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Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts Paperback – 5 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (5 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571229115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229116
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 0.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it is terrible.' (Jean Anouilh's judgement of the first production at the Theatre Babylone in 1953)

Here, for the first time, the reader can watch it unfold simultaneously in two languages. (Irish Post 2006-08-19)

Academics and students have been waiting a couple of generations for something of this kind and are likely to snap up the edition like hot cakes ... For a great lover of language and the inheritor of Joyce's mantle, sound can be almost as important as meaning and it can be instructive, to switch across the page on occasion and red the other language ... In sum, this is an amazing play in which every word counts. (Philip Fisher The British Theatre Guide) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts by Samuel Beckett is a wonderfully surreal and thought provoking black comedy from the winner of the Nobel Prize and author of plays such as Murphy and Endgame.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on 12 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!". That phrase, said by one of the main characters of "Waiting for Godot", somehow sums up the whole plot of this short tragicomedy in two acts. Strange??. You can bet on that!!!. So much that a well-known Irish critic said of it "nothing happens, twice".
The play starts with two men, Vladimir and Estragon, sitting on a lonely road. They are both waiting for Godot. They don't know why they are waiting for him, but they think that his arrival will change things for the better. The problem is that he doesn't come, although a kid does so and says Godot will eventually arrive. Pozzo and his servant Lucky, two other characters that pass by while our protagonists are waiting for Godot, add another bizarre touch to an already surreal story, in which nothing seems to happen and discussions between the characters don't make much sense.
However, maybe that is exactly the point that Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wanted to make. He was one of the most accomplished exponents of the "Theatre of the Absurd", that wanted to highlight the lack of purpose and meaning in an universe without God. Does Godot, the person that Vladimir and Estragon endlessly wait, symbolize God?. According to an irascible Beckett, when hard-pressed to answer that question, "If I knew who Godot was, I would have said so in the play." So, we don't know. The result is a highly unusual play that poses many questions, but doesn't answer them.
Ripe with symbolism, "Waiting for Godot" is a play more or less open to different interpretations. Why more or less open?. Well, because in order to have an interpretation of your own, you have to finish the play, and that is something that not all readers can do.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "jeremiahsanchez1452" on 21 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
As a huge fan of Ibsen's 'A Doll's House', I thought no play could ever surpass it. 'Engame' was alright but rather dull and at times pointlessly depressing but 'Waiting for Godot', in a word; amazing!
I won't explain the plot, it serves no purpose as other reviewers have kindly done that. The central character of the play is Godot, which is ironic seeing as he is totally absent from the action (oh another point, there is no action). Yet, it is this absence, this sepulchre which haunts the minimalist discourse of the characters which is so appealing.
Beckett is a master of audience bewilderment. What exactly is the context of this play? Like Endgame, the context, or setting, is undoubtedly of a dystopian variety. I get a very chilling sense that there is also a warning to the hazards of war etc in the claustrophobic and sparsely populated setting of this play. Like Engame, there is a sense of the 'aftermath' of some fatal catastrophe (think 'Oryx and Crake without the Crakers).
We know that Beckett is hailed as a great figure within the 'absurdist theatre' - that is to say that many of his works explore the futility of existence and the fragile and desperate nature of humanity and as such many of the interpretations which we impose on the play will stem from this. Obviously, 'Godot' is a play on 'God'. The characters lives resolve around waiting for this character to appear. They don't know what he does, where he comes from, what he looks like or even who he is yet they wait. They squander their lives in waiting for this enigmatic figure they have no proof even exists. Sounds funny, but then one wonders, is Beckett satirising religion?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Wineberg on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
The amazing thing about Waiting for Godot is that it has always engendered confusion, uncertainty and half-formed theories. It's puzzling to most viewers and reviewers. So much so, you have to wonder why anyone likes it, since they don't seem to be able to understand it. Yet far from an enigmatic muddle, Godot is crystal clear. It is an Irish vision of Purgatory/Limbo.

All the evidence points to it; no evidence contradicts it. It lets the whole story come together consistently and rationally. Two ragged fellows meet every morning and do nothing all day. Not that there is anything to do - the world is essentially flat, boundless, gray and barren, save for one derisory dead tree. There is no water, no food (save for a single old vegetable in the pocket of one of them - every day), no shelter, no objects of any kind. Not even a place to sit. Estragon is doomed to remember nothing except being beaten up the night before. Every night. Vladimir is cursed with an inkling of having been here and done this before, but can't quite nail it. Total frustration.

They consider suicide, but don't even have the means to do even that little. They are dead men already, so it is redundant. They cross paths with another pair, similarly cursed, and this happens every day with no one remembering the previous encounter. They are doomed to repeat this meaningless activity every day for eternity. And part of it is waiting for a man who they've never met and who never comes. He cancels on them every afternoon.

What fresh hell is this? to borrow from Ms. Parker. They are waiting for God(ot) to decide their eternal fates. And every day, God doesn't show. It's Limbo (since cancelled).
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