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Waiting for Godot

by Samuel Beckett

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What is the significance of Estragon always struggling with his boot in Waiting for Godot?

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Waiting for Godot is an excellent example of Beckett’s use of opposing characters to signify the duality of Man – the mental, intellectual, thinking part (represented by the head and hat) and the physical, three-dimensional, body part (represented by the feet and boots).  Vladimir, the thinker, fiddles with his hat throughout, and Estragon is constantly concerned with his boots.  On those occasions when they cross or combine the two, the author is signifying those times in life when the two parts of Man combine.  An important side note:  A director should never alter the written stage directions or business, as they are very carefully composed.  A good student could take the pair Pozzo and Lucky and find a similar duality at work—the free will vs. the pre-ordained, the master vs. the slave, etc.

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