Waiting for Godot
by Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
Enter Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo drives Lucky by means of a rope passed round his neck, so that Lucky is the first to enter, followed by the rope which is long enough to let him reach the middle of the stage before Pozzo appears. Lucky carries a heavy bag, a folding stool, a picnic basket and a greatcoat, Pozzo a whip.
(off). On! (Crack of whip. Pozzo appears. They cross the stage. Lucky passes before Vladimir and Estragon and exit. Pozzo at the sight of Vladimir and Estragon stops short. The rope tautens. Pozzo jerks at it violently.) Back! (1.290)
From the moment they enter the stage, Pozzo and Lucky fulfill the roles of master and servant.
(stutteringly resolute) To treat a man . . . (gesture towards Lucky) . . . like that . . . I think that . . . no . . . a human being . . . no . . . it's a scandal! (1.388)
Vladimir is outraged at the notion of slavery. Given his own state of confinement, this is highly ironic.
Ah! Why couldn't you say so before? Why he doesn't make himself comfortable? Let's try and get this clear. Has he not the right to? Certainly he has. It follows that he doesn't want to. There's reasoning for you. (1.432)
This is arguably the most explicit statement of classic existentialist reasoning in Waiting for Godot. There is no such thing as slavery or confinement, Pozzo argues here, since every action one performs is a matter of choice. If Lucky doesn’t put the bags down, it is because he chooses not to, not because he isn’t allowed.