seeing them. But since Pozzo is blind, he doesn’t understand why Lucky stopped. They bump into each other and fall to the ground. Then Estragon and Vladimir thought about helping Pozzo. But Vladimir asks Estragon, how many people are spending time waiting? A few billion people, says Estragon. 

Pozzo offers to pay them 100 francs in exchange for helping him. But Estragon says this is not enough. Vladimir says if we pick him up, they’ll leave. Then they will be alone again. The two of them go to pick up Pozzo, but they also fall. Pozzo asks to help him, but Vladimir kicks him. Pozzo lay there. Meanwhile, Estragon and Vladimir stood up. Then they pulled Pozzo. Pozzo gets up. Like Estragon, he cannot remember anything of the past.

Estragon scolds Lucky and wakes him up. At one point, he wakes up and kicks Estragon. Then Estragon went to open his shoe and sat down. Vladimir meanwhile asks Pozzo to dance with Lucky. Then Pozzo says Lucky is dumb. But Pozzo gets angry when he is asked about the time when Lucky became dumb. “Don’t ask me anything about the time,” says Pozzo angrily. Because I have no idea about time. Pozzo now helps Lucky up and leaves.

On the second day, a small boy arrived with news of Godot: Then the boy of yesterday comes again. In fact, even Godot doesn’t remember anything. The boy says Godot will not come today. But he will definitely come tomorrow. Vladimir tells the boy not to forget Godot about them. Because they are waiting for Godot. Estragon and Vladimir then decide to leave. But they can’t go far because they have to meet with Godot. They once again thought of taking the noose with the tree. So Estragon takes off his belt and pulls on both of them to test how tight it is. This causes the belt to tear. At one point in the tug-of-war, Estragon’s Towser fell off. Vladimir says tomorrow, they will be hanged for real if Godot doesn’t come to save them. Estragon wears the towser. This time they decide to leave, but no one moves from their place. And this is where the drama ends.