Beckett was saying that you can't wait for, you have to help yourself.
New Orleans had the best example of the play. They had full house each time they
held the play.
They gave out free gumbo at the beginning and then were walked to their seat by a
The play was really felt by the audience, which is what every director wants
This play was an academic exercise, but with Katrina/Iraq war it's become useful
Paris premier in 1959, failed primer in America, and major premier in New Orleans
The challenge of the director is finding action for the characters to
do while reciting
Waiting for Godot
follows two consecutive days in the lives of a pair of men who divert
themselves while they wait expectantly and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive.
They claim him as an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not
recognize him were they to see him. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue,
sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide — anything "to hold the terrible
silence at bay".
The play opens with the character
struggling to remove his boot from his foot. Estragon
eventually gives up, muttering, "Nothing to be done." His friend
takes up the thought
and muses on it, the implication being that nothing is a thing that has to be done and this pair is
going to have to spend the rest of the play doing it.
When Estragon finally succeeds in
removing his boot, he looks and feels inside but finds nothing. Just prior to this, Vladimir peers
into his hat. The motif recurs throughout in the play.
The pair discusses repentance, particularly in relation to the two thieves crucified alongside
Jesus, and the fact that only one of the four Evangelists mentions that one of them was saved.
This is the first of numerous Biblical references in the play, which may be linked to its putative
central theme of the search for and reconciliation with God, as well as salvation: "We're saved!"
they cry on more than one occasion when they feel that Godot may be near.
Presently, Vladimir expresses his frustration with Estragon's limited conversational skills: "Come
on, Gogo, return the ball, can't you, once in a while?". Estragon struggles in this regard
throughout the play, and Vladimir generally takes the lead in their dialogue and encounters with
others. Vladimir is at times hostile towards his companion, but in general they are close,
frequently embracing and supporting one another.