Designer’s Portfolio Essay
1. A brief summary of the play
Two tramps named Estragon and Vladimir meet on the road, beside a sick looking tree. They are happy because they didn’t see each other for a long time. Estragon has a sore foot and is having troubles taking his boot off. The two men remember that they are supposed to wait for a man named Godot. In the play it shows that they do not remember the man named Godot really well, but they think he is going to give them an answer. But they cannot remember the questions. While they are waiting, estragon falls asleep. Vladimir suddenly fells lonely, so he wakes Estragon up. Tired of going nothing, they begin to talk about the tree and the wait. And they talk about their condition- homeless and lack of money.
After a while, a master with his slave appears whose names are Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo sits on a stool, relaxes a little and enjoys some chicken and wine. He is really rude to his servant. Eventually Lucky dozes off to sleep, but is weakened by jerks on the rope from his master.
The master then tell the tramps that Lucky is pitiful and old, and he would like to get rid of him soon. On hearing all of these words, Lucky cries. Estragon tries to comfort him, but Lucky gives him a hard kick in the leg in return. Later, the master and slave leave the tramps, and they continue their wait of Godot.
A litter later, a young boy brings in a message that Godot might seem them the nest day, at the same time and the same place. Meanwhile, night falls and the tramps decide to leave and come back the next day. Instead, they remain. The act ends.
The next act begins in exactly the same set as the first one: the two tramps meet on the road beside a sick looking tree. Nothing has changed except that the bare tree has five or six leaves. Vladimir is singing a song about a dog that has been beaten. Estragon reveals that he has been beaten as well. They keep waiting for Godot, though Estragon seems to have forgotten the events of the day before. Vladimir tries to remind him about something happened yesterday. But Estragon’s only memory is about the bone that he was given to chew.
Bored with waiting, Vladimir spots Lucky’s hat, and the tramps begin to play with it. But they still feel bored, they discuss suicide again, call each other names, and wait for Godot. After some time, Pozzo and Lucky appear again. Buut this time, Pozzo is blind and being led by lucky. They are still bound up by a rope. Pozzo falls to the ground and cannot get up. In the process of helping him, Estragon and Vladimir also fall to the ground. Finally they are able to get up.
The suns sets and the moon rises. The same boy shows up with the same message that Godot will not come today but the day after. He leaves the two men again contemplate suicide. Later, they decide to come back tomorrow with a rope, and if Godot does not arrive, they will hang themselves. They decide to move on, but as in the previous act, they stay where they are and the act ends.
The setting and the overall mood in the play.
In this play, the setting actually is really simple. A country and a sick looking tree. No visible horizon exists. The setting is constant. The time frame is most likely two days. The only visible reference to the passage of time occurs at the end of Act II when the sun sets and the moon rises.
After reading the play, we can feel that there is no horizon, no sign of civilization. For a moment, this play might be considered comic. But as the story unfolds and a mood of despair appears on the stage. Characters are beaten, cursed, and wondered-all without any sign of relief. But as we know that the tramps do not see the man that they are waiting for, it shows the eternal hopelessness of life. Based on the reasons, actually this play can be considered as a tragedy.
2. A serious of quotations that comments directly on the aspects of the design.
1) “The play opens on a totally surreal note, with a tramp trying to pull off his boot on a lonely road under a leafless tree.”
( From- Sam I Am – Beckett’s private purgatories” by Benjamin Kunkel in The New Yorker)
2) “But yesterday evening it was all black and bare. And now it’s covered with leaves.”
(From- the play “Waiting for Godot” Act II, line 1, by Samuel Beckett)
3) “A country road. A tree.
Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting.”
(By Samuel Beckett at the beginning of Act I)
4) “A terrible cry, close at hand. Estragon drops the carrot. They remain motionless, and then together make a sudden rush towards the wings. Estragon stops halfway, runs back, picks up the carrot, stuffs it in his pocket, runs to rejoin Vladimir who is waiting for him, stops again, runs back, picks up his boot, runs to rejoin Vladimir. Huddled together, shoulders hunched, cringing away from the menace, they
(By Samuel Beckett, Act I, line 359)
5) “Next day. Same time.
Estragon’s boots front center, heels together, toes splayed.”
( By Samuel Beckett, the beginning of Act II)
6) “Lucky’s hat at same place.
The tree has four or five leaves.
Enter Vladimir agitatedly. He halts and looks long at the tree, then suddenly begins to move feverishly about the stage. He halts before the boots, picks one up, examines it, sniffs it, manifests disgust, puts it back carefully. Comes and goes. Halts extreme right and gazes into distance off, shading his eyes with his hand. Comes and goes. Halts extreme left, as before. Comes and goes. Halts suddenly and begins to sing loudly.”
(By Samuel Beckett, Act II, line 5)
3. Props in the play
1) a sick looking tree
2) a pair of boots
3) a stool
4) a hat
5) a rope
4. A color scheme for the play
—— Main colors used in the play
In the play, we know that the tramps are waiting for Godot, but he never shows up. Grey in some point can represent their feelings. They keep waiting, but they cannot see the people they are waiting to see. They might be in great sorrow. It seems hopeless for them to see Godot.
It is the color appeared in many settings in the play. Say, for instant, the road, the tree.
—– Other colors used in the play
1. Dark blue and black
These two colors represent day and night. From the two colors, we can have a clearly view in the changing of time. And for black, it also can represent the fact that the act of waiting is never over, and there is little hope that people can get.
2. Dark green
It is the color of the leaves in the tree appeared in Act II.
It is the color of a stool that Pozzo used.
5. A visual collage for the play
The tree and the stool appeared in the play are both belonging to wood.
The blanket that the two tramps used is made of thin wool.
The two tramps’ clothes are made from the canvas. In other ways, it shows the characteristics of tramps- homeless and lack of money, have to travel to many places, cannot settle down.
The rope that used in this play is made of hemp.
6. Photographs for the play
1. A circle
When I finish reading this play, a circle suddenly appeared in my mind. As we know in the play, the act is never over, and yet it mysteriously starts again each day. But no one knows when the waiting is end. The action, in the same way, describes a circle. Each day is the return to the beginning. Nothing is completed because nothing can be completed.
2. A long road that you can never see the end
The road belongs to the setting part of the play. The reason that I think the road is associated with the play is because it represent one of the themes of the play. In the play, we know that it talks about two tramps are waiting for man named Godot, but he never comes. No one knows whether he will come or not. All they can do is keeping waiting. Think deeper about the waiting; I think the play want to show us the two men are waiting for hope. Godot is symbolic. Back to the road, we can see from the picture the characteristic of the road is long and you can never see the end. It reflects on the play about waiting for hope. All they can do is waiting, but no one knows whether there is hope or the future is hopeless. The future is unknown.
3. A bright moon
The concept of the passage of time leads to an irony. Each minute spent waiting brings death one step closer to the character s and makes the arrival of Godot lees likely. The moon in some point, actually represent the changing of time. When the moon comes up, it means one day is finished. And another is coming. But there is no sign of hope appeared for the two tramps. When you see them standing in the moon, a really sad and hopeless feeling will naturally comes out from my mind.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 November 2017
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