What does Godot symbolize?

In the play Waiting for Godot, the eponymous Godot could symbolize God or the pointlessness of life.

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The premise of Waiting for Godot is that two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting for someone (Godot) whom they have not met before and who they likely know may never arrive. In act 1, Vladimir and Estragon are told that Godot will be arriving the next day, and in...

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The premise of Waiting for Godot is that two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting for someone (Godot) whom they have not met before and who they likely know may never arrive. In act 1, Vladimir and Estragon are told that Godot will be arriving the next day, and in act 2, they are given the same message. The purpose of Vladimir and Estragon's lives seems to be bound up with the arrival of Godot.

One interpretation is that Godot represents God. The reasoning is that people put their faith in God and find purpose in God, just as Vladimir and Estragon for so long put their faith in Godot and find purpose in their hoped-for meeting with Godot. In this interpretation, the fact that Godot never arrives could be Samuel Beckett's way of suggesting that God does not exist and that, therefore, life is pointless. If some kind of meeting with God represents an endpoint to our lives and gives purpose to our lives, then the play seems to suggest that there is in fact no destination and no purpose to our lives.

This seems like a compelling interpretation of the character of Godot, although it is perhaps undermined by Beckett's own insistence that this is not what he meant. Beckett is believed to have said that if he had wanted Godot to represent God, then he would simply have called the character "God."

The character of Godot, from a dramatic perspective, arguably represents nothing more than a necessary plot device. It is necessary that this character exists so that the two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, have something, or someone, to wait for. Without something or someone to wait for, there would be no reason for Vladimir and Estragon to wait around, having the discussions they have. Indeed the play is not really about what or who these two characters are waiting for, but about the act of waiting in itself, for something or anything at all.

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