Time presents a slew of problems in Waiting for Godot. The very title of the play reveals its central action: waiting. The two main characters are forced to whittle away their days while anticipating the arrival of a man who never comes. Because they have nothing to do in the meantime, time is a dreaded barrier, a test of their ability to endure. Because they repeat the same actions every day, time is cyclical. That every character seems to have a faulty memory further complicates matters; time loses meaning when the actions of one day have no relevance or certainty on the next.
Questions About Time
- Characters in Waiting for Godot repeatedly forget the events of yesterday. If memory is faulty and one cannot remember past actions, do these actions have any meaning?
- Can we trust Vladimir's and Estragon’s memories of events that have supposedly occurred before the start of the play?
- Does time pass any differently in Act 2 than it does in Act 1?
Chew on This
Pozzo chooses to go blind because he has lost his watch.