ENGA11H3 Lecture Notes - Rhetorical Question

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5 Feb 2013
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Waiting for Godot - character analysis and some imp quotes
Waiting for Godot
Vladimir (Didi)
- Perception and intellect
- He enjoys discourse about mental emotional dilemmas, occasionally referring to his limited
memories of the memories in an attempt to make sense of his life
- Absolute control over Estragon
- He takes responsibility for being Estragon’s conscience
- He is confident that without him Estragon’s existence is incomplete
- Even in his position of limited superiority, Vladimir asserts his dependence on Estragon,
saying "You're my only hope" and fearing that a suicide attempt would leave one of them alone
- One such question is at the end of Act II, when Pozzo and Lucky are leaving - "Where do
you go from here?" He is actually questioning the existence of Pozzo and Lucky and their
approach to life, an inquiry at the heart of the play.
- He has pride, as exhibited when he is ashamed of Estragon for gnawing on Pozzo's
discarded bones.
- He constantly interrogates and checks himself on his own shortcomings. "Was I sleeping,
while the others suffered?" Assuming that he has done little or perhaps nothing to improve the
miseries of others, he suffers from the stigma of shame and disgrace that he has turned blind to
all the sufferings around him. He regrets that "tomorrow" when he "wakes" he will have nothing
good and worthy to recollect from his today.
- He is still indecisive. His constantly peeking into the hat and his walking back and forth are
his indications of his restless spirit and a longevity for stability
- He reminds Estragon that they must wait for Godot
- He becomes the conscious of mankind, and Estragon is the body
Estragon
- Laments physical limitations
- Physical pain and need
- First complaining of sore foot
- His hunger or thirst never seem to stop
- He is physically beaten every night
- He is trapped in the moment, with no memory of yesterday and no hope for tomorrow
- He is only kept by the fact that Vladimir remembers yesterday and hopes for tomorrow
- The two men are inseparable if Vladimir represents the body and Estragon the Soul, hence
they embrace after a period of separation
Pozzo
- Slave driver
- He demands total attention and feels proud to introduce himself
- He prides upon declaring that rest are humans like him, but considers himself superior to the
rest.
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