why is Waiting For Godot called an absurd play?no..thanx

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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator
It is not absurd play -- it is an absurdist play, one which dramatizes the philosophical view that the world is absurd. often referred to as the existential point of view. Beckett conjectures about how such a view would affect one's human actions, given no direction, no purpose, except to wait for instruction from some force that had a plan incomprehensible to us. At one moment the world of Gogo and Didi seems full of "meaningful" activity -- eating, talking, etc., but the next there is only waiting: "Let's go, Didi! We can't! Why not? We're waiting for ...". Fill in with the ineffable.
priyaroy | Student

Beckett is considered to be an important figure among the French Absurdists. “Waiting for Godot” is one of the masterpieces of Absurdist literature. Elements of Absurdity for making this play are so engaging and lively. Beckett combats the traditional notions of Time. It attacks the two main ingredients of the traditional views of Time, i.e. Habit and Memory.

It is very clear from the very word “Absurd” that it means nonsensical, opposed to reason, something silly, foolish, senseless, ridiculous and topsy-turvy. So, a drama having a cock and bull story would be called an absurd play. Moreover, a play having loosely constructed plot, unrecognizable characters, metaphysical called an absurd play. Actually the ‘Absurd Theatre’ believes that humanity’s plight is purposeless in an existence, which is out of harmony with its surroundings.

The above mentioned discussion allows us to call “Waiting for Godot” as an absurd play for not only its plot is loose but its characters are also just mechanical puppets with their incoherent colloquy. And above than all, its theme is unexplained. “Waiting for Godot” is an absurd play for it is devoid of characterization and motivation. Though characters are present but are not recognizable for whatever they do and whatever they present is purposeless. So far as its dialogue technique is concerned, it is purely absurd as there is no witty repartee and pointed dialogue. After the study of this play we come to know that nothing special happens in the play nor we observe any significant change in setting.
The beginning, middle and end of the play do not rise up to the level of a good play, so absurd. Though its theme is logical and rational yet it lies in umbrage.

Moreover, “Waiting for Godot” can also be regarded as an absurd play because it is different from “poetic theatre”. Neither it makes a considerable use of dream and fantasy nor does it employ conscious poetic language. The situation almost remains unchanged and an enigmatic vein runs throughout the play. The mixture of comedy and near tragedy proves baffling. In act-I we are not sure as to what attitude we should adopt towards the different phases of its non-action. The ways, of which the two tramps pass their time, seems as if they were passing their lives in a transparent deception. Godot remains a mystery and curiosity still holds a sway. Here we know that their endless waiting seems to be absurd. Though the fact is that they are conscious of this absurdity, yet is seems to imply that the rest of the world is waiting for the things, which are more absurd and also uncertain.

“Waiting for Godot” is an absurd play for there is no female character. Characters are there but they are devoid of identity. These two Estragon and Vladimir are old acquaintances, but they are not sure of their identity. Though they breathe, their life is an endless rain of blows. They wait for the ultimate extinction, but in a frustrated way. This thing produces meaninglessness, thus makes the play absurd.

Moreover, what makes the play absurd is its ending. We note that the ending of the play is not a conclusion in the usual sense. The wait continues; the human contacts remain unsolved; the problem of existence remains meaningless, futile and purposeless. The conversation between the two tramps remain a jargon, really a humbug and bunkum speech. So all this makes the play an absurd play.