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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of Existentialist and Absurdist literature
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...
Published on July 28 2003 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
I would like to see this play live.... after reading it, I am intrigued to see actors bring it to life. It is a story written on many levels and I think the best way to understand the irony is to see it presented on stage.
I enjoyed the written piece though. It is full of wry humor and irony.
The two main characters are waiting for Godot... an unknown...
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by T. Thompson


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of Existentialist and Absurdist literature, July 28 2003
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (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. The very ambiguous nature of these two strands of thought and literature makes Waiting for Godot extremely difficult to understand and extract. However the questions, confusion, anger and melancholy that arise from the lack of explanation, meaning and answers is one of the very themes of the play. The large amount of speculation people have made upon Godot (the most popular one being that Godot symbolizes God) is entirely misdirected and a waste of energy. Beckett himself ignored such claims and interpretations, stating that the emphasis should be upon the 'Waiting for...' section of the title. Religious interpretations see Estragon and Vladimir as humanity waiting for the return of the messiah (Godot). Pozzo represents the Pope and Lucky is the faithful. Marxist interpretations see the relationship between Pozzo and Lucky as that between a bourgeosie and a proleteriat - Pozzo being blind to the injustice he causes and Lucky unable to protest against his treatment. Another interpretation claims that Lucky is granted his name because, in the context of the play, he is unduly lucky. This is because the other characters of the play are constantly searching for ways to pass the time, while Lucky's actions are fully determined by Pozzo. Other interpretations posit Estragon as the body without the intellect and Vladimir as the intellect without the body.
Overall, Waiting for Godot is a superb and though-provoking play. It should not be shunned for its ambiguity - for that is the very beauty and theme of it. Despite all this, it certainly calls for multiple readings. It is a remarkable insight into the nature of the individual and society in a meaningless, unexplainable world. Waiting for Godot does not propose any solutions or consolations - rather it paints a picture of the current predicament and man's reaction. Nearly every human being is waiting for their Godot and is employing some means of wasting the time until its arrival. I highly recommend this classic - it cannot and will not be ignored.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never decided to leave while reading this play, April 13 2004
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of Existentialist Literature, Oct. 5 2003
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This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (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
5.0 out of 5 stars What is there to get from Waiting for Godot, June 9 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (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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4.0 out of 5 stars "Nothing happens, twice", Jan. 10 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (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. "Waiting for Godot" is neither too long nor too difficult, but it shows a lack of action and purpose in the characters that is likely to annoy many before they reach the final pages, leading them to abandon the book in a hurry. That is specially true if the reader is a student who thinks he is being barbarously tortured by a hateful teacher who told him to write a paper on "Waiting for Godot" :)

My advice, for what it is worth, is that you should persist in reading it. If it puts you to sleep, try reading it aloud with some friends, and discuss with them the implications of what happens with the characters. This play might not be thoroughly engaging, but it changed theatre and the possibilities opened before it forever. In a way, it provoked a blood-less revolution, and because of that it deserves at least a bit of our attention.

Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars Let's go. We can't. Why? We're waiting for Godot., March 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (Paperback)
"Waiting for Godot" is a very interesting play indeed. Throughout the play, there are only five characters: Vladimir, Estragon(the two main characters), Pozzo, Lucky and a boy. Estragon always had trouble with his boots. They always hurt him. Vladimir and Estragon are interesting characters because they seem to fight a lot, but get along at the same time, like in this small passage:
"Vladimir: You again! Come here till I embrace you.
Estragon: Don't touch me!
Vladimir: Do you want me to go away? Gogo! Did they beat you? Gogo! Where did you spend the night?
Estragon: Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!
Vladimir: Did I ever leave you?
Estragon: You let me go."
Also within that passage, they tend to contradict what each other say, and sometimes what they said themselves. I also noticed that Estragon seemed to be forgetful in a short matter of time. For example, Vladimir and Estragon have come back to the same spot to wait for Godot as the previous day, where they met Pozzo and Lucky:
"Vladimir: Is it possible you've forgotten already?
Estragon: That's the way I am. Either I forget immediately or I never forget.
Vladimir: And Pozzo and Lucky, have you forgotten them too?
Estragon: Pozzo and Lucky?
Vladimir: He's forgotten everything!"
Estragon had completely forgotten about what happened the day before, but I found it rather amusing. And he always forgot that they were waiting there for Godot to come.
I also enjoyed the other conversations between Vladimir and Estragon. They questioned each other on the same subject for a page at a time. They also continued to question a subject over and over again, just at different parts of the day(this play takes place over a coarse of two days). You are never told why they are waiting for Godot, just that they are waiting.
The only thing I really didn't like about this play is that it continued to repeat itself over and over again, and also it was difficult to understand because they didn't have very smooth transitions from subject to subject. They skipped from carrots to boots to sleeping and anything in between, and they talked about two different things at the same time, which confused you as well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting..., Nov. 17 2003
By 
T. Thompson "mrtee073" (Lewiston, ME) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (Paperback)
I would like to see this play live.... after reading it, I am intrigued to see actors bring it to life. It is a story written on many levels and I think the best way to understand the irony is to see it presented on stage.
I enjoyed the written piece though. It is full of wry humor and irony.
The two main characters are waiting for Godot... an unknown "authority" coming sometime... all throughout the play. They continue to wait and contemplate the meaning of life through banal conversation.
One has to wonder who Godot really is.... and why he is so important to wait for.
Perhaps Godot is the culmination of all life for these two men? A "God"-like figure, looming over us all as we wait on and on until life's ultimate endpoint.
This is strong existential writing. Beckett purports the theory that today is all there is, and the most significant thing is to live in it and exist.
I will probably need to read this one again, it is the type of writing that begs to be examined more than once. If you like comedy in an absurd light... this play is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Jan. 23 2003
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (Paperback)
I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot about theatre or drama. I've spent the past three years reading history, philosophy and other non-fiction. I finally understood though, that I am denying myself philosophy, political critique and history as astute as Sartre, Chomsky or Zinn by Not reading Fiction. I went from devouring every Brecht play/poem/essay I could take out of the library, to a seemingly odd choice; Waiting for Godot. I say again, I don't know a whole lot about theatre (though it is on my list) - however, I was able to understand Waiting for Godot.
People have complained that it is difficult to read. Perhaps my opinion is shaded because I read it right after Finnegan's Wake,
but I found it pleasingly direct, if sparse in "meaningful" dialogue. It ultimatly boils down to two men, apparently homeless, who are waiting for "Godot". Godot (I believe it's pronounced Ga-Doe) is never really explained. It's a "he" according to our two "protagonists". Is it the answer to existential torment? Destiny? Death? I don't know. I suppose the point is not to answer, but to ask, like Ibsen - My call is to ask, not to answer.
Anyway, don't let the reputation of Waiting... Fool you. Some books (Finnegan's Wake *cough*cough*) DO deserve their reputation; some don't. Waiting for Godot will give as much back to you as you put into it. I've already read it twice and enjoyed it more the second time. I bet the Third time will be better. I recommend this play highly.
Also, the translation is as spot-on as you can get; it was done by the author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars i'm still waiting ....., Oct. 14 2001
By 
A. Matsen (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (Paperback)
this past week i've had the good fortune to work backstage at a production of "Waiting for Godot." During that time I heard and saw this play many many times, and I've had a lot of time to think about the characters. Truth be told, this is one of the most intricate, deep works of literature i've ever come into contact with. It has so much relevance, and so many valid interpetations.
The production that I was a part of was very good, and extremely well acted. This is definitely a play that needs to be seen, not read. There IS a lot of humor in the acting that is lost just reading stage directions.
I would now like to talk about the characters and symbols of this play. If you're not interested, you can stop here.
Some see it as a play about the inability of man to give meaning to his own life. Others see it as a poignant treatise on god's non-involvement with human affairs. As for myself? I found each of these views valid, but what intrigues me the most is the idea that Gogo and Didi are stuck in purgatory and are waiting for the end of the world. This is not far fetched, as Samuel Beckett was an Irish writer, and would have been very familiar with Catholic dogma. Also, the character of the "boy" uses symbols from the book of Revelations. He says that he takes care of the "goats" and that his brother takes care of the "sheep." These are symbols for the unsaved and saved souls, respectively. In this interpetation, Gogo and Didi are both unsaved.
There are symbols in the nicknames of the characters as well. There's alot to be said for the names "Gogo" (a command and concerned with the future) and "Didi" ('i did' backwards, a name of authority and commmandING, and concerned with the past). The relationship of Pozzo and Lucky parallels that of Gogo and Didi as well, but in exaggerated form. Pay close attention to this. It says a lot about their characters.
There are very specific reasons that the two main characters are eternally stuck. Didi's problem is that he's conceited and he's never satisfied. This can be seen in his very first statement, and in the treatment of his hat. In other words, there is nothing to be done b'c anything he can do is 'beneath' him. Gogo's vice is that he's too stuck on self-interest. He's always concerned with the pain in his legs, food, and ways to take advantage of a situation. For him, there's nothing to be done b'c he has no care for anything that does not immediately effect him.
Finally, I would like to mention that there ARE scenes where Gogo and Didi have memories that go very far back in their lives. They're usually muddled or ignored by the other character, though, so the memories become useless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars keep trying, it's worth it, Oct. 13 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (Paperback)
The first time I picked it up I read 20 pages and put it down, unable to understand a thing. The second time I read half the book and gave up. Because I heard so much about it, I tried again and the third time I loved it. It's an incredible mix of sad hopelessness and almost slapstick style humor, at times I laughed aloud. A frighteningly stark look at the human condition. From the first, almost every line of the play can be interpreted on at least 3 levels.
One, on the shallow level of the daily lives of the two main characters, about the banal objects of their existence, their shoes, games, desires, and stories, etc.
Two, on a deeper level, about the deeper meaning of their existence, the search for a frame of reference (Godot), the hopelessness, the hope that is always dangled in front of them, forcing them to stay in the cosmic game, yet never attaining the things hoped for.
And on a third level, as 2 actors on a stage, wasting time, trying to think up lines to fill the time until the end of the play (note the part where one of the actors directs the other off stage to the restroom, to relieve himself), thus forcing the audience (or reader) into the exact position portrayed by the two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, to wait for meaning, for some sort of overall sense that will give rationale to their puzzling existence (or this puzzling play).
Tragic, comic, sad, terrifying, poignant, and at times, oddly enough, hilarious. The best play I've read yet.
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Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
Waiting for Godot - English: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts by Samuel Beckett (Paperback - Jan. 18 1994)
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