Waiting for Godot
by Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot Life, Consciousness, and Existence 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.
Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting.
He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again.
(giving up again) Nothing to be done.
(advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart) I'm beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle.) (1.1-2)
Estragon’s opening lines define the tone of the play and the plight of its players, but they establish the view of the world that Waiting for Godot presents: there is nothing to be done for Estragon and Vladimir, and, perhaps, for the rest of us.
There's man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet. (1.40)
Vladimir starts to do what the audience is perhaps doing as well: derive meaning from the smallest of actions. We search for symbols and metaphors in the absurd objects of Waiting for Godot just as we search for meaning in the dull daily actions of our lives.
Well? What do we do?
Don't let's do anything. It's safer. (1.194-195)
This is the fundamental problem in Waiting for Godot and – if we see the play as an allegory – the fundamental problem of life (which is highly more likely than the notion that the play is about little more than boots and hats). Fear and uncertainty result in inaction.