Study Guide

Waiting for Godot Time

By Samuel Beckett


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

  1. 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?
  2. Can we trust Vladimir's and Estragon’s memories of events that have supposedly occurred before the start of the play?
  3. 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.