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could you give some examples of the lyrical quality of the language in "Waiting for...

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mellandull | Honors

Posted November 7, 2011 at 1:37 AM via web

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could you give some examples of the lyrical quality of the language in "Waiting for Godot"?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 7, 2011 at 7:17 AM (Answer #1)

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“Lyric” is a tricky term, usually reserved for song-like, beautiful pieces, like song lyrics.  Godot, however, is thematically dark and depressing.  But the language is by no means depressing or unpoetic.  Of course, Vladimir sings his “dog in the kitchen” song, and there is much lyricism in Lucky’s singular long speech, and much of its driving foundation is vaudeville silliness, not only in the juggling of hats and other such business, but in the language as well.  One strong example of lyric language is the exchanges of similes ("They make a noise like feathers…like leaves…Like ashes…Like leaves”) and other word-games they play, with the remark, “That passed the time,” a remarkable penetration into the pointless of conversation itself.  But the most “lyrical” of evidence is the line-by-line cadence of the speeches together with the unusual language use, as here, in Act II:

          VLADIMIR:

          All the same, you can't tell me that this (gesture) bears any

          resemblance to . . . (he hesitates) . . . to the Macon country

          for example. You can't deny there's a big difference.

          ESTRAGON:

          The Macon country! Who's talking to you about the Macon

          country?

          VLADIMIR:

          But you were there yourself, in the Macon country.

          ESTRAGON:

          No I was never in the Macon country! I've puked my puke of

          a life away here, I tell you! Here! In the Cackon country!

 

 In truth, all the dialogue submits to the “lyrical” criteria of “fanciful,” "non-realistic” and “rhythmic.”  The mistake is limiting the term to “upbeat, naturalistic description" (although even there, the description of the tree could qualify).

 

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