Study Guide

Waiting for Godot Truth

By Samuel Beckett

Truth

Waiting for Godot is a play driven by a lack of truth—in other words, uncertainty. Characters are unable to act in any meaningful way and claim this is because they are uncertain of the consequences. Without the presence of objective truth, every statement is brought into question, and even common labels (color, time, names) become arbitrary and subjective.

Questions About Truth

  1. After the debate over whether or not to attempt suicide, Estragon concludes in Act 1, "Don’t let’s do anything. It’s safer." Is doing nothing safer?
  2. Vladimir and Estragon are constantly faced with the uncertainty of consequence, and as such choose not to choose. But what is the consequence of not choosing in this play? Can we even be certain of this?

Chew on This

In Waiting for Godot, Beckett espouses the Existentialist tenet that the world is without meaning, but disagrees with the belief that one can give the world meaning and purpose through action.