Do you consider ' Waiting for Godot ' an ' absurd ' play ? Justify your answer ?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When analyzing the absurdist elements in Beckett's work, there are many elements within to take into account.  One of the most critical elements of absurdist theatre is the concession that a straight forward and clear essence is not present.  The coherence and unity which might have been presented in traditional dramas is rejected in absurdist theatre.  Certainly, this aspect can be found in Beckett's work, as he does not capitulate to traditionalist notions of structure or plot in composing his work.  There is a sense of disunity and fragmentation which is present throughout the play and its characters' purpose. The frustration and lack of unity which is present in the patterns of communication in and between characters', the futility of development in characters' motivation, and the denial of redemption are critical elements in both Beckett's work and the notion of absurdist theatre, in general.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Waiting for Godot certainly includes absurd elements in its lack of real plot, and its premise that the universe has no meaning and is, in itself, irrational. It also shows traits of the absurd in its inclusion of existentialist topics, such as alluding to the self-conscious and our inherent natural freedom to explore the carpe diem.

It breaks away from the traditional methods and literary devices for narrative, lacks specific stage directions, leaving it amorphous and "up for grabs", and finally, the end is never quite reached. A plot usually has a clear cause and effect of the rising action, but here the characters continue doing their exploratory of the "self" without really seeing Godot.

All absurdist plays are characterized for the chaotic organization, for its exploration of existential nature of man, of the self, of the conscious, and of life as a mystery.