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Analyse the symbolism of Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

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farhatunnisaf... | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2010 at 9:06 PM via web

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Analyse the symbolism of Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 7, 2010 at 12:48 AM (Answer #1)

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Beckett's play is not exactly a symbolist play. That is not to say that it does not have symbols. There are symbols galore in the play but the point is that it does not want to fix any symbolic interpretation on itself. It rather vaguely opens up multiple symbolic layers to seduce the reader into one or the other. None of these, on its own is a substantial one, however.

The greatest seductive symbol in the play is the figure of Godot which is seen to represent God, existence, meaning, the gaze of the other, a social big-brother figure, an absent centre of authority and so on.

Waiting as a condition of being is yet another symbolic act in the play.

There is a symbolic import in the repetitive circularity of action  in the two acts.

The boots, the hats, especially Lucky's thinking hat which produces his great speech are all symbolic objects.

The tree, the country road, the leaves that appear on the second day, the way the two tramps and Lucky and Pozzo fall in the shape of crucifixion in the second act, the social category of the tramp--all these are symbolic in the play-text.

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