Estragon tries to take off his boot but fails. Vladimir agrees with him that it sometimes appears that there is nothing one could do. They are glad to be reunited after a night apart. With Vladimir’s help, Estragon succeeds in removing his boot, which was causing him pain. Vladimir, also in pain, cannot laugh in comfort; he tries smiling instead, but it is not satisfactory.
Vladimir muses on the one Gospel account that says Christ saved one of the thieves. Estragon wants to leave, but they cannot leave because they are waiting for Godot. They become confused about the arrangements and wonder if they are waiting at the right time, in the right place, and on the right day. They quarrel briefly but then, as always, they reconcile.
Estragon and Vladimir consider hanging themselves from the nearby tree but decide that it would be safer to do nothing until they hear what Godot says. They do not know what they have asked Godot for. They conclude that they have forgone their rights. Vladimir gives Estragon a carrot, which he eats hungrily. They decide that although they are not bound to Godot, they are in fact unable to act.
Pozzo enters, driving Lucky, who is laden with luggage, by a rope around his neck. Estragon and Vladimir mistake Pozzo for Godot but accept him as Pozzo. Although he attempts to intimidate them, he is glad of their company. After ordering Lucky to bring him his stool and his coat, Pozzo gives Lucky the whip. Lucky obeys automatically. Vladimir and Estragon protest violently against Pozzo’s treatment of Lucky, but Pozzo deflects their outburst and the subject is dropped.
After smoking a pipe, Pozzo rises. He then decides he does not want to leave, but his pride almost prevents him from reseating himself. The tramps want to know why Lucky never puts down the luggage. Pozzo says that Lucky is trying to make Pozzo keep him. When Pozzo adds that he would sell Lucky rather than throw him out, Lucky weeps. Estragon tries to dry the servant’s tears, but Lucky kicks him away; Estragon then weeps. Pozzo philosophizes on this and says that Lucky has taught him all the beautiful things he knows but that the fellow has now become unbearable and is driving him mad. Estragon and Vladimir then abuse Lucky for mistreating his master.
Pozzo breaks into a monologue on the twilight, alternating between the lyrical and the commonplace and ending with the bitter thought that everything happens in the world when one is least prepared. He decides to reward Estragon and Vladimir for praising him by making Lucky entertain them. Lucky executes a feeble dance that Estragon mocks but fails to imitate.
Estragon states that there have been no arrivals, no departures, and no action, and that everything is terrible. Pozzo next decides that Lucky should think for them. For this Vladimir replaces...
(The entire section is 1168 words.)