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Quotes

Quote #1

VLADIMIR
I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
ESTRAGON
Me too. (1.4-5)

The ambiguity of Estragon’s reply (in one of the earliest lines of the play) sets us up for a central uncertainty in regards to this friendship. His response "Me too" could refer to Vladimir’s claim that he’s glad to see him, or it could refer to the comment that he thought Estragon was gone forever. We are forever unsure as to whether these two men achieve a friendship or are emotionally isolated from each other.

Quote #2

VLADIMIR
Together again at last! We'll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.
ESTRAGON
(irritably) Not now, not now. (1.6-7)

This early exchange also established an important dynamic in Waiting for Godot; one man attempts to get closer while the other pulls back. This motif will repeat itself, though Estragon and Vladimir will frequently switch roles.

Quote #3

ESTRAGON
(feebly) Help me!
VLADIMIR
It hurts?
ESTRAGON
(angrily) Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts!
VLADIMIR
(angrily) No one ever suffers but you. I don't count. I'd like to hear what you'd say if you had what I have.
ESTRAGON
It hurts?
VLADIMIR
(angrily) Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts! (1.23-28)

One of the barriers preventing an authentic friendship between these two men is that neither can truly understand what it means for the other to suffer. This sounds a lot like the primary thesis of The Plague, the existentialist work of fiction published just one year before Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot.

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