Waiting for Godot

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Waiting for Godot (/ˈɡɒd/ GOD-oh)[1] is a play by Samuel Beckett.

The play has two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo). They have conversations and talk about many things while waiting for Godot, who never arrives.[2]

Waiting for Godot is Beckett's translation of his own original French-language play, En attendant Godot. The original French text was composed between 9 October 1948 and 29 January 1949.

In 1998/99, it was voted the "most significant English-language play of the 20th century".[3][4]

Sources and influences[change | change source]

  • Racine's Bérénice is a play "in which nothing happens for five acts".[5] In the preface to this play Racine writes: "All creativity consists in making something out of nothing". Beckett was a keen scholar of the 17th-century playwright, and lectured on him at Trinity College Dublin.
  • The title character of Balzac's 1851 play Mercadet waits for financial salvation from his never-seen business partner, Godeau. Although Beckett was familiar with Balzac's prose, he insisted that he learned of the play after finishing Waiting for Godot.
  • The protagonists in Beckett's novel Mercier and Camier may be the prototypes of Vladimir and Estragon. "If you want to find the origins of Godot", he told Colin Duckworth once, "look at Murphy".[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Piepenburg, Erik (30 April 2009). "Anthony Page of Waiting for Godot Teaches Us How to Pronounce Its Title". The New York Times.
  2. Itzkoff, Dave (12 November 2013). "The Only Certainty Is That He Won't Show Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  3. "Waiting for Godot voted best modern play in English" by David Lister, The Independent, 18 October 1998
  4. Clive Barker; Simon Trussler, eds. (2000). "NT 2000: the Need to Make Meaning". New Theatre Quarterly. Cambridge University Press. 16 (2): 192–193. doi:10.1017/S0266464X00013713. ISBN 9780521789028. S2CID 191153800.
  5. Mercier V. 1999. Beckett/Beckett. London: Souvenir Press, p. 74.
  6. Cooke V. (ed) Beckett on File (London: Methuen, 1985) p.14