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Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
Waiting for Godot A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
Author: Samuel Beckett
"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful?" Estragon's complaint, uttered in the first act of "Waiting for Godot", is the playwright's sly joke at the expense of his own play - or rather at the expense of those in the audience who expect theatre always to consist of events progressing in an apparentl...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780802130341
ISBN-10: 0802130348
Publication Date: 1/18/1994
Pages: 111
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 131 ratings
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts on + 100 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A review from
"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!". That phrase, said by one of the main characters of "Waiting for Godot", somehow sums up the whole plot of this short tragicomedy in two acts. Strange??. You can bet on that!!!. So much that a well-known Irish critic said of it "nothing happens, twice".

The play starts with two men, Vladimir and Estragon, sitting on a lonely road. They are both waiting for Godot. They don't know why they are waiting for him, but they think that his arrival will change things for the better. The problem is that he doesn't come, although a kid does so and says Godot will eventually arrive. Pozzo and his servant Lucky, two other characters that pass by while our protagonists are waiting for Godot, add another bizarre touch to an already surreal story, in which nothing seems to happen and discussions between the characters don't make much sense.

However, maybe that is exactly the point that Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wanted to make. He was one of the most accomplished exponents of the "Theatre of the Absurd", that wanted to highlight the lack of purpose and meaning in an universe without God. Does Godot, the person that Vladimir and Estragon endlessly wait, symbolize God?. According to an irascible Beckett, when hard-pressed to answer that question, "If I knew who Godot was, I would have said so in the play." So, we don't know. The result is a highly unusual play that poses many questions, but doesn't answer them.

Ripe with symbolism, "Waiting for Godot" is a play more or less open to different interpretations. Why more or less open?. Well, because in order to have an interpretation of your own, you have to finish the play, and that is something that not all readers can do. "Waiting for Godot" is neither too long nor too difficult, but it shows a lack of action and purpose in the characters that is likely to annoy many before they reach the final pages, leading them to abandon the book in a hurry. That is specially true if the reader is a student who thinks he is being barbarously tortured by a hateful teacher who told him to write a paper on "Waiting for Godot" :)

My advice, for what it is worth, is that you should persist in reading it. If it puts you to sleep, try reading it aloud with some friends, and discuss with them the implications of what happens with the characters. This play might not be thoroughly engaging, but it changed theatre and the possibilities opened before it forever. In a way, it provoked a blood-less revolution, and because of that it deserves at least a bit of our attention.
reviewed Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Waiting for Godot", written directly in French in 1948, had its world premiere on January 5, 1953, in the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone in Paris. Although not an immediate success, by slow degrees, through word of mouth, Godot became the talk of Paris. As productions spread across the globe, reations were varied, but the very controversy generated by the play tended to assure its "success." Rarely has a play labeled "avant-garde" become so quickly a "classic." Whether it is Beckett's greatest work of drama remains for history to determine. Unquestionably, it is a work which has captured the imagination of our time - and perhaps all time. Though the battle of interpretation still rages around "Waiting for Godot", it is now recognized as a seminal work of modern fiction and has become a part of theater history. The author himself translated his play into English.
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