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The term “absurdism” is difficult to apply to fictive characters; it is a philosophical and stylistic approach to dramatizing a story, abjuring the “laws” of logic to explore the underlying unspoken “rules” of rational thinking. Waiting for Godot is such an exploration; Beckett took the assumption that our rational world is built on planning, expectation, and results, and constructed a mise-en-scene in which this assumption is violated; there is no fruition to Gogo and Didi’s “waiting.” In the course of their waiting, they “pass the time” with stories, songs, questions, insults, etc. as well as with eating, playing with their hats and shoes, etc., all “absurd” actions because they come to no fruition. In the existentialist frame of mind, the supposition arises that none of Man’s actions are part of a “plan,” that we are all waiting for a purpose that doesn’t exist, that all of our “actions” are absurd. It is a play “in which nothing happens, twice” and as such is the ultimate dramatization of our own existence, absurd when life’s “purpose” is exposed as an illusion. The superficial impression that Gogo and Didi are actually doing something is exactly the same illusion that we are waiting for some purpose, some plan.
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