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Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts Paperback – Jan 18 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1 edition (Jan. 18 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130341
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"One of the true masterpieces of the century." --Clive Barnes, "The New York Times""One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope deceived and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain."--"The Times" (London)"Beckett is an incomparable spellbinder. He writes with rhetoric and music that . . . make a poet green with envy." --Stephen Spender"Reading Beckett for the first time is an experience like no other in modern literature."--Paul Auster"[Godot is ] among the most studied, monographed, celebrated and sent-up works of modern art, and perhaps as influential as any from the last century. The nonstory of two tramps at loose ends in a landscape barren of all but a single tree, amusing or distracting themselves from oppressive boredom while they wait for a mysterious figure who never arrives, the play became the ur-text for theatrical innovation and existential thought in the latter half of 20th century." --Christopher Isherwood, "The New York Times" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Ireland. Best known for the classic <I>Waiting for Godot</I>, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. He spent most of his life in Paris and died there in 1989.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28 2003
Format: Paperback
Waiting for Godot centers around two bums: Estragon and Vladimir. Estragon has an incredibly short memory and relies on Vladimir to remember for him. As a result, Estragon is extremely impatient and constantly suggests that the two would be better off if they parted. However, Estragon needs Vladimir and Vladimir needs Estragon, so they never do part. Vladimir, due to Estragon's lack of memory, is unsure of his own memory. Vladimir enjoys the company of Estragon, for it allows him to recall past events. Together, they spend their time devising ways to pass the time until 'Godot' arrives. Neither Estragon and Vladimir or the reader surely know what Godot is or looks like or whether he will ever arrive. On two occasions, they meet Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo is Lucky's master and decides to stop and talk to Estragon and Vladimir for a bit of company. Pozzo hardly listens to what the other characters in the play say and frequently launches into melodramatic prose. Lucky is Pozzo's slave, tied to Pozzo via a rope around his neck. Lucky only speaks twice during the entire play. His monologue, which is delivered upon Pozzo's order of 'Think', is completely incoherent - a mix of half-finished words and sentences. Lucky is very obedient to Pozzo and rather violent and hostile to strangers, especially Estragon, who he bites. In the second act, Pozzo and Lucky return again, this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is mute. They have no memory of ever having met Estragon and Vladimir. The play ends in the same way Act One ends - Estragon and Vladimir are still dependent on eachother and remain waiting for Godot.
Waiting for Godot is a classic text of existentialism and Absurdist literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "mikethecommie" on April 13 2004
Format: Paperback
Apparently, people have made much of the "fact" that Godot is god. While hardly being a fact (and in fact, being outwardly denied by Beckett himself), people who search too desperately for the specific personage Godot represents miss the point. One can say that Godot is god, especially if one is a New Critic and therefore ignores whatever the author may have said about his work. And while at one point Vladimir exclaims (and I'm just paraphrasing): "Godot is here! We are saved," this does not explicitly explain who Godot is. He could just as easily be bringing money to Vladimir and Estragon as he could be bearing salvation for them. The point is, that Beckett was an essentially existential writer, and saw that all of life was just waiting for the terminal breath. Furthermore, in the act of waiting for an ending, Vladimir and Estragon constantly make the existential choice: whether or not to keep on waiting. Several times they contemplate committing suicide; several times Estragon threatens to leave. In the end, they confirm their existence (yes, only one existence--they seem to be as one person in the dialogue: this is no mistake) by deciding, if offhandishly, to remain living; living, and waiting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "fictionandprose" on Oct. 5 2003
Format: Paperback
An existentialist tragicomedy in two acts. I loved this play-- definitely the epitome of a tragicomedy. I laughed out loud at many of the lines from Vladimir and Estragon, the main characters, as well as Pozzo, a man that happens by as they wait for Godot. The deeper themes of the play got me thinking too.
Who is Godot and why are these two men waiting for him? Good question. It's not important though-- not as important as their waiting to be saved by Godot at least. The way the characters passed away the time of their waiting made the pages fly by for me-- it seemed I had scarcely started when I was at the end!
Highly recommended. Waiting for Godot is a great, quick read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9 2004
Format: Paperback
I thought the play beautifully expressed in laconic dialogue how some individuals deny reality, the human condition, and mortality by distracting themselves with meaningless activies. I don't know if Beckett saw life as meaningless. The mystery of life makes all of us story tellers. It's our responsiblity to find a story, activity, purpose, gift, belief that gives our lives fullness as opposed to emptyness.
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By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 10 2007
Format: Paperback
"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!". That phrase, said by one of the main characters of "Waiting for Godot", somehow sums up the whole plot of this short tragicomedy in two acts. Strange??. You can bet on that!!!. So much that a well-known Irish critic said of it "nothing happens, twice".

The play starts with two men, Vladimir and Estragon, sitting on a lonely road. They are both waiting for Godot. They don't know why they are waiting for him, but they think that his arrival will change things for the better. The problem is that he doesn't come, although a kid does so and says Godot will eventually arrive. Pozzo and his servant Lucky, two other characters that pass by while our protagonists are waiting for Godot, add another bizarre touch to an already surreal story, in which nothing seems to happen and discussions between the characters don't make much sense.

However, maybe that is exactly the point that Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wanted to make. He was one of the most accomplished exponents of the "Theatre of the Absurd", that wanted to highlight the lack of purpose and meaning in an universe without God. Does Godot, the person that Vladimir and Estragon endlessly wait, symbolize God?. According to an irascible Beckett, when hard-pressed to answer that question, "If I knew who Godot was, I would have said so in the play." So, we don't know. The result is a highly unusual play that poses many questions, but doesn't answer them.

Ripe with symbolism, "Waiting for Godot" is a play more or less open to different interpretations. Why more or less open?. Well, because in order to have an interpretation of your own, you have to finish the play, and that is something that not all readers can do.
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