Comment on the tittle Waiting for Godot.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Beckett's title is quite appropriate.  Characters wait.  This waiting does not change much of anything in their predicaments, their conceptions of self, or even their world.  They start off the play waiting for this dinner guest.  Their exhortations, moments of anger, instances of sadness, and the state of being in the world in connection to others are all on display with the premise that the alleviation of waiting will change their predicaments.  At the end of the play, they are told that the guest will not arrive, but he will be there tomorrow night.  The characters wait again.  The play's idea seems to be that waiting is associated with paralysis, and the notion of being paralyzed, even with supposedly unlimited and boundless freedom is a powerful notion brought out in the play.  It is this idea of being trapped by waiting that makes the title so appropriate.

kc4u | Student

We have been told that those who 'stand and wait' also serve God. The two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, in Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot, stand and wait, not for God but for Godot. They do not serve anybody. Do they? In Beckett's 2-act play, Didi(Vladimir) & Gogo(Estragon) wait and wait all day long for a certain Godot to come. At the end of the day, they are told that Godot would come the next day. A to-day is followed by a tomorrow which is another to-day, and again the two tramps are told that Godot would come the day after. Beckett's play thus allegorises on the futility of man's waiting in a world where all promises are perpetually deferred.

In 1935, T.S.Eliot wrote a commissioned play on the theme of Christian martyrdom--Murder in the Cathedral--in which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, had been waiting to be martyred in the cathedral itself. For Thomas Becket it was waiting for God. Samuel Beckett's play could be seen as an existentialist parody of that other Becket's waiting, waiting for Godot being waiting for nothing. After the massive and extensive destructions of the two Great Wars, men can only stand and wait at the center of paralysis, doing nothing, getting nothing, begetting nothing.In my reading of Beckett's play, I rediscover those immortal lines spoken by Macbeth:'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day.....'