Waiting For Godot as an Absurd Play


"The theatre of absurd" is a phrase taken from Albert Camus essay 'The Myth of Sisyphus" in which the writer defines the absurd as the tension which results from men determination to discover purpose and order in a world where they are hard to find. From the historical stand point the term is applied to a group of dramatists in 1920s who did not regard themselves as a scholar but seem to share certain attitudes towards the predecements of men in the modern world. 


The Absurdist Dramatists

The absurdist dramatists beleifs that our existence is absurd or meaningless because we are born to without seeking death. It is complex self defeating paradox, this check and balance of power ; importance of knowledge and ignorance which is the subject of absurdist playwright. "Waiting for Godot" follows the absurdist tendency and known as the Absurd Play for its certain characteristics. 



Waiting For Godot

In keeping with the character of the Absurd Play. It is without traditional plot, story division into act and has also fewest possible characters along with very short and crisp dialogue. One of the major traits of an Absurd Play is the lack of action and "Waiting for Godot" fulfils that condition fully. Except waiting nothing significant happens and that waiting also becomes useless since Godot doesn't arrive despite all the long waiting. In an Absurd drama the characters generally lose their identity and in "Waiting for Godot" the same happens to the tramps in the second act. In the very beginning,  both Estragon and Vladimir agreed that they have lost each other. Estragon admits that struggle has been useless  and he becomes desperate when his effort to take off his shoes proved fertile. 

The existence of Lucky and Pozzo, and other pair of the character is also absurd in the sense that they too is in an extraordinary human situation. Pozzo is seen driving  Lucky by means of a rope. In fact Lucky is an unhappy character living under an extreme operation but his master is not happy who wants to get rid of Lucky by selling him, when Estragon tries to wipe Lucky's tear he is violently kicked by the latter and Estragon howls with pain. Subsequently Lucky's go dumb and Pozzo becomes blind. The two tramp decide upon Killing themselves but the cord breaks into two and their efforts ends in smoke. The atmosphere of play has a mixture of comedy at near tragedy. The situation of the tramp is both funny and tragic. Moreover their is a mixture of reality and unreality in the behaviour of the two tramp in the second act. In an Absurd Play there is no positive action to express. Waiting For Godot  also contains no action in the real sense as far as the setting there is only tree which in the first act is without leaves and in second act it contains some new leaves. 

The fact is that men is confuse about the life he is living. Since his existence is no important he must come to an end as soon as possible. The existentialistic overtures also make the Waiting For Godot an Absurd Play.