Waiting for Godot
How we cite our quotes:
Are you sure it wasn't him?
Not at all! (Less sure.) Not at all! (Still less sure.) Not at all! (2.786-791)
The uncertainty surrounding Godot increases as the play goes on. Now, not only are they unsure of his name, whether he is coming, who he is, what he looks like, or whether they missed him, but Vladimir now has to wonder whether he has already met Godot.
Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? […] At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. (Pause.) […] What have I said?
He goes feverishly to and fro, halts finally at extreme left, broods. (2.795)
Vladimir can’t even be certain of his own consciousness by the end of the play.
Tell him . . . (he hesitates) . . . tell him you saw me and that . . . (he hesitates) . . . that you saw me. (Pause. Vladimir advances, the Boy recoils. Vladimir halts, the Boy halts. With sudden violence.) You're sure you saw me, you won't come and tell me tomorrow that you never saw me!
Silence. Vladimir makes a sudden spring forward, the Boy avoids him and exits running. (2.829)
This is interesting; at the end of the play, Vladimir is at his most lucid. He knows he saw the Boy yesterday (and, we can extrapolate, many other days in the past) and he knows he will see him tomorrow. His moment of clarity, however, leads only to fruitless anger. What good is certainty, anyway, in a world full only of unreliability and doubt?