Why Mankind Waits for Godot

Waiting for Godot at a glance would give one the impression of a nonsensical play with no structure. However, a closer analysis of the conversations held by the characters reveals issues at play that reveal profound message about the vicissitudes of life and humanity’s innate hope of salvation.

Godot represents a divine being like the Christians’ God , the Muslims’ Allah, and the Hindus’ Buddha. The main characters in the play, Vladimir and Estragon, are awaiting his promised arrival to save them from this life of hell, depicted by their hopeless, nonsensical conversations. These points are reference in the play by Vladimir in lines 470 and 471 when he proclaims Godot’s arrival which is their salvation, and line 474 when Estragon says that he is in hell.

What is more interesting is the similarity between the plays title ‘Waiting for Godot’ and the Christians’ biblical reference to their God that shall return but no man knows the day or hour (Matthew 24:36). Vladimir and Estragon are very much like the Christians, they are awaiting the arrival of this savior but they are not sure of the time of the arrival. There is also an uncanny similarity to the Hindu Buddha who is waiting under the tree for enlighten. There is also a tree reference in the play that is a central setting for the waiting and conversations between Vladimir and Estragon.

Waiting for Godot is a paradox; it makes no sense but simultaneously speaks profoundly about life and is many challenges that can drive mankind to the brink of insanity.  It also speaks to the hope of salvation that Godot represents. Finally, it worth noting that the play highlights the similarity between human beings of extremely different religious cultures.


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