Why You Should Read Waiting for Godot

Drawing by Tom Phillips.

Synopsis:Two queer old men are waiting for someone named Godot.As they chatter,argue and reconcile,they meet other characters who are just as uncanny.

Why you should read Waiting for Godot:

1.The Abstract
The bouts of long silence,the barren setting and the minimalist characters make Waiting for Godot the epitome of the abstract.It is a theatrical masterpiece whereby the audience and the characters are peculiarly connected from the beginning to the end,even if there is little that makes sense to the former.

2.Perfectly Written
While Waiting for Godot imperatively needs to be seen in theatres,it is also important,I reckon,to read the script,for Beckett’s genius lies therein.In a play devoid of any sensible plot and characters,the dialogues are heavily relied upon to keep the audience’s interest.In this regard,we see Beckett allocating a myriad of functions to these dialogues; they add to the comic relief,leave us with much food for thought and,as in Lucky’s part,just blow our minds.We also catch a glimpse of Beckett’s perfectionism when the dialogues of Estragon and Vladimir are symmetrical or polar opposites to each other; in either case if one’s sentence consists of,say,4 words,so will the other’s.And what about the economy of words? The short sentences are congruous to the minimalism englobing the play,and they are very powerful whenever something sensible is uttered;they touch us to the very core.

3.Food for Thought
Sure,Waiting for Godot is known as the play in which nothing happens twice.However don’t be duped into thinking that it is senseless from start to finish.If that were indeed the case,then it wouldn’t have been deemed a classic.There are major themes,such as the loss of memory,recurring in the play,which to this day nobody has been completely able to decipher the meaning.So,the play gives way to a myriad of interpretations ,just as Beckett intended.As a matter of fact,the expression ‘waiting for Godot’ is still used in different spheres as another way to say ‘waiting for the impossible to happen’.Also,it is worth remembering that Waiting for Godot was voted the most significant English play of the 20th century.

Although they are few in number and ‘performing’ in a limited and dull setting,the characters are very eccentric,and thus,thoroughly entertaining.So much so that we end up being interested in their stories even if these hold seemingly little relevance to Estragon and Vladimir’s wait for Godot.

Why you might not like Waiting for Godot:

1.Not for the Impatient Reader/Audience.
If you’re someone impatient,you might hate the play.As I said,despite the depth of the story,it is undeniably true that nothing happens in it.The only way to fully appreciate it as a masterpiece is to avoid at all costs to tell yourself that there is nothing taking place.To do so,you must either be able to recognize very subtle techniques employed by the playwright and the difficulty there is to perform the play or simply let yourself carried away with the characters’ craziness.If you tend to focus on Godot,then it will be you who’ll be trapped into waiting for him…

Final Thought: Because nothing great takes place in it,not much can be said about Waiting for Godot.It was just as easy to see why it is deemed a classic as to understand why it failed to appeal to quite a few people.Being an absolute lover of abstract art,I really liked the play and its periods of silence along with its minimalism.I was also impressed by Beckett’s precision in writing the dialogues; for me,a play is not ‘great’ if the playwright doesn’t put much work in it.He was of such perfectionism that the dialogues were at times very mathematical.Despite possessing such features,the play can easily leave somebody cold.I believe that people should have no expectations from the play and instead focus on the words,the dialogues,the techniques,and the performances of the actors; they should avoid anticipating what will happen next and thinking about Godot.Otherwise frustration will await them.All in all,Waiting for Godot is truly one its kind and is worth your time,but just be careful in regard to what you expect from it.


5 thoughts on “Why You Should Read Waiting for Godot”

  1. This is a play hard to appreciate and I remember hating it when I first read it in my late teens. I’ve come to appreciate the profoundness of the piece later though.

    1. It sure is.I was impressed though by the structure of the dialogues and by Lucky’s lines.And of course,it is a deep play with some very poignant phrases,such as this:

      Estragon: We’ve lost our rights?
      Vladimir: (distinctly) We got rid of them.

      All in all,I think it is a truly remarkable play,especially in view of its content.

      Well,thanks for commenting,and have a Merry Xmas. 🙂

    1. Haha,thanks!

      It’s always great to know that someone likes this series I’ve come up with some 2 years ago!
      And don’t forget what I wrote: there is a risk that you might not like the play.Even so though I think it is worth a read because it is truly one of its kind.

      And Merry Xmas! 🙂

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