Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot Truth Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ESTRAGON We came here yesterday. VLADIMIR Ah no, there you're mistaken. ESTRAGON What did we do yesterday? VLADIMIR What did we do yesterday? ESTRAGON Yes. VLADIMIR Why . . . (Angrily.) Nothing is certain when you're about. (1.120-5)
Vladimir puts a condition on uncertainty; nothing is certain when Estragon is around. Compare this to Estragon’s claim that nothing is certain – period.
ESTRAGON You're sure it was this evening? VLADIMIR What? ESTRAGON That we were to wait. VLADIMIR He said Saturday. (Pause.) I think. ESTRAGON You think. VLADIMIR I must have made a note of it. (He fumbles in his pockets, bursting with miscellaneous rubbish.) ESTRAGON (very insidious) But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday? VLADIMIR (looking wildly about him, as though the date was inscribed in the landscape) It's not possible! ESTRAGON Or Thursday? (1.132-40)
Add this to the list of uncertainties surrounding the act of waiting for Godot. Not only are the men unsure of what day they are supposed to meet him, but even if they were, they couldn’t know what day it is anyway. Part of the problem here is that what should be objective truth – the name of this specific day – is actually arbitrary. If it’s Thursday, it’s because we choose to call it Thursday. Some existentialists argue that, actually, there is no such thing as objective truth, ever, so it’s possible that Beckett is getting at that claim.
ESTRAGON If he came yesterday and we weren't here you may be sure he won't come again today. (1.142)
This threat hangs over much of the play; the men may already be damned (in the sense that they will never get to meet Godot) and just not know it. The problem there isn’t with being damned, but with the uncertainty over whether or not they are damned.