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Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot

by Samuel Beckett

Mortality Theme

None of the characters in Waiting for Godot shy away from the fact that death is inevitable. In fact, death becomes at times a solution for the inanity of daily life. The main characters contemplate suicide as though it were as harmless as a walk to the grocery store, probably because there’s nothing in their life worth sticking around for anyway. They ultimately do not commit suicide because they claim not to have the means, but also because they are uncertain of the result of their attempt (it may work, it may fail). Because they can’t be sure of what their action will bring, they decide on no action at all.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Why do Estragon and Vladimir want to kill themselves?
  2. Why don’t they?
  3. If death is inevitable and ever-impending, as Pozzo points out, how do we live our lives with any sense of purpose? Does Waiting for Godot propose a solution to this problem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Estragon and Vladimir put the label of "waiting for Godot" on what is really just a systematic waiting for death.

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