Waiting for Godot as Christian Play

waiting-for-godot-as-christian-play

Introduction:

Samuel Beckett is a well-known Irish dramatist and novelist. “Waiting for Godot” is his masterpiece. The play is among the traditional works of theater of absurd. It is a multilayered drama which has many interpretations.

The play appears absurd however with a deep religious interpretations. Though the play generally interpreted inside the context of the theater of absurd, existentialist literature, it’s also Christian allegory and likewise interpreted with religious interpretations.

The play has very robust evidences of principle of existentialism, however, nonetheless, it may be associated with many different spiritual interpretations. Like, Christian myth of two thieves, waiting for second coming of Jesus Christ, Hindu philosophy and its Avatar and lots of extra interpretations.

Christian Mythical Interpretations:

When somebody asked concerning the theme of “Waiting for Godot”, Beckett is reported to have referred to the sentence within the writings of St. Augustine,

“Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume: one of thieves was damned.”

The theme of two thieves on the cross, the theme of the uncertainty of the hope of salvation and the possible bestowal of divine grace, does certainly pervade the entire play. Two characters, Vladimir and Estragon are proven as tramps or thieves. At the start, Vladimir refers this,

“One of the thieves was saved. It’s a reasonable percentage.”

And within the Act 1, he refers this on a number of occasions. Even Vladimir is shown speaking about repentance. He a number of instances says to Estragon to wait for Mr. Godot and when Estragon asks the explanation, he says, Mr. Godot, in any other case would punish them!

Beckett, although, wrote these dialogues in fairly humorous and in lighter temper, but it surely has robust meanings.

Read About: Importance of Lucky’s Speech in “Waiting for Godot”

“Vladimir: One of the thieves was saved. It’s reasonable percentage, Gogo.

Estragon: What?

Vladimir: Suppose we repented.

Estragon: Repented what?

Vladimir: Oh… We would not have to get into the details.

Estragon: Our being born?”

It signifies that Vladimir has faith within the myth and he’s longing for salvation. He desires to be one of many thieves, who saved.

In the Act 2, while passing the time, they’re pondering and speaking about dead voices, it additionally appears that they’re fascinated by their past acts and evaluating their very own deeds. Vladimir and Estragon discuss incessantly as a result of they need to hear the “dead voices” which discover the mysteries of being and the self to the boundaries of anguish and sufferings.

Waiting for Godot dwells upon salvation by means of an evasion of suffering. The waiting performed by two tramps for Godot could also be an emblem of mankind’s useless hope for salvation by the hands of Godot, a symbol of most terrible God as hinted by old testament. Both the paired characters are a supply of salvation for each other. Vladimir’s safety provides salvation to Estragon. The childless and wifeless Vladimir wants somebody who could nag him. Someone on whom he could lavish his care and affection. So, Estragon is Vladimir’s medium of salvation.

Pozzo and Lucky’s relationship, then again, is the connection between capital and labor, or between master and slave, or between tradition and savagery, or between the exploiter and exploited, or between have and haven’t, or between blind and dumb man. It is a symbol of human degeneration. If Pozzo has fed Lucky bodily, Lucky has, in return offered Pozzo meals for the mind in Act 1 and steering for blind Pozzo in Act 2. So, Pozzo and Lucky, additionally, function as a medium of salvation for one another.

Read About: Symbolism in Waiting For Godot

There is one other Christian myth described within the dialogues between the boy and Vladimir. The boy, who takes care of the goats isn’t beaten however, his brother who takes care of Mr. Godot’s sheep is beaten. This refers to myth of two sons of Adam, Cain and Abel. There too, the Lord’s grace fell on one slightly than different with none rational clarification. Here, Godot additionally acts contrary to Jesus Christ. It may be interpreted as God’s punishment or nature of giving punishments, and Vladimir additionally provides purpose to Estragon that, “if they don’t wait for Mr. Godot, he will punish them.”

The act of waiting and Vladimir’s dialogue to bot, “Tell him that you saw me” appears that he’s waiting for damnation. Even the consideration of repentance can be presented within the play.

Thus, the play has very robust impact of Christian concepts of salvation, repentance together with its myth.

Biblical Elements:

As it has many Christian concepts, it’s also associated with many Biblical elements and symbols. At the start of the play, Vladimir asks Estragon, have he read the Bible or not. Throughout the play, Biblical Christian elements are very much introduced with symbols.

The background image of “Tree” has a number of meanings, and religious interpretations additionally. See it as an image of cross, the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. Their waiting additionally displays the essential Biblical concept of Christ’s returns on the Doomsday.

This play has robust spiritual connection, as it’s also referred to as religious allegory. As William Mueller remarks;

“The human predicament described in Beckett;s first play is that of man living on the Saturday after the Friday of the crucifixion and not really knowing if all hope is dead or if the next day will bring the life which has been promised.”

Godot as Christ’s Second Coming:

One widespread interpretation of Waiting for Godot is the second coming side. One that means Mr. Godot is none different but “God” and there are various clues and evidences within the play which symbolically says, that Mr. Godot is a symbol of God.

Religious interpretation posits Vladimir and Estragon as humanity waiting for the elusive return of a savior. This interpretation makes Pozzo into the pope and Lucky into the devoted. Another proof is the title itself; the name “Godot” additionally proves it. The name suggests “God-OT” it should have some significance. And it have to be interpreted in religious manner. It can be seen within the dialogues between Vladimir and the boy.

Read About: Waiting for Godot as an Absurd Play

“Vladimir: (softly) has he a beard, Mr. Godot?

Boy: Yes sir.

Vladimir: Fair or… (He hesitates) or black?

Boy: I think it’s white, sir.”

The character, Beckett describes is far associated with the picture of Christian God. The description clearly exhibits that Mr. Godot means God. Other dialogues between Vladimir and Estragon describe traits of Mr. Godot. Let’s have a look into these;

“Estragon: And if we dropped him? (Pause) If we dropped him?

Vladimir: He’d punish us.

Estragon: And if he comes?

Vladimir: We’ll be saved.”

It means Mr. Godot will give punishment if they go away and Mr. Godot is savior additionally, they are going to be rewarded, if they wait. as it’s already described, the tree symbolizes cross the place where Christ was crucified and they’re waiting there. 

Conclusion:

Throughout the play, the mute character, Godot symbolizes God, as we’re Waiting for God – a savior from our sorrows and sufferings. This uncertain, second coming of God is effectively introduced, who, when, where, questions on God and Godot each are unanswered in actuality as effectively within the play. 

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Shaheer

Shaheer, owner of Literature Times, is a BS (Hons) English graduate and loves to write literary articles. Apart from that, he loves to explore technology, reading books and writing about his own life.

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