Waiting for Godot (Eng rev): A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

Waiting for Godot (Eng rev): A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

4.0 42
by Samuel Beckett
     
 

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From an inauspicious beginning at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone in 1953, followed by bewilderment among American and British audiences, Waiting for Godot has become of the most important and enigmatic plays of the past fifty years and a cornerstone of twentieth-century drama. As Clive Barnes wrote, “Time catches up with genius …

Overview


From an inauspicious beginning at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone in 1953, followed by bewilderment among American and British audiences, Waiting for Godot has become of the most important and enigmatic plays of the past fifty years and a cornerstone of twentieth-century drama. As Clive Barnes wrote, “Time catches up with genius … Waiting for Godot is one of the masterpieces of the century.”

The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existential post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“One of the true masterpieces of the century.” —Clive Barnes, The New York Times

“One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope deceived and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain.”
The Times (London)

“Beckett is an incomparable spellbinder. He writes with rhetoric and music that . . . make a poet green with envy.” —Stephen Spender

“Reading Beckett for the first time is an experience like no other in modern literature.”
—Paul Auster

“[Godot is ] among the most studied, monographed, celebrated and sent-up works of modern art, and perhaps as influential as any from the last century. The nonstory of two tramps at loose ends in a landscape barren of all but a single tree, amusing or distracting themselves from oppressive boredom while they wait for a mysterious figure who never arrives, the play became the ur-text for theatrical innovation and existential thought in the latter half of 20th century.” —Christopher Isherwood, The New York Times

The London Times
"...one of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope decieved and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802144423
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Series:
Beckett, Samuel
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
43,049
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.27(d)

What People are saying about this

Eric Bentley
"it is the quintessence of 'extentialism.'..."
From the Publisher
One of the true masterpieces of the century.” —Clive Barnes, The New York Times

“One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope deceived and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain.”
The Times (London)

“Beckett is an incomparable spellbinder. He writes with rhetoric and music that . . . make a poet green with envy.” —Stephen Spender

“Reading Beckett for the first time is an experience like no other in modern literature.”
—Paul Auster

“[Godot is ] among the most studied, monographed, celebrated and sent-up works of modern art, and perhaps as influential as any from the last century. The nonstory of two tramps at loose ends in a landscape barren of all but a single tree, amusing or distracting themselves from oppressive boredom while they wait for a mysterious figure who never arrives, the play became the ur-text for theatrical innovation and existential thought in the latter half of 20th century.” —Christopher Isherwood, The New York Times

Norman Mailer
"It is possible that consciously or unconsciously Beckett is restating the moral and sexual basis of Christianity which was lost with Christ..."
G. S. Fraser
"Waiting for Godot.. is a modern moraliyt play, on permanent themes."

Meet the Author


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), one of the leading literary and dramatic figures of the twentieth century, was born in Foxrock, Ireland and attended Trinity University in Dublin. In 1928, he visited Paris for the first time and fell in with a number of avant-garde writers and artists, including James Joyce. In 1937, he settled in Paris permanently. Beckett wrote in both English and French, though his best-known works are mostly in the latter language. A prolific writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, he is remembered principally for his works for the theater, which belong to the tradition of the Theater of the Absurd and are characterized by their minimalist approach, stripping drama to its barest elements. In 1969, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and commended for having "transformed the destitution of man into his exaltation." Beckett died in Paris in 1989.

At the age of seventy-six he said: "With diminished concentration, loss of memory, obscured intelligence... the more chance there is for saying something closest to what one really is. Even though everything seems inexpressible, there remains the need to express. A child need to make a sand castle even though it makes no sense. In old age, with only a few grains of sand, one has the greatest possibility." (from Playwrights at Work, ed. by George Plimpton, 2000)

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Waiting for Godot (Eng Rev) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
ShotgunAndy More than 1 year ago
As a matter of fact, I do dare to state such a claim. Samuel Beckett is such an amazing writer, and in WfG, he has created some of the most memorable characters and dialouge in any medium. A must read for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Waiting for Godot is humorous and ironic. It's characters' senility gives the book a similar feel to that of old Charlie Chaplain movies. The characters repetitive conversations add to that feel but also allow the reader to, if he/she wants to, pull out several meanings from the book. The whole book parallels the human experience of waiting for our own Godot, whether it be God or Wealth or family, whatever gives our lives meaning. With each meaning the detail of the book presents different symbols, unique to whatever it is the reader is comparing it to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my drama class we are reading this play, me and my four friemds at my table seem to be the only four-plus the teacher-that enjoy the play. Everyone else doesnt undersyand that the carrot talk is exactly what you and your bestfriemd talk about.. nothing. Its to pass the time. Now we are not finished with the book but im excited to see what happens next so imma buy it so i can re read it and get a better feel for it.
NooksterMI More than 1 year ago
To an atheist or to anyone who has any disdain for Christianity, Christians must look like two clowns who waste everyday waiting for God/Jesus to return. The play is brilliant and everyone who has ever waited patiently for someone to keep their promise and only to find disappointment should read this play.
appatel555 More than 1 year ago
Famously, Waiting for Godot is a play in which nothing happens. It opens with two characters on stage--Vladimir and Estragon--who are waiting by a tree. They converse about many things, calling each other by different names. Although their conversations are long and winding, we discover that the men are waiting for an enigmatic figure who goes by the name of Godot. While they are waiting for Godot to come, two figures approach--Lucky and Pozzo. The author, Samuel Beckett, instills an enormous amount of symbolic complexity into the very foundation of Waiting for Godot. Valdimir and Estragon are comic tramps--straight from the likes of Chaplin or Buster Keaton. They talk like vaudeville comedians, and attempt to perform tricks. But, in an amazing literary feat, Beckett transforms this shtick and color into a discussion about the existential realities of the world. Waiting for Godot has a wit, vigor and brilliance that confounded audiences at the time, and astonished everyone who has seen or read it ever since. The play is difficult (and makes no bones about its difficulty), but it also embraces the popular comic medium with which Beckett grew up. Hilariously funny, but also terribly sad, Waiting for Godot is the foremost abstract work in theatre and a work of pure genius.
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Trevor Fraser More than 1 year ago
The greatest tragedy with this work is that everyone gets so caught up in debating the philosophy and structure of it that they glide right over the laughs. Godot, when read or performed, should elicit the same breathless laughing as a Neil Simon or a Python sketch. Please don't read it joylessly. Getting the meaning is barely tickling the surface of the fun.
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