Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot Friendship Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ESTRAGON Let's hang ourselves immediately! […] ESTRAGON After you. […] VLADIMIR You're lighter than I am. ESTRAGON Just so! VLADIMIR I don't understand. ESTRAGON Use your intelligence, can't you? Vladimir uses his intelligence. VLADIMIR (finally) I remain in the dark. […] VLADIMIR You're my only hope. ESTRAGON (with effort) Gogo light—bough not break—Gogo dead. Didi heavy—bough break—Didi alone. Whereas— VLADIMIR I hadn't thought of that. (1.174-189)
This is an interesting exchange. At nearly every other instance in the play, Vladimir is the more intellectual of the two men. Yet here, he needs Estragon to walk him through the scenario. Also, check out the line "I remain in the dark." On the one hand, Vladimir is confessing his ignorance; he remains in the dark cerebrally, because he can’t figure out what Estragon is talking about. But his response "I remain in the dark" is also the answer to the problem Estragon has proposed: what happens if Estragon goes first? Then the bough holds up and Estragon dies hanging. Then, when Vladimir tries, he is heavier and breaks the bough – leaving him alone and, in a sense, in the dark. This isolation for Vladimir would be a worse fate than Estragon’s, that of simple death.
POZZO (halting) You are human beings none the less. (He puts on his glasses.) As far as one can see. (He takes off his glasses.) Of the same species as myself. (He bursts into an enormous laugh.) Of the same species as Pozzo! Made in God's image! (1.314)
Pozzo here admits that, at least biologically, he is exactly the same as Vladimir and Estragon. This seems incompatible with his status as a God, or his belief that he is somehow above these two men (and above Lucky, who is also clearly a human being). Just like Didi and Gogo, Pozzo struggles between a desire to get close to others and a belief that he is somehow separate from them.
POZZO (He jerks the rope.) Up pig! (Pause.) Every time he drops he falls asleep. (Jerks the rope.) Up hog! (Noise of Lucky getting up and picking up his baggage. Pozzo jerks the rope.) Back! (Enter Lucky backwards.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Turn! (Lucky turns. To Vladimir and Estragon, affably.) Gentlemen, I am happy to have met you. (Before their incredulous expression.) Yes yes, sincerely happy. (He jerks the rope.) Closer! (Lucky advances.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) […] (Pozzo finishes buttoning up his coat, stoops, inspects himself, straightens up.) Whip! (Lucky advances, stoops, Pozzo snatches the whip from his mouth, Lucky goes back to his place.) Yes, gentlemen, I cannot go for long without the society of my likes (he puts on his glasses and looks at the two likes) even when the likeness is an imperfect one. (He takes off his glasses.) Stool! (Lucky puts down bag and basket, advances, opens stool, puts it down, goes back to his place, takes up bag and basket.) (1.336)
Notice the same sort of conflict here; Pozzo alternates between treating Lucky as scum and declaring that he cannot be without others for company. He is obsessed with what he considers his superiority, but he can’t deal with the loneliness and isolation that superiority brings.