Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, first English language version published by Grove
Press, © 1954.
Samuel Beckett, Nobel winner for literature in 1969, wrote, in a feverish 5 year period of creative over-achievement, immediately following the end of WWII, his most consequential plays and novels: Eleutheria, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, and Mercier et Camier. The Nobel Committee praised his written creations as a new form of novel and drama; dubbed the “Theater of the Absurd” by Martin Esslin in 1962. The Committee explicitaly sited Waiting for Godot and Happy Days, written in 1960, as the definitive works for this new style of writing, exceedingly worthy of tribute and fortune.
Waiting for Godot is a play, in two acts, expressing sorrow and discontent with life’s emptiness, but has no substance beyond the existential context of one’s self providing the essence to fill the void of a barren plot, and not surprisingly, everyone does. Interpretations of existential, Freudian, Christian, sexual, political, all these forms, and more, have found their way into their perception of Beckett’s true allegorical meaning of Waiting for Godot. Beckett provided little clarification on the play’s meaning except to restate what he had written, maybe as ploy to maintain interest in the play, but likely because he felt that the play said all that could be said, eventually, expressing his frustration with all the misinterpretations of the play, by exclaiming “Why people have to complicate a thing so simple I can’t make out.”
Waiting for Godot will amuse you and likely, you will discover its true essence.