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Time in 'Waiting for Godot'.

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Time in 'Waiting for Godot' We do not know very much about the future Except that from generation to generation The same things happen again and again. Trapped in the all pervading nothingness, the creatures of the absurd universe have lost their sense of time and space. Beckett's setting for 'Waiting for Godot' mentions only 'A country road, A Tree, Evening.' Thus the play is thrown into a great void - a vacuum which cannot be enclosed by time and space. Beckett's time-purpose in the play is definitely to show the futility of human existence. Time is organically linked and they constitute a continuum. But in Beckett's contrapuntal dramaturgy time and space - the two co-ordinates of human experience are in tensions. Time seems to be virtually non-existence for the space bound tramps. With only the haziest fragments of memory and no future prospects, they seem to exist in a static perpetual present. All things change. Only we can't. Nonetheless, imprisoned as they are in a static situation, their immediate concern, as well as a central concern of the play as a whole, is time - that 'double-headed' monster of damnation and salvation as Beckett says in his Proust. Time is at once the main source of the tramps' hope and despair. ...read more.


But actually they are going round and round in a circle. Thus they are trapped in the circular time of the universe. Gogo and Didi too are trapped with in the unchanging circularity of time in which day and night follow each other in a cycle process. -- But night does not fall. -- It'll fall all of a sudden, like yesterday. -- Then it'll be night. -- And we can go. -- Then it'll be day again. (Pause despairing) What'll we do, what'll we do! In the ultimate of philosophical framework of the book this temporal circularity is perceived as a stasis, a meaningless and everlasting repetition of seasons, days and hours. Pozzo, after he has lost his sight and with it his sense of time realizes this in his last speech: "Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time? It's abominable! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day, like any other day, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you?" Thus time's changes in the play are experienced as static circularity. ...read more.


Pozzo strikes the idea when he says - "I don't remember having met any one yesterday. But tomorrow I won't remember having met anyone today." The absences and uncertain tries of memory on the characters' part would seem to suggest that they live entirely in the present. But what is the present without the past or the future? Its house is the temporal space between 'no longer and not yet. But for Gogo and Didi the present exists merely as an unbearable route to a future in which Godot's arrival will justify their present waiting. But Godot won't turn up, the past is lost to memory, the futures no yet and never to be, and the present is negated. Time is in this timeless play is simultaneously absent and present. Nonetheless, yesterday is not actually dead; rather it is the past that shapes the present - "There is no escape from yesterday. Yesterday has deformed us, or been deformed by us ...... Yesterday is ............ irremediably past of us, with us, heavy and dangerous." The tramps cannot realize it because they are deprived of the power of feeling or imagination. In Beckett's world, time in its circular movement leads to decay and loss. There is nothing optimistic about it. It is only human, subject way of trying to impose meaning on the meaningless. Time in 'Waiting for Godot' ...read more.

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