Study Guide

Waiting for Godot Religion

By Samuel Beckett


Religion is incompatible with reason in Waiting for Godot. Characters who attempt to understand religion logically are left in the dark, and the system is compared to such absurd banalities as switching bowler hats or taking a boot on and off. Religion is also tied to uncertainty, since there is no way of knowing what is objectively true in the realm of faith.

Questions About Religion

  1. Who has a better understanding of religion, Vladimir or Estragon?
  2. We’ve said that in Waiting for Godot, religion is incompatible with logic. If this is true, what’s the next step? Does the play argue that we should accept religion despite its lack of rationality, or that we should reject it for the same reasons?
  3. If Godot is a representation of God, what do Vladimir and Estragon expect will happen if he does finally show up?

Chew on This

Waiting for Godot operates on one principle contradiction: the men can only be saved if their personal god, Godot, were to appear. However, since a commonly accepted interpretation of God is that he is without extension (meaning he doesn’t occupy space), Godot’s presence would mean that he is not God. This renders Vladimir and Estragon’s waiting absurdly futile.