Lucky’s hat at same place.The tree has four or five leaves.Enter Vladimir agitatedly. He halts and looks long at the tree, then suddenly begins to move feverishly about the stage. He halts before the boots, picks one up, examines it, sniffs it, manifests disgust, puts it back carefully. Comes and goes. Halts extreme right and gazes into distance off, shading his eyes with his hand. Comes and goes. Halts extreme left, as before. Comes and goes. Halts suddenly and begins to sing loudly.
He stops, broods. Softly.
And dug the dog a tomb . . .
He remains a moment silent and motionless, then begins to move feverishly about the stage. He halts before the tree, comes and goes, before the boots, comes and goes, halts extreme right, gazes into distance, extreme left, gazes into distance. Enter Estragon right, barefoot, head bowed. He slowly crosses the stage. Vladimir turns and sees him.
VLADIMIR: You again! (Estragon halts but does not raise his head. Vladimir goes towards him.) Come here till I embrace you.
ESTRAGON:Don’t touch me!Vladimir holds back, pained.
VLADIMIR:Do you want me to go away? (Pause.) Gogo! (Pause. Vladimir observes him attentively.) Did they beat you? (Pause.) Gogo! (Estragon remains silent, head bowed.) Where did you spend the night?
ESTRAGON: Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!
VLADIMIR: Did I ever leave you?
ESTRAGON: You let me go.
VLADIMIR:Look at me. (Estragon does not raise his head. Violently.) Will you look at me!Estragon raises his head. They look long at each other, then suddenly embrace, clapping each other on the back. End of the embrace. Estragon, no longer supported, almost falls.
ESTRAGON: What a day!
VLADIMIR: Who beat you? Tell me.
ESTRAGON: Another day done with.
VLADIMIR: Not yet.
ESTRAGON: For me it’s over and done with, no matter what happens. (Silence.) I heard you singing.
VLADIMIR: That’s right, I remember.
ESTRAGON: That finished me. I said to myself, He’s all alone, he thinks I’m gone for ever, and he sings.
VLADIMIR: One is not master of one’s moods. All day I’ve felt in great form. (Pause.) I didn’t get up in the night, not once!
ESTRAGON: (sadly). You see, you piss better when I’m not there.
VLADIMIR: I missed you . . . and at the same time I was happy. Isn’t that a strange thing?
ESTRAGON: (shocked). Happy?
VLADIMIR: Perhaps it’s not quite the right word.
ESTRAGON: And now?
VLADIMIR: Now? . . . (Joyous.) There you are again . . . (Indifferent.) There we are again. . . (Gloomy.) There I am again.
ESTRAGON: You see, you feel worse when I’m with you. I feel better alone too.
VLADIMIR:(vexed). Then why do you always come crawling back?ESTRAGON: I don’t know.
VLADIMIR: No, but I do. It’s because you don’t know how to defend yourself. I wouldn’t have let them beat you.
ESTRAGON: You couldn’t have stopped them.
VLADIMIR: Why not?
ESTRAGON: There was ten of them.
VLADIMIR: No, I mean before they beat you. I would have stopped you from doing whatever it was you were doing.
ESTRAGON: I wasn’t doing anything.
VLADIMIR: Then why did they beat you?
ESTRAGON:I don’t know.
VLADIMIR: Ah no, Gogo, the truth is there are things that escape you that don’t escape me, you must feel it yourself.
ESTRAGON:I tell you I wasn’t doing anything.
VLADIMIR:Perhaps you weren’t. But it’s the way of doing it that counts, the way of doing it, if you want to go on living.
ESTRAGON: I wasn’t doing anything.
VLADIMIR: ou must be happy too, deep down, if you only knew it.
ESTRAGON: Happy about what?
VLADIMIR: To be back with me again.
ESTRAGON: Would you say so?
VLADIMIR: Say you are, even if it’s not true.
ESTRAGON: What am I to say?
VLADIMIR: Say, I am happy.
ESTRAGON: I am happy.
VLADIMIR:So am I.
ESTRAGON:So am I.
VLADIMIR:We are happy.
ESTRAGON:We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?
VLADIMIR: Wait for Godot. (Estragon groans. Silence.) Things have changed here since yesterday.
ESTRAGON: And if he doesn’t come?
VLADIMIR:(after a moment of bewilderment). We’ll see when the time comes. (Pause.) I was saying that things have changed here since yesterday.
Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play’s 1953 premiere. It was voted “the most significant English language play of the 20th century”.Waiting for Godot is Beckett’s translation of his own original French version, En attendant Godot, and is subtitled (in English only) “a tragicomedy in two acts”. The original French text was composed between 9 October 1948 and 29 January 1949. The première was on 5 January 1953 in the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris.
TV production from 1961, starring Burgess Meredith and Zero Mostel.
Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906 – 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomicoutlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.
Selected works by Beckett
Translation collections and long works