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Course Hero. "Waiting for Godot Study Guide." Course Hero. 27 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2018. <>.

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Course Hero. (2016, October 27). Waiting for Godot Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 16, 2018, from

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Course Hero. "Waiting for Godot Study Guide." October 27, 2016. Accessed November 16, 2018.


Course Hero, "Waiting for Godot Study Guide," October 27, 2016, accessed November 16, 2018,

Waiting for Godot | Motifs



Duality is everywhere in Waiting for Godot. Every character has a counterpart, and the paired characters often complement and contrast each other. Vladimir and Estragon seem nearly identical at first, but contrasting characteristics show them to be essentially two different parts of a whole. Pozzo and Lucky are opposites in status, but they also share a mutual dependence. The boy, although written as one part played by a single actor, may actually be two brothers, one of whom tends the sheep while the other tends the goats. Even people who are simply discussed often come in twos, such as the two thieves from the Bible (one is saved, the other is damned). The only character without a counterpart is the one who never appears: the ambiguous Godot.

The whole play is dual in structure, consisting of two acts depicting nearly the same events. Act 2 mirrors Act 1 (for example, Estragon arrives first in Act 1, while Vladimir is the first to appear in Act 2), with the events of Act 2 seeming to reflect a bit more darkly the events of Act 1. It is also clear that the two days seen in the play are reflections of many days in the past and days that will continue, endlessly, into the future.


Hats are worn by Vladimir, Estragon, Lucky, and Pozzo and are a vehicle for the characters to show their identities. For example, Lucky needs his hat in order to think; Pozzo shows his power over Lucky by taking his servant's hat off. Vladimir, the "thinker" of the two main characters, is fixated on his hat, while Estragon, who is more realistic, thinks first of his boots. In Act 2, Estragon and Vladimir have a long "bit" in which they exchange their hats along with Lucky's; an aimless attempt to make time pass as they wait.

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