Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett)

This play is a masterpiece; as it is useless on the surface, but it contains a hell of a lot meaning than what it apparently shows. The tragedy is internal, and the comic parts are contained in the dialogues. I personally find Lucky the funniest of all the characters, and later I will explain why. For me, this play is about being stuck and moving on, waiting or believing in something that doesn’t exist, and the “speculations” that time is not linear. It seems to me that the tragic element in this play is not in the environmental factors or circumstances, but in the internal issues of the two main characters, who are Vladimir and Estragon.

Essentially, Vladimir and Estragon are “stuck” with each other. They do enjoy each other’s company, but there were times when they considered taking different roads and moving on:

“There are times when I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for us to part.”

“Wait! I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off alone, each one for himself. We weren’t made for the same road.” (Estragon)

The sad, and sometimes irritating, part about this is that they were aware of their need to part and move on, and yet what hinders them is the arrival of Godot, which I believe they have been looking forward for almost a century now. It reminds me of the “second coming of Christ,” the event which is very popular with Christians, as they say He would judge every one of us and save only those who are worthy after an even which is kind of like an Armageddon. When I was in high school, being in a phase of identity crisis, I changed religions like clothes because I wanted the absolute truth. There was a time where I lived my life thinking that Christ could come tomorrow, and I should behave like a spotless saint. Looking back, it was really hard because I lived my everyday life in anxiety and perfectionism, but tah-dah! Five years later, I did not believe in an authoritative god anymore. And now my life is so much better.

Vladimir and Estragon wasted half a century waiting for something that did not really come, so they were stuck in a cycle or a pattern of being idle and dependent on that something more powerful than them, portrayed in the identity of Godot. I remembered something said by Vladimir: “There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” We always blame our external reality for something that is totally internal. However, the two believed, or were made to believe, that their next move depends on Godot, and not on themselves. Religions act just like that – telling people to offer everything to the Lord, making them develop a “bahala na” mentality, when in fact we are all in control of our destiny. Vladimir and Estragon are like cripples who need Godot, who is probably non-existent, to push their wheelchairs in order to move forward in life. Humans were not made to have feet in order to act like cripples. Our decisions and directions in life are entirely our own, because not everyone is made the same and for the same purpose.

Anyway, Lucky is such a funny character because he just danced and blurted out the things that he had thought. At first, I really thought that he was a cute pig because Pozzo treated and called him like one. I just knew that he was a slave because my classmate told me. I laughed so hard when Lucky started shouting this kind of nonsense:

“Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattman of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire…”

I found it funny because I really thought Lucky was a pig, and he just said some things like a human. His nonsensical chatter just added to the intensity of my laughter, as I thought he was a character made to be idiotic and mentally ill. However, I was inspired by what Lucky said because it seemed like he was channeling an alien entity, because his words did not really make sense, and because as I was reading the play, I was also up to “automatic writing” wherein we let go of our conscious mind, we write on our non-dominant hand, and let our pens just move through the paper without judgment. For some people this is a creative method, for some this is a way of channeling spirits, and for some this is a method for self-awareness. If ever you are familiar with the Psychic Twins, they also use automatic writing in their predictions. And for this reason, Lucky is a dear character to me. Also, reading his nonsense, it seems like the play has religious or spiritual allusions. But nonetheless, may what happened to Vladimir and Estragon be a lesson to us to just always move forward in our lives and sculpt the future with our own hands. 


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