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Waiting for Godot

by Samuel Beckett

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How do Pozzo's props in Waiting for Godot define his character?

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Pozzo’s props—mostly carried by Lucky—are remnants of a better life that Pozzo has lost along his infamous way. His most important “prop” is Lucky—the last of Pozzo’s empire of subjects, or audience, if we give his character a vaudeville past. Attached by a noose-rope, Lucky is the prop that get Pozzo through his self-aggrandized day (“Does that name meet nothing to?”). Next of importance is the whip, a universal symbol of dominance, especially of animals (“Pig! Hog!”). Then the heavy bag Lucky carries, full of the “possessions” Pozzo has left from his glory days (handkerchief, pipe, etc.), and a symbol of all our “baggage). The stool is Pozzo’s remnant of a throne (note that Lucky never sits in Pozzo’s presence). The picnic basket establishes Pozzo-s dominance over Luck’s livelihood/nourishment (chicken and wine), and the greatcoat is his royal robe. His glasses are, besides the universal symbol of looking at things carefully (here used to see some slight resemblance between himself and the two other “made in God’s image” Gogo and Didi), are one sign of his growing dimness and age. The pipe is a luxury of a “man of leisure” as contrasted with Luck’s “burdens”. Finally, the vaporizer for his throat before he “pontificates”, can be seen in contrast to Lucky’s long speech (“thinking”). In the second act, many of these details take on different meanings.

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