What are some literary devives used by Beckett in Waiting for Godot?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most notable devices used by Beckett in this excellent play is black humour, which we can define as comedy that is produced from something that is actually incredibly said and painful. Beckett's play is incredibly funny until we remember the situation that Vladimir and Estragon actually face, and then the humour becomes muted, as it is placed against the backdrop of the overwhelming misery and loneliness of the condition of being human. Consider the final example of this in the play:

Vladimir: Pull on your trousers.

Estragon: What?

Vladimir: Pull on your trousers.

Estragon: You want me to pull off my trousers?

Vladimir: Pull ON your trousers.

Estragon: [Realizing his trousers are down ] True. [He pulls up his trousers.]

The use of black comedy in this way seems to highlight one of the central messages of Beckett's bleak world. Humour might be the only response to the stress and strain that Vladimir and Estragon face in this play. The juxtaposition of this black humour with very serious elements of the play is therefore something that Beckett uses as a vehicle to present his view of humanity.

 

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