Some scholars said: “The absurdist drama is mainly against the realist drama since the 19th century.” Ionesco, the representative writer of the absurdist drama, also believes that reality is “unfounded and absurd forgery”. Can it be considered that the drama of the absurd has nothing to do with reality? It is not.
The relationship between the drama of the absurd and reality is that it is concerned with the ultimate reality of the human condition, namely, life and death, isolation and communication, among the few fundamental issues.
We interpret “Waiting for Godot” from three main aspects: the absence and uncertainty of God, time, and man, and see the reality of the spiritual life of Westerners in the 1950s and 1960s.
1. The absence and uncertainty of God
Since Nietzsche said that God is dead, traditional Western beliefs and moral values have collapsed. People lose their beliefs, and life becomes meaningless and purposeless, and a sense of absurdity follows. In “Waiting for Godot”, people are still waiting for the God who can save everything to appear, but he appears, but it is unrecognizable.
From Pozzo’s words and actions, it can be seen that in reality, the Almighty God has become a man who needs help, uses money as a tool, is cruel, and believes in destiny.
A Money – a life-saving straw In the
first act , Ge Ge and Didi also love money, but they use money to keep themselves alive. If they can’t even fill their stomachs, how can they be noble? Act 2 , Ge Ge and Didi have been reduced to the point where they lost their morals, and used helping the blind Pozzo as a “pleasure”!? People are like this, what about God?
Pozzo: Help! I’ll give you money!
Pozzo: Ten Shillings—a pound!
In this descendant of God. A world where people with a little divinity are unable to protect themselves and use money as a tool is in an era when divinity and humanity fall together. This is the reality of the West in the 1950s and 1960s
From the Renaissance until before World War II, the West was a world ruled by religion (Christianity), but by the 1950s and 1960s God’s place collapsed and he surrendered it to fate. The world has become a world dominated by fate. This is easy to find in Pozzo, the word of God in reality. Such as:
Pozzo: Think about it, I was probably in his position, and he was probably in my position. If it wasn’t for fate that would have us like this. Everyone has a life.
From the perspective of the type of drama: the development process of fate tragedy, character tragedy, and social tragedy, fate tragedy came into being in extremely ancient times, and it gives people the comfort of pointing out the maze. But in the 1950s and 1960s, in such an era of human discovery, social discovery, and cultural discovery, God abdicated, and abdicated to the fate that ruled people in ancient times!
Is this a retrogression of human history or progress? ? It is better to believe that this is an attempt to find a way out of the absurd reality. An attempt to find a way out from tradition to history to the source.
It can be seen that in people’s spiritual reality, gods exist, but at this time they are already descended gods, and people in distress still need to be rescued. Can people place their hopes on him again and wait for him endlessly?
2. Lack of time and uncertainty
From the stage background and the costumes of the actors, this is a barren and cold season—— Everything is grey (except for a few leaves in the second act), “Color Map of the Holy Land” is just a memory, and “The Blue-Grey Dead Sea” is just an imaginary honeymoon place. If Gogo, Didi, Pozzo, Lucky’s boots and hats can represent the seasons, it’s just the cold seasons, which? Not sure.
From the actors’ dialogues and monologues, it seems that little information can be found. Such as Pozzo: The weather is a little autumnal tonight. And in the second act, a few leaves growing on a dead tree. Can this leaf refer to the arrival of spring? But the author of this article prefers to understand these leaves as a symbol of suppressed and reduced spring (hope) surrounded by vast darkness and cold.
It can be seen that the seasons are already chaotic and vague in these few words and hints. The only thing that can be determined is that people are not in the seasons when they can live comfortably. They are experiencing the “coolness of autumn”, the coldness of winter, and the hopeless hope of spring, waiting.
Estragon : But. Which Saturday? Is it Saturday? Couldn’t it be Sunday? Or Monday? Or Friday?
Godot made two homeless men wait for him on Saturday, the day God made man according to the Bible day. Saturday here may allude to Jesus being crucified on Friday, so Saturday is the day Jesus was not on earth. People are thus desperate, bored and lonely, waiting for spiritual salvation.
In terms of time determination, the Saturday here is chaotic, and the speakers do not know exactly what day of the week today is, and they have lost the coordinates to determine the time. Time is vertically divided into past, present, and future. If the people in the play cannot divide time, then we will all be suspicious of their memories, status quo, and desires.
3 Moments In the division
of each day, we used to be very clearly divided into day and night. However, when the day slips into the night, it is called dusk. When exactly does dusk refer to? Here, the over-simplified mistakes of the past black and white are presented – the third interface. The third interface is something we haven’t studied carefully, so there’s only ambiguity left here. In addition to the ambiguity of moments, there is also the absence of moments—day. This can be seen from the imagery point of view, only the moon appears in the play, and the image of the sun does not appear. (Except for memory)
In reality, the watch can determine the time. The only person in the play who holds the watch, Pozzo (the god who has landed in reality) (this can also prove his identity as a god), lost the watch in the first act. He casually said “I’m going to leave it in the manor” (God’s original home), but left people with a world of uncertainty.
From an imagery point of view, only the moon appears in the play—a thing that only appears in the night, and its cold light adds to the loneliness. Estragon once recalled: “My clothes are dried in the sun.” And from the symbolic meaning of the sun and the moon in Western culture (the Western moon has a metaphor of “crazy, crazy”), people only Living in the twilight and the night, Pozzo was blind, and he could only see the night. These are the basis for the author’s judgment on the people of his own time.
4 Variability The fickleness of
time can be seen in the plot of the leaves turning green overnight. Absurdist dramatists used extreme exaggeration to express that crazy and illogical age.
Vladimir: Only for one night.
Estragon: It must be spring.
Vladimir: According to you, where were we last night?
Estragon: How do I know? In another place. Don’t be afraid of running out of space.
Leaves can turn green overnight, and seasons can be changed overnight. Is this a normal change of time and order? Although they say “don’t be afraid of no space”, people have no home and no heart. 3. Human lack and uncertainty.
1 The absence of women
In the entire “Waiting for Godot”, there is only one mention of women, when Lucky appears, and the slightly brainy Vladimir says he is “like a woman”. Only a world where men and women exist in balance is a world of hope and life. The play is just a one-sex world, which is doomed to go from the desolation of dusk to night and death.
2 Absence of human faculties
except that Pozzo was blind, unable to see, to distinguish between night and day, Lucky became dumb, lost the ability to speak, and was deprived of words at the same time.
In addition to the right, the inability to distinguish time and space of Go Ge, Didi, and the messenger child is also a lack of faculties.
In fact, each of them represents a part of human beings, Pozzo – the god who descended, Lucky – the person thought to be saved, Gogo, Didi – the perverted “husband and wife”, the child – the unidentified person The next generation with location. They are the 1950s and 1960s in the West—an era of blindness, deafness, perversion, and inability to distinguish between right and wrong!
3 Lack of independent personality
Lucky people are deprived of their freedom of identity from the very beginning, and they are not seen as human beings. The second act became more and more dumb, and even his own right to speak was deprived. His personal life has always been downward.
Pozzo, although he appeared as the master, but with his own blindness, he could no longer leave Lucky. Even before he became blind at first, all his wisdom was taught by lucky people. It can be seen that without lucky people, he would not be what he is today. The two are inseparable, and whoever leaves will lose the evidence and support of their existence.
Vladimir and Estragon, one focused on the spirit and the other focused on the body, are not complete personalities.
The Lost of 4 People
Lost and missing are different. Absence is the incompleteness of things, while loss is based on completeness. The actions and functions of each part go wrong, which leads to the destruction of the body of things, including lack.
Pozzo descended from god to man, he and Lucky walk through the stage, what are they looking for? The first act is to go to the market, what about the second? Pozzo sees Lucky now in unbearable pain, does he How about recalling in pain the love and power of God when he was a god? God is no longer God.
The lucky one has lost his freedom and right to speak. He is suffering. He has changed from a complete person to a crop or a tool.
Vladimir and Estragon are lost in that they have lost their “stand”, they are “on the ground”. Waiting for Godot all day, but Godot is always in the future. Don’t they know to leave? It’s the same everywhere.
How to get out of this circular maze? Perhaps Vladimir and Estragon, as the audience’s contemporaries, made a negative attempt for them, so as to make people face an era without gods, facing it, get out of it.
Children who are messengers are also lost. He didn’t know whether he was happy or not, and he didn’t know the people he had met the next day. As the next generation, it is impossible to distinguish right from wrong, and is there a future? This is Samuel Beckett’s worry about the future when he was concerned about the lost spirit of the people at that time!
The author shows us a picture of an absurd and hopeless world. The drawing is gray. Can people be enlightened and be saved in front of such a picture? Only by human beings.
absurdist drama is a marvel of twentieth-century Western drama history, accomplished not only in the fiction, the complexity of the imagery that evokes poetry, and the skill with which the images come together and perpetuate, but, more crucially, what they embody. visual reality and visual reality. The theatre of the absurd, though free in its fiction and spontaneity, is concerned with conveying an existential experience, and in doing so it seeks to uncompromisingly, honestly and fearlessly reveal the ultimate reality of the human condition .