What is the significance of the major characters of Waiting for Godot occurring in pairs (consider Vladimir and Estragon, Pozzo and Lucky), as opposed to the Godot ‘character’ being a single character? Discuss.
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An interesting observation and question. The pairings of characters in all of Beckett’s writing, especially Didi and Gogo, usually brings critics back to Descartes’ duality of mind and body. Singularity, on the other hand, echoes Monotheism as opposed to the multi-god systems of the Greeks and Romans (it is interesting to note that these gods were also often paired up in certain ways – war and love, land and sea, etc.) Godot as a “character” (not exactly one) is paired up also, but in a subtler way: Godot the idea vs. Godot the “employer.” That is, while the characters talk of Godot as a person who will direct them, the rhetoric of the dramatic language makes it clear that it is the abstraction – direction, purpose – that they are really waiting for – some differentiating change between one night in a gutter and another, one messenger and another, one act and another. The symbolism of the leaf on the tree in the second act is particularly relevant here : Time itself is a singularity, in that it only goes forward, however imperceptibly. The “character” Godot has no duplicate, other than his existence vs. his nonexistence. It could be argued that there is only one "destiny" and our quasi-choices do not multiply the outcomes.
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