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Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot


by Samuel Beckett

Estragon Timeline and Summary

  • Estragon tries to take off his boot. He fails. He tries again. He gives up again.
  • He reveals to Vladimir that he spent the night in a ditch; we hear that "they" beat him up, but Gogo isn’t sure if they were the same people as usual.
  • Once his boot is off, Estragon checks to see if there’s anything inside. At Vladimir’s suggestion, he puts the boot back on to see if there’s something inside.
  • When Vladimir asks if he’s read the Bible, Estragon recalls that he liked the colorful maps of the Holy Land and dreamed of going there "on our honeymoon," when he could swim and be happy.
  • Vladimir remarks that Gogo could have been a poet, and he replies that he was.
  • Estragon makes to leave, but fails to do so. Vladimir then informs him that they can’t go, since they’re waiting for Godot.
  • Estragon questions this during a lengthy exchange and gets Vladimir to doubt the day, place, and likelihood of Godot’s impending arrival.
  • Vladimir remarks that nothing is certain when Estragon is around.
  • Estragon sits down and falls asleep, only to be woken up shortly after by a "lonely" Vladimir.
  • Estragon begins to tell of his nightmare, but Vladimir adamantly refuses to hear any of it. Estragon laments that he has no one to tell his "private nightmares" to.
  • Gogo begins telling a joke about an Englishman who goes to a brothel, but wants Vladimir to continue it. Vladimir refuses.
  • Actually, Vladimir refuses so much that he exits, and Estragon rushes after him.
  • The men embrace to make up, but Estragon recoils and remarks that Vladimir smells of garlic.
  • Estragon suggests that they hang themselves, but Vladimir says that it’d only give them an erection. This excites Gogo, who suggests that they hang themselves immediately.
  • The men quarrel over who should hang first, and Gogo points out that the bough may break for Vladimir since he is heavier.
  • The men ultimately decide not to do anything, since it’s safer, and this way they can wait and see what Godot says.
  • Estragon asks more about this Godot fellow. His conversation with Vladimir suggests that the men have asked for a prayer, a "vague supplication," but that Godot’s response was equally vague and uncertain.
  • Out of the blue, Estragon announces he’s hungry; Vladimir offers him a carrot.
  • Estragon bites into it only to find that it’s a turnip.
  • Estragon returns to his previously unanswered question of whether or not he and Didi are obligated to Godot; Vladimir thinks they are "tied" to him, but he isn’t certain.
  • Estragon claims the carrot tastes worse the more you eat of it, and Vladimir disagrees.
  • There is a shout, and Didi and Gogo run as Pozzo and Lucky enter.
  • Estragon wonders if Pozzo is Godot and doesn’t manage to satisfy himself that this isn’t the case.
  • Didi and Gogo timidly try to talk to Lucky but Pozzo yells for them to leave him alone.
  • Estragon shyly asks for Pozzo’s chicken bones and is given them when Lucky doesn’t speak up.
  • Pozzo asks what age Vladimir is, and Estragon guesses eleven.
  • Estragon asks Pozzo why Lucky doesn’t put down the heavy bags; this is a great concern of his, though he has some difficulty in obtaining an answer from Pozzo.
  • Estragon is forced to listen as Pozzo gives a speech about twilight.
  • Estragon messes with his shoe some more.
  • Vladimir wants to go, but Estragon suggests he takes a load off his feet.
  • Pozzo asks Estragon his name, and Estragon answers "Adam."
  • When Pozzo offers them payment, Estragon suggests ten francs, but Vladimir insists that they are not beggars. Estragon then suggests five francs.
  • Estragon wants to see Lucky dance, but Vladimir wants to know more about this thinking business. They decide to ask him to dance first and then think.
  • Estragon again brings up his question about why Lucky never puts down his bags.
  • Vladimir and Estragon help Pozzo pull Lucky up on his feet, but he falls as soon as they let go.
  • Estragon explains that Vladimir has bad breath and he has stinky feet.
  • They all bid one other adieu, but no one moves. Pozzo says he cannot seem to depart, and Gogo remarks that life works that way.
  • Estragon isn’t sure that he’s met Lucky and Pozzo before, even when Didi remarks that they have changed.
  • Estragon suggests that they converse for a bit to pass the time.
  • After the Boy arrives, Estragon says he’s unhappy and he can’t remember when the sadness started.
  • The Boy leaves, and Gogo wishes they could hang themselves on the tree. He remarks that the moon is "pale for weariness" at watching the same daily routine take place below.
  • He wonders if he and Didi wouldn’t be better off going their separate ways.
  • The men plan to leave, but no one moves as the curtain falls on Act I.
  • At the start of Act II, Estragon enters, barefoot and in a foul mood.
  • Estragon orders Vladimir to leave him alone, but shortly after begs for Vladimir to stay with him. The men embrace and make up.
  • When Didi claims he could have saved Estragon from getting beaten up, Estragon remarks that there were ten of them and that Didi couldn’t have done anything about it.
  • At Vladimir’s insistence, Estragon declares his happiness a few times, which changes absolutely nothing as he is again told they are waiting for Godot.
  • Estragon can’t remember the past events that Vladimir brings up, like picking grapes in Macon country.
  • Estragon says he might as well as be killed, like the billions of others.
  • Estragon requests that they talk so they don’t need to think or hear. He and Vladimir then have their macabre conversation about dead voices that are satisfied neither with their lives nor with their deaths.
  • The two men tire of talking and move on to taking off and putting on their hats.
  • Estragon insists that they weren’t here the night before. He can’t remember what they did, but decides it was probably something pointless.
  • But then he does remember someone kicking him.
  • Gogo wants to leave, but Didi again reminds him that they are waiting for Godot.
  • Vladimir appeases Estragon with a radish, but Estragon doesn’t like the color.
  • Estragon agrees to try on the boots to pass the time, as long as Vladimir helps him. Estragon then tires of talking about boots. He falls asleep while Vladimir sings him a lullaby and puts his jacket over Estragon’s shoulders.
  • Estragon wakes up and starts to tell of his dream until Vladimir flips out because he doesn’t want to hear the dream (as usual).
  • He wants to leave, but Vladimir says they can’t go because…they’re still waiting for Godot.
  • Estragon turns to leave, having had it, but Vladimir spies Lucky’s hat, and the slapstick hat-switching bit follows.
  • Estragon agrees to play-act Lucky and Pozzo with Vladimir, but has to be told what to do since he doesn’t remember the events of yesterday.
  • Estragon goes offstage and returns worried that "they" are coming after him; he runs about the stage for a bit looking for a place to hide.
  • When it becomes clear that no one is coming, the men resort to arguing and making up (at Estragon’s suggestion) to pass the time.
  • They decide to do their "exercises," which consists of Vladimir jumping up and down on one foot, and Estragon copying him. Then they pretend to be trees; Estragon asks whether or not God sees him, but Vladimir doesn’t answer.
  • When Pozzo and Lucky enter, Estragon again mistakes Pozzo for Godot. Vladimir corrects him.
  • The men consider assisting the fallen Pozzo for some time. Estragon adds his two cents to Vladimir’s soliloquizing when he says that all people are all born mad and some stay that way.
  • While trying to assist Pozzo, Estragon is disgusted by a smelly fart.
  • When Estragon tries to assist Vladimir, he ends up falling on his butt, which means all four men are now lying on the ground.
  • Estragon tries to go to sleep. Awesome.
  • When Pozzo crawls away, Estragon suggests guessing different names to get him to come back. He tries "Abel" and "Cain," but Pozzo again cries "Help!" as a response to both names.
  • Gogo concludes from these responses that Pozzo must be all of humanity.
  • Estragon and Vladimir finally get up off the ground without assistance from anyone else.
  • Estragon says "Let’s go," but Vladimir reminds him of why they can’t.
  • The men help Pozzo to his feet and bid him and Lucky good-bye.
  • Once alone, Didi and Gogo essentially repeat their conversation from Act I about bringing some rope with which to hang themselves tomorrow.
  • Estragon decides to try out his belt and removes it, causing his pants to fall down. He quickly discovers that the rope is too weak for purposes of suicide. Foiled again!
  • It is not until Vladimir points it out that Estragon realizes his pants are down and moves to fix them.
  • The two men declare they will leave, but neither moves.

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