Waiting for Godot- Samuel Beckett- Play Summary (1)

Work Introduction and Characters List


It’s an evening in a country road with a tree – The Play begins.

Estragon who is also called as Gogo is sitting near a low mound and tries to take his boots off from his feet. Vladimir (a.k.a. Didi) is here, they speak to each other, with their conversation it is clear that they knew each other for over a long period of time. Estragon asks for Vladimir to help him in removing his boots off. He refuses and begins to speak something about his life. He says when he looks at Estragon it’s like looking at a pile of bones. Gogo doesn’t mind it; he is still working with the boots. Then Didi starts a story that speaks on the two thieves and how the one of them is saved by a savior. His story narration is not clear. He confuses it with the other conversations like, asking Gogo about his shoes, etc. While narrating the story Vladimir insists Estragon to react to it, to which he reacts, “People are bloody ignorant Apes.” In the mean time he also succeeds in removing one of his boots. He shakes his boot and finds “nothing”. (They both are not stable with their talks. They are easily prone to get confused, ambiguous and pathetic by themselves.)

Now Gogo is ready to leave the place, he gets reminded that they are here 'waiting for Godot' and so they cannot leave the spot. Here, starts the confusion. Didi says Godot mentioned the spot near a tree and points out the tree near them that has no leaves in it, he is not sure of the tree’s name yet, he says it’s a Willow tree. He is also not sure of the day when Godot told them that he would be meeting. They both discuss and come to a conclusion that they will wait for him. If he does not appear then they will wait again for him to show up, again if he fails then they will wait until he comes.

Estragon states that they were here yesterday; he remembers the mould, the bog, the tree and the road. Yet he is not sure of it. After some conf-usable arguments the possibility of Godot being here yesterday and left without meeting them, scares them. Estragon now sleeps nearby leaving Vladimir, this terrifies him, i.e. the idea of being alone and so he wakes Gogo. Gogo wakes up startled and says that he had a nightmare. When he tries to speak it out, Vladimir stops him; he asks to keep his nightmare or worries to himself.

While waiting for Godot, they plan on spending their time by hanging themselves with their hands in the bough (large branch of a tree). Estragon assures that if the bough can hang Vladimir it can hang anything. Now both are puzzled on who of them is heavier and the solution to it is, to wait for Godot and ask him for his decision. (They also think this stupidity as a good idea). Then begins the conversation, the real conversation on why do they wait for Godot. It is a prayer; they want Godot to make a prayer, for which Godot requires time in order to discuss with his family. They believe that it is normal to discuss with family before deciding anything on the one hand. Whereas, on the other hand they realises the fact how they don’t have any rights and to be distinct how they got rid of them. They get tired at this point but suddenly Didi asks to listen as if there is someone arriving and that is Godot. (Ha! No one). It was an illusion that Didi had. He swears that he heard as if Godot shouting at his horses.

Estragon gets hungry and asks for food. Vladimir says he has turnips and carrots. Gogo chooses carrots and again there is a trouble in giving him the vege he asked. (There is always a trouble). With the continuous discussion on food and their mind they forget even the name of Godot, they get confused whether this is his name or not. All of a sudden they hear a terrible cry, close at hand. Estragon drops the carrot. They remain motionless, and then together they make a sudden rush towards the wings (Theatre setting). Estragon stops halfway, runs backward, picks up the carrot, stuffs it in his pocket, runs to rejoin Vladimir who is waiting for him, he stops again, runs backward again, picks up his boot, runs to rejoin Vladimir. Huddled together, shoulders hunched, cringing away from the menace, they wait. Enter Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo drives Lucky by means of a rope passed round his neck, so that Lucky is the first to enter, followed by the rope which is long enough to let him reach the middle of the stage before Pozzo appears. Lucky carries a heavy bag (a suitcase full of sand), a folding stool, a picnic basket and a greatcoat, Pozzo a whip.

Both Gogo and Didi are scared and curious to know Lucky. Gogo asks whether Pozzo is Godot. That question makes Pozzo to introduce himself. (Now begins the pun on pronouncing Pozzo, its PPPOZZZO! Not Bozzo). Finally they say it right. Pozzo asks why they mistook him to be Godot. He then asks who Godot is. To which they answer that he is a kind of an acquaintance but not of that kind which is close and they are waiting to meet him. Pozzo is taken aback of the fact that they stand waiting in his land. They swear that they mean no harm by standing in his land.

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