Waiting for Godot Questions and Answers
by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot book cover
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In the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, what is the exact role of themes of "memory" and "time"? 

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Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for someone who presumably will never show up. They receive a message that he is not coming but will show up the next day. But given the repetition of waiting and uncertainty, it is unlikely that Godot will ever show up. Tied in with the themes of memory and time is the theme of uncertainty. Everything is uncertain in the play and this is what makes it appear absurd. 

Consider the play as an allegory of a chaotic modern world, one in which religion, politics, and progress provide no structured or logical sense of humanity's place in the world. Or consider it on a more individual level. We have two characters who are existentially lost. Thinking in broad historical terms or on the personal level, they have knowledge (memory) of religious beliefs, of philosophical truths, of systems of thinking....

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