Compare and contrast Vladimir and Estragon by paying attention to their actions and dialogue.

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The clearest interpretation of this most famous duality is the two parts of human existence:  mind and body.  Vladimir (Didi) represents mind -- the actions of thinking, consciousness, reason, etc. – while Estragon (Gogo) represents the body’s organic functions and needs – hunger, movement, pain, etc. --  and the actions and dialogue throughout the play conform to this duality:  The business with hats is controlled by Didi ; the boots, especially their pain, are the concern of Gogo; Gogo is most interested in the carrots and Pozzo’s chicken bones, while Didi is fascinated by the statistics of the Bible story, etc.  Didi says “I think” several times; Gogo refers to his body weight.  Didi uses logic to come to non-solutions; Didi uses visual evidence (the color of the boots, etc.).  While the duality is arguable, its complexity is underlined in the observation, possibly referring to pre-Descartian times: “Back to back, like in the good old days.”


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