Waiting for Godot Questions and Answers
by Samuel Beckett

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How does the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot compare with the relationship between Pozzo and Lucky?

In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon have an equal relationship which does not change significantly over the course of the play. However, Pozzo and Lucky appear as master and slave in act 1 and then as blind man and guide in act 2. Their relationship, therefore, is unequal and subject to change.

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As there are only four characters of any importance in Waiting for Godot, and as they appear before the audience in two pairs, it seems natural to compare the two relationships. To do so, however, is quickly to discover that they present contrasts at practically every point. In the first place, Vladimir and Estragon enjoy an equal relationship and are fairly similar in character, while Pozzo and Lucky appear in act 1 as master and slave and in act 2 as blind man and guide. In both cases, they contrast sharply in appearance and manner. These differences are reflected in the dialogue. Vladimir and Estragon converse in swift stichomythia and repartee. Pozzo barks orders at Lucky, who responds with actions rather than words, except when performing his celebrated monologue.

Vladimir and Estragon, as the title of the play suggests, are static, perpetually waiting together. Pozzo and Lucky are dynamic. This is true both in the sense that Pozzo and Lucky pass across the stage on journeys while...

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1. The idea of 2 is absolutely crucial in Godot. There are two hats, two pairs of shoes, two acts and may be two Vladimirs, two Estragons and Two Luckys and Pozzos. At this level of the two, the two couples are one. They foil each other.

2. Didi-Gogo express a kind of eagalitarianism whereas the Lucky-Pozzo couple is a study in the master-slave relation.

3. But in a different way, the love-hate relation is operative in both. Didi and Gogo cannot help encountering each other in what looks like a scarcely populated earth. They want to drift apart but a strange love and care bind them. On the other hand, Pozzo is mortified by Lucky's passivity sometimes. There is a dependency at work here too. When Lucky speaks his thought aloud, his master just cannot take it.

4. Didi-Gogo act out a certain kind of stasis in the play in relation to which, the other couple undergoes radical changes in the second act. Lucky's dumbness and Pozzo's blindness in the second act is a pointer of change that takes place almost imperceptibly. As Pozzo despairingly says, he just went blind one day and Lucky dumb on another.

5. The Didi-Gogo pair waits, while Pozzo's famous maxim is one of movement, as his 'on' suggests in the first act. But it is this transition that disempowers his world in the second, as we see in his lecture on twilight.