Thispaper aims to flick that Samuel Beckett’s Waitingfor Godot is a theatrical upshot of Postmodernism which is sharply inspiredby Existential philosophy and its view is at the root of emptiness in human existence.Post Modernism is the sure of fragmentation, illogical and dubious statements.It refers that nothing is shaped in the theoretical world. The breakdown ofcommunication is a crucial part of this play and the dialogues are futile andmeaningless. Man lives the modern world denying the objectives of a rightly orderedstate in the society. The world is a place where things happen randomly. Butlersays that, “There is as we shall see a deep irrationalism at the heart ofpostmodernism – a kind of despair about the Enlightenment – derived publicfunctions of reason – which is not be found elsewhere in the other developing intellectualdisciplines of the late 20th century” (11).
Inthis play, the plot is found with no opening, middle and an end but just repeatingthe same in the two acts. The play clearly shows its characterization and elementsswitched around the absurdity and emptiness is filled with vagueness. Beckett hasportrayed the scene skillfully at the very calm and deserted place with leaflesstree. The portrayal of tree in any literary text is usually the representation ofhuman life, however in this play, leafless tree which symbolizes emptiness of humanlife in this play. The depiction of peacefulness at the very first act representsthe emptiness of post world war II. Bari Khan et al.
(2015) argues that,Acountry road, leafless tree and two homeless men. So from the point of view ofsetting, it is an absurd play and no meaningful thing is present. The settingof the play reminds the post war conditions of the world which broughtviolence, uncertainty, despair and pessimistic outlook. (2) The two old homeless men, Vladimir andEstragon appear with vagueness and despair that clearly exhibits the meaninglessof human existence. They seem to be indistinct of what happened in their past. Beckettemphasizes the meaning of meaningless or empty life sharply through the portrayalof waiting for someone that is Godot and therefore it suggests that everycommon individual is entangled with the worthless deeds in the world andnothing is remained till at the end. Multani states that, “.
. . The two trampsmust wait in order to evade the realization that there is actually no Godot,that there is nothing to wait for, there is no saving them” (132).
Vladimirand Estragon are Waiting for Godotand they are ignorant of the figure of Godot and his arrival which is revealed bythe conversation of Vladimir and Estragon after seeing Pozzo. They think of himas Godot but he introduces himself as Pozzo: ESTRAGON:Undertone. Is that him?VLADIMIR:Who?ESTRAGON:Trying to remember the name.
Er . .. VLADIMIR:Godot?ESTRAGON:Yes.POZZO:I present myself: Pozzo. (WG, 15)Thedialogues of Vladimir and Estragon revolve around the same thing throughout thewhole play which also reveals the forgetfulness of Estragon.
Emptiness standsbehind every action is the main subject of the play. Estragon often forgets thereason of his staying near the leafless tree, when he tries to move Vladimirreminds him that they are Waiting forGodot.ESTRAGON:What do we do now?VLADIMIR:I don’t know.ESTRAGON:Let’s go.VLADIMIR:We can’t.
ESTRAGON:Why not?VLADIMIR:We’re waiting for Godot.ESTRAGON:Despairingly. Ah! .
.. ESTRAGON:What do we do now?VLADIMIR:Wait for Godot?ESTRAGON:Ah! WG, 41, 54Anothertwo characters named Pozzo and Lucky play two atypical roles as master andslave. Pozzo rides Lucky as his slave by tying rope around his neck and Pozzostops on his way as he wants to sell his slave in the market. He stops at theplace where Vladimir and Estragon are Waitingfor Godot for a while to converse with them. Lucky is commanded to entertainthem by dancing and thinking. The illogical dialogues and interruption are the literalelements of ‘Absurdity’ that can be observed from long illogical monologue of thesalve, and it is interrupted and stopped by the command of his master Pozzo bytaking his hat.
LUCKY: . . . I resume alas alas abandoned unfinishedthe skull the skull in Connemara in spiteof the tennis the skull alas the stoned Cunard Melee, final vociferations tennis . . .the stones .
. .so calm .
. . Cunard . . .
unfinished . . .
POZZO:His hat!VLADIMIRseizes LUCKY’s hat. Silence of LUCKY. Hefalls. Silence. Panting of the victors. (WG, 38)AfterPozzo and Lucky leaving the place, Beckett has insisted one more character, aboy comes with a message from the Godot and he says, “In a rush.
Mr Godot told me to tell you he won’t come this eveningbut surely tomorrow” (WG, 44). Thoughthree more characters are portrayed excluding Vladimir and Estragon there is nomeaningful message is added but illogical and emptiness is remained. Even atthe second act, the features are repeated what actually happened at the firstact. The characters are encircled with twilight state of consciousness which isemphasized in the dialogues of Vladimir and Estragon. Estragon has unaware ofwhat happened in the past, especially at the first act and he often relies onVladimir to remember the past but sometimes he fails to assent the past.Vladimir is also being confused when he is talking to a messenger boy fromGodot who already came at the first but refused to accept.
VLADIMIR:. . . Do you not recognize me?BOY:No, sir.
VLADIMIR:It wasn’t you came yesterday.BOY:No, sir.VLADIMIR:This is your first time.
BOY:Yes, sir. (84)Modernmen are simply repeating the same without any worthy in their lives but justpassing the time that can be understood in the play. Vladimir and Estragon’s insignificantactions are struggling against the emptiness throughout the play that is easilyobserved especially on swapping their hats like a joker in circus. SamuelBeckett emphasizes that, “ESTRAGON takesVladimir’s hat. VLADIMIR adjustsLUCKY’s hat on his head. ESTRAGON putson his VLADIMIR’s hat in place of his own which he hands to VLADIMIR.
. .” (63). Thetwo tramps have decided to get away but they don’t move at the end of the firstact until curtains. The actions of the first act is repeated in the second actwith a few changes and the changes are nothing but the tree has some leaves,Pozzo is blind, his slave is dumb and again the messenger boy comes with amessage from Godot is that Godot willcome on tomorrow.Theplay begins with a same thing that the two characters are waiting and the playalso end with the same thing that they are still waiting and Godot has not comeeven at the end of the play.
Everything in the play is repeated which happenedalready in the past is remained. Beckett shows the paradoxical instance ofhuman existence through the characterization of empty life in the play. Thereis no development seems to have been throughout the play. Usually a tree is asymbol of life portrayed in literary text but leafless tree shows the poor conditionof modern man human beings in this play. It is an absurd play and closelyrelated to the life of modern human beings. Becket’s work concerned with thecivilization of today.
It is a world of fragmentation and alienation whereindividual has no sense of self and history which reflects by the forgetfulnessand emptiness.