What would you do while waiting for Godot?


Satnam Laddi art direction in Waiting for Godot, by Dharampal Singh (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
VLADIMIR: What do we do now?
VLADIMIR: Yes, but while waiting.

Samuel Beckett’s most enduring play is one in which infamously, according to the critic Vivien Mercier, “nothing happens, twice.” This may only be part of the story – since the play also keeps us glued to our seats in theatre and so cannot be contain “nothing” – but certainly in the absence of definitive plot, the play invites us to project our own feelings into its near-empty space. We ask how Vladimir and Estragon’s experience speaks to our own lives. We wonder whether we would find something more meaningful than them in this situation.

What would you do while waiting for Godot? Take your boot off? Put it on again? Or something more imaginative or positive? Join the chat in the comments below, or use the hashtag #MondayMusing on Twitter or Facebook.

The play ends in a way that ambiguously balances doing something and doing nothing. Vladimir says “let’s go”, but still “they do not move”. On Wednesday 21st join the Life of Breath team for a free public lecture exploring Beckett’s preoccupation with the “last breath”, the compulsion to move, and ultimate cessation of movement.



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