Act I, Section A-6: Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 445

New Character:
Boy: delivers messages for Godot and takes care of his goats; somewhat fearful and shy

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Estragon wants to leave. Vladimir reminds him that they must wait for Godot. A boy arrives with a message from Godot. Before he has a chance to continue, Estragon grabs him and shakes him. Vladimir intervenes.

Estragon admits that he is “unhappy,” but doesn’t remember why. He manages to limp to his mound, sit down, and remove his boots.

Finally, the boy blurts out the message. “He tells them that Godot will not come this evening but surely tomorrow.”

Vladimir questions the boy about his job, his brother, and his relationship with Godot. The boy tells him that he takes care of Godot’s goats while his brother “minds the sheep.” Godot is good to him, but beats his brother. The boy asks what he should tell Godot. “Tell him you saw us,” Vladimir replies.

The boy runs off. It is night. The moon rises. Estragon leaves his boots on the ground, for someone with “smaller feet.” He wants to go barefoot, like Christ.

Vladimir assures Estragon that “Tomorrow will be better;” Godot will be there. Estragon wants to bring rope to hang himself. He reminisces about a former suicide attempt.

They consider the possibility of parting, but they stay together. They agree to leave, but they do not move.

A-6 is the exchange with the boy, and the fall of night. It begins after a long “silence,” after which Vladimir notes, “That passed the time.” Three themes are again called into play: the theme of silence and pause; the theme of “What do we do now?”; and the theme of “We’re waiting for Godot.” These are the themes of the play as well as the refrains or leitmotifs. One critic concluded that the entire plot of this play can be summarized in four words: “We’re waiting for Godot.”

After a brief exchange, during which Vladimir reminds Estragon of the events that just occurred and seem to have occurred before, the boy arrives. This is Godot’s messenger, and he is presented as one of two brothers. Even he is half of a couple.

He delivers the same monotonous message, the one they have heard before. The moon rises as the boy exits. The rising moon is a perfect circle, bringing the day to a close. The day is ending; there is a theme of completion. Godot has not arrived; there is a theme of incompletion. Vladimir says: “At last,” as if relieved. Estragon attempts a poetic reference, and then compares himself to a suffering and “barefoot” Christ as he removes his boots.

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Act I, Section A-5: Summary and Analysis


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