In Waiting for Godot, two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, vainly wait for Godot, someone they hardly know and who will never come. On each of the two days when the play takes place, a messenger comes and tells them that Godot won’t be coming that day, but surely will on the next day.
He spits. Estragon moves to center, halts with his back to auditorium.
ESTRAGON:Charming spot. (He turns, advances to front, halts facing auditorium.) Inspiring prospects. (He turns to Vladimir.) Let’s go.
VLADIMIR:We’re waiting for Godot.
ESTRAGON:(despairingly). Ah! (Pause.) You’re sure it was here?
ESTRAGON:That we were to wait.
VLADIMIR:He said by the tree. (They look at the tree.) Do you see any others?
ESTRAGON:What is it?
VLADIMIR:I don’t know. A willow.
ESTRAGON:Where are the leaves?
VLADIMIR: It must be dead.
ESTRAGON:No more weeping.
VLADIMIR:Or perhaps it’s not the season.
ESTRAGON:Looks to me more like a bush.
VLADIMIR: A—. What are you insinuating? That we’ve come to the wrong place?
ESTRAGON:He should be here.
VLADIMIR:He didn’t say for sure he’d come.
ESTRAGON:And if he doesn’t come?
VLADIMIR:We’ll come back tomorrow.
ESTRAGON:And then the day after tomorrow.
ESTRAGON:And so on.
VLADIMIR:The point is—
ESTRAGON:Until he comes.
ESTRAGON:We came here yesterday.
VLADIMIR:Ah no, there you’re mistaken.
ESTRAGON:What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR:What did we do yesterday?
VLADIMIR:Why . . . (Angrily.) Nothing is certain when you’re about.
ESTRAGON:In my opinion we were here.
VLADIMIR:(looking round). You recognize the place?
ESTRAGON:I didn’t say that.
ESTRAGON:That makes no difference.
VLADIMIR:All the same . . . that tree . . . (turning towards auditorium) that bog . . .
ESTRAGON:You’re sure it was this evening?
ESTRAGON:That we were to wait.
VLADIMIR:He said Saturday. (Pause.) I think.
VLADIMIR:I must have made a note of it. (He fumbles in his pockets, bursting with miscellaneous rubbish.)
ESTRAGON:(very insidious). But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?
(looking wildly about him, as though the date was inscribed in the landscape). It’s not possible!
VLADIMIR:What’ll we do?
ESTRAGON:If he came yesterday and we weren’t here you may be sure he won’t come again today.
VLADIMIR:But you say we were here yesterday.
ESTRAGON:I may be mistaken. (Pause.) Let’s stop talking for a minute, do you mind?
VLADIMIR:(feebly). All right. (Estragon sits down on the mound. Vladimir paces agitatedly to and fro, halting from time to time to gaze into distance off. Estragon falls asleep. Vladimir halts finally before Estragon.) Gogo! . . . Gogo! . . . GOGO!
Estragon wakes with a start.
ESTRAGON:(restored to the horror of his situation). I was asleep! (Despairingly.) Why will you never let me sleep?
VLADIMIR:I felt lonely.
ESTRAGON:I had a dream.
VLADIMIR:Don’t tell me!
ESTRAGON:I dreamt that—
VLADIMIR:DON’T TELL ME!
ESTRAGON:(gesture toward the universe). This one is enough for you? (Silence.) It’s not nice of you, Didi. Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can’t tell them to you?
VLADIMIR:Let them remain private. You know I can’t bear that.
1.The dialogue focuses on three main points in succession. What are they ?
2.Show the meaninglessness of the dialogue by giving examples of repetitions, absurd discussion, ready-made expressions, normally found in a more serious dialogue, assertions which are immediately contradicted…
3.Why is there such meaningless dialogue ?
4.Why are the stage directions so numerous compared to the dialogue ?