Theme of Relationship in “Waiting for Godot” | Three Main Relationships

Theme of Relationship in “Waiting for Godot” | Three Main Relationships

Theme of relationship is a prominent theme of “Waiting for Godot”. Samuel Becket portrays different types of human relationships. There are four kinds of individuals in it. Every character is a separate entity. Individually, they refer something but in a relationship they indicate something else. Vladimir’s problems are mental; Estragon’s physical. Pozzo and Lucky are presented to show two human races. But when these individuals are put into relations, they perform very important roles in the play. Three types of associations portrays theme of relationship in “Waiting for Godot”.

  • Relationship between Estragon and Vladimir
  • Association of Pozzo and Lucky
  • Relationship of Estragon and Vladimir with Godot.

Relationship between Estragon and Vladimir:

First relationship is between Estragon and Vladimir. They both are dependent on each other. Vladimir is eloquent, intellectual, cultured than Estragon. He knows Latin. He is politer than Estragon. On the other hand, Estragon is volatile. He likes telling funny stories. He is less intellectctual as compared to Vladimir. Difference between both of them can be seen in a beautiful dialogue of Estragon. “He has stinking breath and I have stinking feet” Although their personalities are in contrast to each other but they both make a strong relationship. Samuel Becket depicts relationship between two contrasting personalities. They fight each other but still they are friends. Exact period of their friendship is unknown but we know that their past is more promising than their future. Of course, there is a strange friendship between them. They are companions of a long journey. They fight but cannot live separate. There is a difference in their thinking, in their style of living, in their speaking and finally in their philosophy. Both don’t know their future and waiting for hope i.e. Godot. Their life is miserable but strong relationship between both of them gives them hope. They can’t survive if separated. Their bond is strong. Neither Estragon can leave Vladimir nor can Vladimir leave Estragon. Their relationship lays “somewhere between fatigue and ennui”. Vladimir’s dialogue in this regard is helpful. While recalling his memory he says:-

“In the nineties, hand in hand, from the top of the Eiffel Tower, among the first. We were presentable in those days. Now its too late. They wouldn’t even let us up.”

Waiting for Godot

Thus, they are friends. Since when? We don’t know. But they need each other. It is evident from famous dialogue between the two;

“Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!”

Waiting for Godot

When one gives up waiting for Godot, the second gives hope. When second gives up , first motivates him. Whole play goes on in this way. When Estragon is beaten by strangers, Vladimir shows kindness and pretends like he is protecting him. They need to fight and abuse each other in order to pass their time. Strong relationship between both these two is evident that Samuel Becket willfully portrayed theme of relationship in “Waiting for Godot”.

Association of Pozzo and Lucky:

In theme of relationship of “Waiting for Godot”, Lucky and Pozzo are at second. In first act of the play, lucky is presented as a slave, whereas Pozzo as the master. Lucky presents the modern slavery system, which is worst then actual slavery. He is the representative of dog-like human race; a race which has no value at all. Lucky’s character presents a miserable miserable condition of humanity. Samuel Becket symbolizes Pozzo as a cruel master. More cruelty has been shown in the scene when Lucky eats bones.

Second relationship between both of them is of gods and human. Gods are masters of the universe. They can do anything with humans. Pozzo is symbol of god and Lucky as a puppet in his hands. He can be cruel to him or merciful. Lucky has to accept his orders in any case. There is also one thing common between both of them; Lucky and Pozzo are interdependent. Pozzo cannot go anywhere without his slave. It also reveals that feudal class through is superior yet cannot do anything without slaves. Pozzo and Lucky are symbolic characters. Estragon and Vladimir though are dependent yet they are separate individuals but in case of Pozzo and Lucky, they are not two but one. Thus, their bond is stronger than Estragon and Vladimir. Relation between Lucky and Pozzo proves that “Waiting for Godot” is a clear depiction of theme of relationship.

Relationship of Estragon and Vladimir with Godot:

Last relationship is between Godot and Estragon-Vladimir. Both are waiting for him. They do not go anywhere because they don’t want to miss him. What is Godot? it has never been answered in the play. Samuel Becket has also not answered this question. Godot then perhaps is God. Both the characters are waiting for Him, who will come and guide them. Perhaps he will come and given them a task. They cannot even move from that place without Godot. They cannot go anywhere without Him. Thus, they have no other choice except waiting for Him. Thus, there is a relationship between God and human. They are Christians by religious, therefore, they strongly believe on the existence of God. Perhaps, they are waiting for Almighty’s help.

Godot may also be called a symbol of hope. Even then there is relationship between them and hope. They have become hopeless, therefore, want drift in their lives. It is a relationship, which can always be found in every person. It does not matter whether a person believes on a religion or not, he has hope in his life. Otherwise, without hope, no one is ready to stay in this world. Hence, a connection between hope and humans has very beautifully been presented by Samuel Becket.

These three relationships are related to humans and other entities. Some relations are humans to humans, whereas remaining are humans to other objects. Becket has closely observed life and found that these are main relationships, which every person observes his whole life. Thus, these are witnessed by every person, if he has a prudent mind. To conclude, following relationships completes the theme of relationship in “Waiting for Godot”:

  • Human with human
  • Human with gods
  • Human with hope
  • Two races
  • Four individuals

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