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What is the significance of the title of the play Waiting for Godot?

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nicks786 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:07 AM via web

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What is the significance of the title of the play Waiting for Godot?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM (Answer #1)

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In Waiting for Godot, the two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, spend days waiting for someone named Godot. A boy comes with a message that Godot is not coming and they continue to wait. The waiting itself is an exercise in futility. Godot is never going to show up and the two characters discuss options such as suicide (which they fail in the attempt), keep waiting, and leaving. They try to leave multiple times, but they can't. So, they keep waiting. The repetition and redundancy express the characters steadfast desire for resolution despite becoming totally frustrated in the lack of results for their time spent.

Godot, as if he were a savior or someone who can give them answers, represents certainty and meaningfulness. Since he never arrives, Vladimir and Estragon are faced with living in a world where certainty and meaning never present themselves. To continue to wait for certainty and meaning, knowing they don't exist, is absurd. Absurdism, in literature and drama, is usually presented in this way: humans searching for meaning in a world where meaning is either always elusive or nonexistent. 

 

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