Waiting for Godot

I had a sort of strange reaction to this play. I think that, without a doubt, it is the most beautifully written piece of work we have read in class so far. I mean, this section gives me chills:

"Vladimir: Two thieves, crucified at the same time as our Savior. One - 

Estragon: Saved from what?

Vladmir: Hell.

Estragon: I'm going. [He does not move.]"  (p. 4)

This section is very simple, yet very powerful at the same time. But, on the flip side, there are times where this play lost me. Especially when Lucky and Pozzo enter for the first time. It actually took me a couple of lines to realize that, despite the fact that Pozzo would refer to Lucky as "pig" or "swine", he was actually a man. This play is so dependent on a simple set and driven by the gorgeous dialogue, that I think sometimes its impact is lost when it is read, not seen. 

But, this play really is beautifully written. It is such a wonderful allegory. I spent nearly the whole time trying to figure out who/what Godot was. Because the first three letters of the word spell God, I was wondering if that was a clue. Maybe God was going to join the men in the form of another homeless man? Or I thought the tree could be some parallel to the burning bush, in the story of Moses. 

So, obviously I was disappointed that we did not learn who or what Godot is. But, the play is an allegory, so obviously Vladimir and Estragon (side note: I resent Beckett for naming a character "Estragon". I kept reading his name as estrogen) are not waiting for nothing. The real question is: what does their waiting symbolize? 

It just seems to be an allegory for Christianity in general. Our two protagonists wait for Godot on pure faith. These men have absolutely nothing in their lives, they are completely down on their luck. They even contemplate hanging themselves. Yet they still wait for Godot, because it will be worth it. The character of Pozzo seems to symbolize the fact that, according to Christianity, the wicked will pay for said wickedness. One scene Pozzo is abusing poor, innocent Lucky. Next time those character appear, Pozzo is suddenly blind. 

Speaking of those two, I would've liked to see a happier ending for Lucky. Or any sort of ending, I guess. I was very perplexed by Lucky's significance in this story. Here is an intelligent human being, and everyone that he comes into contact with couldn't care less about him. Another interesting aspect of the character is his name, Lucky. Why did Beckett choose that name? The other three characters have fairly unusual names, yet we have a character named Lucky. I have not been able to figure that one out yet.

Murder in the Cathedral 

Although I did have some mixed feelings on certain parts of  Waiting for Godot, I really liked it overall. So, it was pretty rough for to transition into Murder in the Cathedral. Waiting for Godot had such simple writing, yet it was still beautiful. And it still read as dialogue really people would read. Murder in the Cathedral  read to me like medieval poetry. When I read plays, I visualize what this would look like as a production. So, I visualize what these characters would look and sound like saying the lines. The lines in Murder in the Cathedral is just not dialogue I can picture people actually saying. I'm honestly still struggling though it.  Hopefully I can find something I enjoy out of it before our class on Monday. 
 


Mary Kate Clement
10/26/2013 9:38pm

Brynne,

I loved your reflection! I was really intrigued by your emphasis on Lucky and his name. I think he is named "lucky" because his character can be considered "lucky." Lucky is not waiting for Godot, so he lucky in the sense that he is not filled with uncertainty as to whether or not Godot will come. I am not sure if that is right- I think the significance of the name can go in a lot of different directions, but that is what I think!

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