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The themes in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot (Published)

Waiting for Godot, is a play that prompts many questions, and answers none of them. As the title suggests, it is a play about waiting: two men waiting for a third, who never appears. ‘And if he comes?’ one of Beckett’s tramps asks the other near the end of the play. ‘We’ll be saved’, the other replies, although the nature of that salvation, along with so much else, remains undefined: for both characters and audience, Waiting for Godot enforces a wait for its own. The two central characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot, who, as a stand-in for God, never arrives. The title focuses the audience on the futility of human existence.  The meaning of the name Godot is debated among scholars. Although Beckett wrote in French, it is possible that he wanted his audiences to consider the presence of the English word God in the name of the character who never shows up. (The similarity between the words Godot and God does not exist in the original French, in which God is Dieu.) It is possible, however, that Beckett named the character for a French bicyclist called Roger Godeau—or for a French slang word for boots.

Keywords: Absurdity, Existence, Observation, emphasizing, moonrise