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Waiting For Godot Theme Essay

Existentialists define “man of bad faith” as someone futile, waiting for life to pass them by. In Samuel Beckets play Waiting for Godot, Estragon and Vladimir demonstrate existentialist view “man of bad faith” by failing at life, expressing their uselessness through doing nothing. Waiting for Godot presents relatively similar views on life; Estragon for example wants to leave and live his life but cannot because he and Vladimir must wait for Godot. Vladimir on the other hand, has every intention of waiting for Godot for as long as necessary because perhaps it presents meaningful purpose. Perhaps Godot has something worthwhile to offer, therefore waiting becomes worthwhile and he and Estragon become futile. They become useless, and life becomes meaningless because “It’s not worth while now” (pg 44).

Estragon and Vladimir appear to have been to this tree a numerous times before and predictably will continue to return after act two closes because nothing changes including Estragon and Vladimir, “Very likely. They all change. Only we cant”(pg 39). Act one and Act two ended identically with Vladimir asking “Well, shall we go?”(pg 45, 85) And Estragon responding “Yes, lets go”(pg 45, 85) yet coincidently neither of them move. After Act one closes, Act two presents nearly the same beginning scene as act one, proving that the story has repeated and Act two ends in the same way as Act one, proves that it will continue to repeat. In waiting for Godot, the play conveys boredom, despair, tediousness and the helplessness of waiting and tends to become more and more desperate as Estragon demonstrates, “I’m in hell” (pg 64).

It explores extensively the mystery of existence, the unnamed fear and the anxiety of the human subconscious that defy rationality. Estragon and Vladimir have wasted their lives waiting by this tree for someone they may or may not know, to decide something they are unsure of, that will benefit them somehow. Thus the apparent theme of the play is waiting which Vladimir and Estragon do throughout the two acts. It is with time that the play is obsessed and it stresses that all action is futile. Existentialist express “man of bad faith” as someone futile, waiting for life to pass them by, just as Estragon and Vladimir do. They appear to live a rather unpleasant life because they choose not to live it. Time of ones life represents great pleasure for one, which is apparent neither Estragon nor Vladimir has because everyday they will wait by the “tree on the side of the country road” for Godot to never come.


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