Repetition in Waiting for Godot

Categories: Waiting For Godot

“I can’t go on like this”, with this last phrase Waiting for Godot ends. Although it might not seem a lot by itself, when reading the whole play it is possibly to understand about what is the character of Estragon talking about. He and Vladimir have been waiting for a person called Godot to come and meet them, and as the first act of the play shows they have been waiting for a while and they pretend to keep waiting for him, even if he does not shows up for days.

This play is strongly based in the repetition of their routine and patterns of each one of them.

A sign of repetition is that every time Estragon tells Vladimir that he wants to go, the latest has to remind him that they can’t because they are waiting for Godot and Estragon’s answer is always “Ah! ”, this happens four or five times. Estragon also goes back to the idea of committing suicide in the tree that is near them a few times and Vladimir has to explain to him why they cannot do it.

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Both acts also start in a similar way. Estragon is already in the stage, whereas Vladimir is just getting there and they are both glad to finally be reunited.

In both occasions they have the same conversation about where did Estragon spend the night and they also talk about the fact that some people hit Estragon during the night and they do not know who they were.

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They also talk about what they did the day before. Both times Vladimir remembers that they were in the same place waiting for Godot, but Estragon does not. Repetition is also found in little details like the nicknames that both have to each other. Vladimir is called Didi and Estragon is called Gogo. Both of the nicknames consist on the repetition of the same syllable.

During the second act it is possible to clearly see the way in which Vladimir and Estragon live in a repetitive way “Estragon takes Vladimir’s hat. Vladimir adjusts Lucky’s hat on his head. Estragon puts on Vladimir’s hat in place of his own which he hands to Vladimir. Vladimir takes Estragon’s hat. Estragon adjusts Vladimir’s hat on his head. Vladimir puts on Estragon’s hat in place of Lucky’s which he hands to Estragon. Estragon takes Lucky’s hat. Vladimir adjusts Estragon’s hat on his head. Estragon puts on Lucky’s hat in place of Vladimir’s which he hands to Vladimir (…)” (Beckett 67) They keep this routine a couple of more times.

Is a representation of what they have been doing for a couple of days. They are in a circle and although this situation has an end, it does not seem that their waiting is going to end any time soon. They are living in a circle. Although different things happen to them during the different days in which they wait, overall they act in a similar way. Always waiting; always fighting, missing each other and reuniting; always thinking about what to do next; always thinking about what are they going to do tomorrow.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Repetition in Waiting for Godot. (2016, Sep 14). Retrieved from

Repetition in Waiting for Godot essay
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