Waiting for Godot Study Guide

Waiting for Godot Study Guide

Original title:
En attendant Godot
January 18th 1994 by Grove Weidenfeld / Grove Press (first published 1952)
ISBN 0802130348 (ISBN13: 9780802130341)

Samuel Beckett is the father of the famous theatrical movement called Theatre of the Absurd. He managed to stage the elements of everyday life in a way that they became uncommon and brought revelation into people’s brains. The text couldn’t even provoke criticism upon its appearance and thus immediately established a new art niche.

“Waiting for Godot” was written in 1949 and first played in 1953 in Paris. It shocked all the artistic community with the new and provoking way to make art. It has no plot, no protagonist, no idea, and no goal. Yet it is so intriguing that is being replayed over and over again across the whole globe. 

The events of the play begin in a middle of a strange place where Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for someone called Godot. They can’t specify who he is, where they are supposed to meet, and how long they have already been waiting. But they know for sure that they can’t leave until Godot arrives. 

The two man share jokes, dreams, recollections from previous days. Their mundane dialogues and activities are interrupted by the appearance of even more mundane yet unexpected characters: a slave and his master, a messenger boy, and others. The whole text is a puzzle and there’s no right way to interpret it. Feel free to collect the pieces into many senses, notions and pictures. 

It’s definitely a must to see “Waiting for Godot” play at the theatre, but it’s also worth to discover it in a book – every word, every detail and every character shine in a new light when on stage or on paper. The beauty of this masterpiece is in the details and the more of them you can experience by reading, the better. Open your imagination and prepare yourself for a completely new experience.

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