Show how Vladimir and Estragon react to Pozzo in Waiting for Godot.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The reactions to Pozzo can be seen in a "before" and "after" manner.  In the first Act, Pozzo is the master in his own sense of the Master/ Slave Dialectic with Lucky.  He is the one asserting control, the agent of action, the one who claims to be free.  He is the one who chains Lucky, and who seeks to impress Vladimir and Estragon with his own sense of control, wealth, fashion, intellect and demeanor.  Their reaction to him in the first act is one of concern for Lucky and a sort of dismissive attitude towards him.  They mistake him for Godot, and once they realize that he is not it, they do not become overwhelmingly driven or preoccupied with him.  Vladimir seeks to engage him intellectually, and Pozzo is more concerned with showing off his pipes and shoes, and even showcasing his control over Lucky.  In the second act, when Pozzo is blind and represents only a shell of what he used to, Vladimir and Estragon again initially mistake him for Godot, but really little else is evident.  There seems to be some level of understanding which hits Estragon, especially when Pozzo talks about how everything will come to an eventual end:  "One day I went blind, one day he went dumb, one day we were born, one day we shall die."  Vladimir is more concerned with showcasing his intellect, now that the once prestigious master has become blind, and no longer seems to be pulling Lucky, but rather is being led by Lucky.  The reactions to Pozzo, though, are still only tempered by the pair's waiting for Godot, waiting for what could be absolution in the first act, but ends up become a period of infinite regression by the second.

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Waiting for Godot

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