What are the comic elements in Waiting for Godot?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that if we are examining "comic" in the way of bringing harmony and unity to a particular narrative, there will not be much to find.  Perhaps, the only real "comedic" or "comic" end to the drama is that Vladmir and Estragon have one another, and that is all they have.  Perhaps, the comedy here is that this might be all they need in order to deal with consciousness in the modern setting.  In terms of any other elements that would represent humor, I would say that the play acquires a level of comic significance when seen as a "buddy" narrative.  Vladmir and Estragon play off one another quite nicely and this becomes the comedy present.  Estragon's nature of doubting and being "second fiddle" is a stark contrast to Vladimir's grandiose nature of self and the optimistic one.  Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Yogi Bear and Boo- Boo, as well as Pinky and the Brain for the more modern cartoons are all representative of the same dynamic that is present in Beckett's work.  In this relational association, both characters represent comic ends because they play off one another's states, with both equally unable or able to lay claim to success.  In this, one sees humor in that both struggle, despite being opposites to one another.  It is here where comic or farce can actually feed into the harmonious vision of unity and totality in one another.

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Waiting for Godot

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