In Waiting for Godot, Act II p 51-52, how does Vladimir's monologue bring out the subleties in characterization, plot, or theme?What is the significance of the monologue to the work?
This monologue, near the play’s end, acts as a climax to the author’s speculations on the meaning or purpose of our existence. Whatever Beckett means by Godot (and he said if he knew he would have said so), the “waiting” that pervades (in fact substitutes for) the action of this play has, in this monologue, finally exhausted the pair, and Vladimir, the “brains” or thinking part of the duo comes to the same conclusion as all existential thinkers: we are free, free to do whatever we will, that is, to invent: “Let us do something, while we have the chance!” This is the conclusion to the thinking that we exist, without plan, without “appointment.” If the two characters “do” anything to help Pozzo, it is not for “some tangible return” and it is not to avoid pain, but simply to “represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us (humanity).” “What we are doing here, that is the question.” The speech is poignant and philosophical, one could even say spiritual. The entire play, filled with apparently pointless activity, climaxes in this stance—that we help Pozzo because that act that add to the definition of Mankind. Didi’s poignant brief description of our material life “straying in the night without end of the abysmal depths” and his final ironic claim—We have kept our appointment. How many can boast as much?” To which Gogo responds “Billions”--sum up Man's state on earth.