||His foot is swollen and sore. His
boot doesn't fit.
|| Estragon says it about
his boot. Vladimir says it about his hat
Suggested Essay Topics
||Estragon opens the play with the
statement: "Nothing to be done." What
supports that statement in this section? What contradicts
||What is the status
of these men in society? How does Beckett convey
Estragon gets up from the mound. He is
in pain. He limps around and wants to leave. Vladimir
reminds him that they must stay and wait for Godot.
Estragon is not sure that they are waiting in the right
spot or on the right day. Vladimir examines the spot,
points out the tree as the landmark, but gets confused
about the day.
Estragon naps on the mound. Vladimir paces, then wakes
him. "I felt lonely," Vladimir says. Estragon
wants to share his dream, but Vladimir resists. They
argue, then embrace.
The idea of suicide seems to appeal to both of them.
They chat about the possibility of hanging themselves
from the tree. "It'd give us an erection,"
Vladimir says. "Let's hang ourselves immediately!"
However, the method is problematic. The tree may not
sustain Vladimir's weight, and he may be left all alone.
Also, the possibility exists that Godot may come and
offer them something they want, something they may have
asked for. And so they wait.
When Estragon gets hungry, Vladimir produces a carrot.
This leads to talk about food, then more talk about
Godot. Estragon wants to know if they are "tied"
to Godot. "Tied?" Vladimir asks. "Ti-ed."
Estragon repeats. "But to whom? By whom?"
Vladimir asks. "To your man," answers Estragon,
who by this time seems to have forgotten Godot's name.
This discussion ends. Estragon repeats,
"Nothing to be done," and offers the remainder
of his carrot to Vladimir. At this moment, they hear "a
terrible cry, close at hand." They huddle, cringe,
In A-2, the waiting takes on a more active form. Estragon
and Vladimir move around. They inspect the environment.
They eat, they walk, and they consider suicide by hanging
themselves from the tree.
This section introduces the character who is known as
Godot. He is a person at this point. He has instructed
the men to wait for him by the tree. He has a family,
agents, and a bank account. It is only later in the play
that Godot becomes a concept. He remains unseen and unknown.
For years, scholars have been debating the significance
of the name, Godot. As usual, Beckett was no help in offering
explanations. "If I knew I would have said so in
the play," he has been quoted as saying
The English-speaking audience immediately connected it
to the word "God," which was soon dismissed
by the fact that the play was originally written in French.
In every language, however, Beckett insisted that Godot
be pronounced, "God-oh," with the accent on
the first syllable, which reopens that particular debate.
For some reason, even though it was out of character,
Beckett entertained all kinds of theories from critics
about the nature of Godot. As late as 1972, he was saying
that he "wanted any number of stories to be circulated,"
and "the more there are the better I like it."
So, at various times, by various critics, it was suggested
that Godot might be Happiness, Eternal Life, Love, Death,
Silence, Hope, De Gaulle, Pozzo, a Balzac character, a
bicycle racer, Time Future, a Paris street for call-girls,
and a diminutive God Cot' meaning 'little' in French).
Section A-2 begins with Estragon getting up and limping
around. It ends with him saying, "Nothing to be done."
This is the fourth repetition of this sentence in the
play. There is nothing to be done about Estragon's boot,
about Vladimir's hat or his physical