Waiting for Godot: Tragicomedy in 2 Acts

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Grove Press, 1982 - Drama - 111 pages
A seminal work of twentieth-century drama, Waiting for Godot was Samuel Beckett's first professionally produced play. It opened in Paris in 1953 at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone, and has since become a cornerstone of twentieth-century theater.

The story line revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone--or something--named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind's inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett's language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.

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This play was quite interesting and the set was strangely familiar to me. The whole set had a steam punk style of old broken down parts of technology with a strange orange blue lighting. It reminded me of a scene I would expect to see in a short video game I played once called Machinarium. The foreboding nature of the set really set the tone for the play.
As the lights came on the first thing I saw was the first character Estragon trying to take off his shoe, without much success. Then Vladimir came into my peripheral vision holding his cell phone and staring around with a bewildered look on his face. He began looking around as if he were lost and when he saw Estragon (aka Bobo) he cheered in happiness at the sight of his friend. Bobo was not quite as excited to see Vladimir (aka Dodo). Bobo was trying to take off his shoe because it was tight on his foot and was causing him pain. He had a slight limp and was favoring one leg over the other. As the dialogue started to advance I found it hard to follow. Since this play is absurdist it is supposed to be slightly difficult to follow every dialogue pattern that emerged.
The two men were waiting for a man named Godot. Dodo was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mr. Godot but Bobo was somewhat less elated. Dodo spoke as if he knew who Godot was while Bobo didn't seem to know hardly anything of the man. The two men yell at each other, make fun of each other, hug each other, and show just about every emotion that exists towards each other.
As the play progressed, I heard something coming from the distance that sounded like a woman screaming “mush” followed by the crack of a whip. Soon after, a girl with a rope tied to her neck walked onto the stage followed shortly by a large woman who was yelling commands at the other as if she were a dog. Bobo and Dodo were not sure what to make of the situation and it almost seemed as if they had never seen other human beings before. Strangely the woman, known as Pozzo, seemed the same. The girl on the rope is a slave to the large Pozzo and has been for quite some time. She does anything and everything Pozzo tells her to do, including where to go, where to stop, what to pick up and put down. She will even dance, sing, think out loud, or recite poems for the slave master. We come to find out that Pozzo is taking the girl (aptly named Lucky) to the circus to sell her because she is not as useful to her as she once was. Bobo and Dodo try to get Lucky to do some tricks for them but without the aide of Pozzo they only get kicks in the shin and no response from the slave Lucky. Eventually Pozzo and Lucky leave to go to the circus and leave Bobo and Dodo to wait further for Godot.
When night came all the TV's that are laying in piles turned on and a face of a woman wearing a world war II pilots leather hat and goggles appeared on the screens. Dodo begins asking the woman questions to which she responds happily with “yes sir” or “no sir.” After a few minutes of dialogue the woman informs Dodo that Mr. Godot is not going to be there that night and will assuredly show up the following evening. Dodo and Bobo leave the set and plan on returning the following evening to wait for Godot again.
The following day Dodo and Bobo find themselves waiting again in the same spot as the day before. We now are privy to the fact that both of these men seem to have a lapse of memory and have a difficult time knowing what had occurred the day before. Through some reenactments of what had happened the day before they began to remember what had occurred. They come and wait for Godot every night and have been doing so for many years it seems. Shortly after Pozzo and Lucky show up again, they both fall to the floor and act as if they are unable to get up. Pozzo asks for help to get up and Dodo and Bobo are reluctant to do so at first. Bobo thinks she is Godot and Dodo decides to help her get up. As he tries to get her up he is unable because she is larger than he is. He gets stuck and asks Bobo to help

Review: Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

User Review  - Matt Margo - Goodreads

Unlike Nigel Tomm's 2008 film adaptation, Samuel Beckett's original play does not depict 72 minutes and 5 seconds of pure green screen, but it does come close in terms of nothingness. Nothingness, I ... Read full review

About the author (1982)

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Ireland. Best known for the classic Waiting for Godot, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. He spent most of his life in Paris and died there in 1989.

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