Study Guide

Waiting for Godot Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd

By Samuel Beckett

Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd

Waiting for Godot is hailed as a classic example of "Theater of the Absurd," dramatic works that promote the philosophy of its name. This particular play presents a world in which daily actions are without meaning, language fails to effectively communicate, and the characters at times reflect a sense of artifice, even wondering aloud whether perhaps they are on a stage.

Questions About Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd

  1. Vladimir and Estragon’s situation is so absurd that it doesn’t resemble any reality we’re familiar with. How is it possible, then, that the play can comment on our own lives? Does Beckett suggest a level of absurdity in the real world?
  2. Do Estragon and Vladimir recognize that their actions are absurd? Or does everything seem "normal" to them?
  3. How do the absurd characters of Pozzo and Lucky comment on Gogo and Didi? Who seems more rational?
  4. At any moment is the play meta-fictional? In other words, where do the characters seem to reveal an understanding (or at least a suspicion) that they are part of a contrived reality? How does this affect the way we see the play?

Chew on This

Lucky is the only character in Waiting for Godot whose actions are rational, rather than absurd.