What do Vladimir and Estragon represent?

In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon may represent the paralyzed state of Europeans after World War II, waiting in stasis to find a meaning that eludes them.

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In Waiting for Godot , Vladimir and Estragon may be seen as representing the two sides of the everyman in this play and, in general, the paralyzed state of Europeans after two world wars. They are two aging Europeans bums who are caught in stasis, waiting for a mysterious figure...

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In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon may be seen as representing the two sides of the everyman in this play and, in general, the paralyzed state of Europeans after two world wars. They are two aging Europeans bums who are caught in stasis, waiting for a mysterious figure called Godot to arrive. They seem to believe that meeting Godot will infuse their lives with the meaning it is lacking.

However, they live their lives in a limbo, because Godot does not arrive. They have to cope, day by day, with being in this state. They do so by talking to each other, by Estragon taking off boots, by referring to themselves in terms of a Biblical narrative tradition they have inherited (Estragon walking barefoot is likened, for example, to Christ), and by contemplating hanging themselves. They meet up with Pozzo and his slave, Lucky. Lucky tries to entertain them with a dance and a seemingly nonsensical discourse about the meaning of life.

Estragon may be interpreted as representing the simpler, more physical side of life. He is beaten by thugs each night. He is the pessimist of the pair and struggles with memory issues. His memory issues represent how quickly ordinary people forget the past.

Vladimir, in contrast, was once a philosopher. He takes on a more optimistic and intellectual view of life. He remembers the past and holds onto and keeps track of supplies, such as food. With his venereal disease, he represents the impotence of the modern European intellectual.

In general, both men seem to represent the hopelessness and lack of meaning that Beckett felt characterized modern life after two devastating world wars. Both men support each other in their stasis, feeling they can do nothing but wait.

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