Waiting for Godot
How we cite our quotes:
(musingly) The last moment . . . (He meditates.) Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that? (1.32)
Actually, Vladimir, the line is, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life," and it’s a Biblical proverb. If Dido and Gogo’s hope is for Godot to show up, then this is a hope perpetually deferred since, as we know, Godot never comes. As for the tree of life, there is a tree on stage when Vladimir utters his line, but it’s not so much a tree of life as it is dead, shrub-looking thing. So what should we make of that?
Did you ever read the Bible?
The Bible . . . (He reflects.) I must have taken a look at it.
Do you remember the Gospels?
I remember the maps of the Holy Land. Coloured they were. Very pretty. The Dead Sea was pale blue. The very look of it made me thirsty. That's where we'll go, I used to say, that's where we'll go for our honeymoon. We'll swim. We'll be happy. (1.50-3)
The heavenly image that Estragon presents here only heightens the dismal nature of his current situation.
Our Saviour. Two thieves. One is supposed to have been saved and the other . . . (he searches for the contrary of saved) . . . damned.
Saved from what?
Vladimir’s story is practically begging us to equate him and Estragon with the two thieves. In the Biblical tale, the two thieves are saved from Hell. But what are Estragon and Vladimir hoping to be saved from? (Note that, later in the play, Estragon declares that he is in Hell.)