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Sixty Years On... We're Still Waiting
Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
Member Name: 1st2thebar
Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
Date: 16/01/13, updated on 16/01/13 (42 review reads)
Advantages: Thought provoking - A very simplistic notion, usually disregarded.
Disadvantages: Highlights the human condition - hardly uplifting.
I - Didi & Gogo
II - Pozzo & Lucky
III - Boy
- - -
Sixty years ago this month it was the 'Waiting for Godot's' premiere.
We are all waiting for the inevitable, albeit I guess you've got to do something pro-active while you wait - anyhow, it is human nature to do something with your time; yep this is one of the laws of humanity, not that I've read a drafted copy called: 'While Your Waiting For Godot', if I did it would have been a waste of time deciphering over it's contents. My elders made it clear to me, I cannot stare aimlessly into the yonder next to a barren tree for my entire existence - nevertheless gaping at a computer monitor is fine, so long pro-creation is the order of the day, regardless of how frivolous it maybe. Right now, you are like me, staring at a monitor. Coincidence - no not really, we all know the machine have taken over our souls! Godot has little to do with daily errands. Claiming you are 'Waiting for Godot' is hardly an excuse if you've been caught daydreaming. Modern life, doesn't allow you that luxury. Samuel Beckett's play strips the concept to its simplest form: 'Man, a naked tree, a road, a mould of earth and a sky' - time takes care of the rest - this is Beckett's caustic cartoon of the story of mankind - Beckett displays the bare minimal, the melancholy truth of our destiny, uncertain if it is mapped out prior to our births and if it is, does it matter? Hard to depict the gravitas of the subject and do it justice so Beckett's version is simplistically admirable if somewhat banal. Sections of society found the play morally damaging to the point the name 'Lucretius' creeps into converse - a believer that religion was a moral evil and its traditions are not for the sake of mankind's survival but duly to pass the time. A concept not dissimilar to Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot'. Beckett never really tried to divulge the meaning behind his play - partly because everyone will interpret it differently and so this play is a trigger point for further discussion - Beckett's ploy to save humanity from itself.
The scenario delves around the concept of a Godot, God, Gods, or of a supreme creator, a higher council, ready to ascend or descend into the mix. (Godot is mute throughout this play) - Scene set; Vladimir = 'Didi' and Estragon = 'Gogo' are on stage waiting, two scraggly attired men. Gogo is sitting on a mound, maneuvering his boot. Didi walks up to him and states. "Did you ever read the Bible?"- "Do you remember the Gospels?" Gogo replied "No" - 'Didi' added: "It'll pass the time" - both convene in doing menial tasks - such as; tampering with boot, loitering about a leafless tree, engaging in a converse, purely designed for lethargic one-liners and long pauses. 'Waiting for Godot' was originally written in French 'En attendant Godot'. The French text scripted in 1948 - although not published until 1949 - and didn't premiere till 1953, in the 'Théâtre de Babylone'; the same year as Milosz's 'The Captive Mind', the anti-totalitarian classic - which deplores state ownership who're led to believe that God will provide them the precision navigation, 'the right path', be their confidante, be their eyes, ears and voice.
'Godot' inspires and embodies social hierarchies with religious connotation - there were reports of Gogo's ideology simulating a 'Godless Communism', yet I fear the tramp intellect may waver at the concept of such a profound label. The righteous 'new' Godot maybe a Soviet man, who is to say he is not? You may not have heard of that fable. 'Godot' at the time stirred up huge speculative scenarios, criticisms, and you can see why Beckett's 'Godot' was thrown into the theatre of absurdity, and did well. Audiences love a rebel! Where there is religion, politics is never too far away - however, I rear to the side of Beckett's philosophical content, considering - mind-body-and soul - and welfare, but as the mental health of the characterisations seem highly questionable - you're quickly reminded that Bevan's NHS was in its infancy while 'Godot' was being written and mental health was deemed (non-existent) compared to physical health. The way the stage is set and the condition of the men portrayed it is evident Beckett's 'Godot'; highlights vile acts against humanity that subsequently aids for a sub-human culture: which these men are portrayed as -'is this best that human-kind can offer?' Sorry, I haven't any answers there, albeit, I bow my head to Beckett's social wisdom. A wisdom that translated the French script to English - as soon as the play was written in English, the wider audience took an interest.
Loitering by the withered tree for deliverance is a very slow process - so slow it doesn't happen, well nothing of note happens - (sorry for the spoiler there) - excluding the garrulous content - unfeeling as they contemplate suicide, duly because neither of them know what day it is? "Lets hang ourselves immediately!" - Done in a manner as if considering whether a Darjeeling or an Earl Grey would suffice to quench the thirst - 'Godot' is a pantomime, without the joviality. The curtain closes, as they wait to see what 'Godot' says. Scene set for 'Pozo' and 'Lucky': Enter 'Pozo' - he's mistaken as 'Mr. Godot' - enter 'Lucky', he walks-in backwards. "Shall we have him dance, or sing, or recite, or think, or..." Pause, for thought, dancing would be more fun; (Lucky dances and then....... stops) - Didi, communicates to Pozo, to get Lucky 'to think' - "Give him his hat".
The 'Thinking Cap' - originated from Robert Armin in the 'Foole upon foole' 1605: "The Cobler puts off his considering cap, why sir, sayes he, I sent them home but now."
Lucky thinks with his hat: "Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua......" He goes on - "with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament..........." He goes on - "blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labours left unfinished crowned by..........." He concludes - "the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labors of men that as a result of the labors unfinished of Testew and Cunnard. . . tennis . . . the stones . . . so calm . . . Cunard . . . unfinished . . ."
(Please note: this is just an extract of Lucky's prose) - Pozo, seizes the hat. A chorus of panting echoes in unison - a relief from the noise, brain-ache - the response is an over elongated pause..... This ends scene II.
Curtain opens.... Didi and Gogo, dreamt that Pozo was blind. Silence falls on what had occurred - "Are you sure it wasn't him?" - "Who?" - "Godot!!" - Boy appears. 'Weren't you here yesterday' - Beckett's symbolism of humankind's fickleness. The boy claims that 'Godot' will be coming tomorrow, without fail. Exasperated; both Didi and Gogo knows that: 'Tomorrow never comes'. (Boy runs off) - A reaction that stimulates the more active response: "Let's hang ourselves". Pathetically, Gogo pulls out his belt which held up his trousers - Didi exclaimed the belt was too short. Gogo's trousers have crumbled to his ankles. "Pull on your trousers." On realizing he had lost his dignity by losing his trousers, he promptly pulled them up. "Well, shall we go?" - "Yes" - No-one moves - curtain drops.
Beckett identifies the human condition in three scenes of a play. Total abandonment of freedom, doesn't exist - we've capsulated ourselves into a design for life that can only be described as a machine - routine is in our DNA - firmly rooted in our survival guide. There is no escape, apart from the ultimate sacrifice or by death, both brings great uncertainties, yet we as humans are unforgiving when it comes to the human condition; for some the only respite is religion - an inner understanding to a higher intellect or entity - whether it is real, is another subject matter. What Beckett does enable us to be conscious about is it may not be as complex as philosophers have led us to believe. Humankind has a 'free will'; we forget that, we also forget that seeing the sun rise could be noted as a miracle happening considering our position a highly volatile universe. What free-will enables us to do is aids us in making decisions for the good of humankind, yet we don't - because authoritarians are delusional, and no miracle can fix that - Highly recommended.
Summary: Beckett's Philosophy of the Human Clone