unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Analysis

Duality

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Waiting for Godot is chock-full of pairs. There’s Vladimir and Estragon, the two thieves, the Boy and his brother, Pozzo and Lucky, Cain and Abel, and of course the two acts of the play itself. With these pairs comes the repeated notion of arbitrary, 50/50 chances. One thief is saved and other damned, but for no clear reason. If Vladimir and Estragon try to hang themselves, the bough may or may not break. One man may die, one man may live. Godot may or may not come to save them. In the Bible, Cain’s sacrifice was rejected and Abel’s accepted for no discernible reason. It’s minor, but check out Estragon’s line in Act I: "My left lung is very weak […]. But my right lung is sound as a bell!" More pairs, more arbitrary damnation. Even the tone of Waiting for Godot is filled with duality: two person arguments, back-and-forth questions, disagreement-agreement, questions and (often inadequate) answers.

Advertisement
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
back to top