Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot is a tragicomedy in two acts, written by Samuel Beckett; it was published in 1952 and is considered by many critics to be one of the great pieces of drama. On the other hand, there are those who consider the play to be confusing and without any deeper meaning than is presented prima facie. However, as a tragicomedy, it can be seen to combine elements of both tragedies and comedies (Beckett, 1952). The hint in the subtitle makes the viewers seek out tragic meanings in the comic parts and leads the audience to pay greater attention towards situational humor in the tragic elements.
The combination of tragedy and comedy is perhaps the greatest genius of this play. Considering the elements of a tragedy we can observe ideas like the death of a hero, an error made by a character, a character who suffers greatly, a separation from friends and a loss of hope. A comedy could give us images like the endurance of a hero, the joy of success, pleasure at reunion and the hero coming over great odds to win a victory. Clearly, all these elements are present in the play and are worked into situations and conversations between the characters with great skill (Beckett, 1952).
For instance, while the heroes are planning to hang themselves, they also are able to think about getting an erection. Not only are they able to think about it, but Estragon is actually quite excited about the hanging. Another element of a comedy comes in as ‘hope’ where they decide to continue waiting for Godot before going further with the hanging (Beckett, 1952). The seeking of death to end misery is a perfect element of a tragedy, while the aversion of death or the resurgence of hope is an element of comedy. Both of these combine to make the play a tragicomedy.
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