Act I, Section A-1: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. When and where does this play take place?

2. Describe Estragon.

3. Describe Vladimir.

4. How are the men alike? How are they different?

5. Where did Estragon spend the night? What happened to him there?

6. What method of suicide does Vladimir suggest? Why wouldn’t it work?

7. Why does Vladimir stop himself from laughing?

8. Vladimir and Estragon remember two different parts of the Gospels. Describe each one.

9. What is the matter with Estragon’s foot?

10. “Nothing to be done” is repeated two times in this section. In each case, who says it and why?

Answers
1. The play takes place in the evening, on a country road by a tree.

2. Estragon was once a poet, and is dressed in rags and boots. He has sore feet and he limps. He is lighter than Vladimir.

3. Vladimir walks stiffly, with his legs apart. He has trouble with his bladder, and is in pain. He is wearing a hat.

4. The men are about the same age and from similar backgrounds. They seem to be in the same financial straits. Estragon seems more vulnerable and less practical than Vladimir.

5. Estragon spent the night in a ditch, where he was beaten by strangers.

6. Vladimir contemplates jumping down from the Eiffel Tower, hand-in-hand with Estragon. While it might have worked years ago, now they would not be allowed to go up to the top of the tower.

7. Vladimir has pain when he laughs, because of his bladder.

8. Vladimir remembers the story of the two thieves who were crucified at the same time as Jesus. One was supposed to have been saved, and the other one damned. Estragon remembers the maps of the Holy Land.

9. His foot is swollen and sore. His boot doesn’t fit.

10. Estragon says it about his boot. Vladimir says it about his hat.