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An Insight of Humor in Waiting For Godot
Waiting for Godot is a classic farce and burlesque. By definition, burlesque is “a literary or dramatic work that ridicules a solemn subject by presenting it in a non-dignified style, or by presenting a trivial subject in a dignified style”. , Waiting for Godot, is brilliantly drawn. While waiting for Godot, we witness these structural relationships that reflect the ‘theater of the absurd’.
Samuel Beckett’s plays contain many comic elements, but they are not comedies in the usual sense and are unlikely to make audiences actually laugh. Our laughter in comedy is often accompanied by a sense of relief from the violation of some social code of conduct performed by the performer. This is not the kind of reaction Beckett is trying to elicit. The norms of social behavior dealt with, for example, in comedies of manners, or the false identities and misunderstandings of farce, do not arise in Beckett’s world, as they are based on the individual’s involvement in society. Financial, social, or psychological aspirations are conditioned by social groups, and this perspective has nothing to do with Beckett’s subject matter. At a more fundamental level, he is concerned with humans as rational animals, or with the existence of isolated individuals in time.
But Beckett’s play has many elements of humor, either in fact or according to traditional associations. These elements, such as clown-like characters, his slapstick actions, and crosstalk, are fundamental parts of many of Beckett’s plays. In considering his reasons for using them, one should look at their impact on the audience and their contribution to the play as a whole.
Dualism is found not only in the nature of the characters, but also in the dialogues of Beckett’s plays. Many interchanges have a funny comical aspect, but a more serious subtext. Especially in “Waiting for Godot” and “Endgame”, there are many scenes in which the characters communicate in a cross-talk style derived from the second act of music hall. Most of the dialogue in Waiting for Godot is of this form, and this technique was taken up and used by Harold Pinter in many of his plays.
Crosstalk is quick, simple and direct. We don’t have time to ponder or digest what’s being said, but we hit the punch line to catch up with the two speakers. and pushes his philosophical points with force.
In Beckett’s hands, crosstalk becomes an economical and powerful way to manipulate ideas.
Vladimir: You must be happy deep down.
Estragon: What makes you happy?
Vladimir: To be with me again.
Vladimir: Say yes, even if it’s not true.
Estragon: What should I say?
Vladimir: Say, I’m happy.
Estragon: I’m happy.
Vladimir: Me too.
Estragon: Me too.
Vladimir: We are happy.
Estragon: We are happy (silence). What do we do now that we are happy?
Vladimir: Wait for Godot.
Beckett entertains his audience while subverting one of the best-known answers to the question of what makes human life worthwhile.
Alone on stage, Vladimir and Estragon rely on each other as touchstones to stay in touch with reality and stay sane.
Estragon; I asked you a question.
Estragon: Did you answer?
Vladimir: How about carrots?
Estragon: It’s a carrot.
Vladimir: Very good. What did you want to know?
Estragon: I forgot.
In the context of a double act in a music hall, such exchanges elicit laughter from the audience. It’s funny in its Waiting for Godot context, but it’s more than that because it’s integrated into the play’s theme. All utterances require an immediate response. It’s as if you have no time to think, no mental energy to devote to contemplation and consideration of meaning.
Their existence seems confined to the present, where they literally live and think moment by moment. Their pressing concerns are too pressing to make any attempt to relate their situation to the broader context. Rapid amnesia is itself indicative of a state of anxiety and unreality. They are unable to grasp any concept of their condition and are unable to function properly due to the lack of certainty associated with their memory.
Many of Beckett’s devices gain meaning through implicit contrast with the original context. Estragon’s trousers falling, for example, refers to a whole convention in the theater, a farce. Of course, Beckett’s theater is also fiction, but he emphasized its novelty by bringing new meaning to the theater and reminding us of what it is not. Waiting for Godot is not a melodrama, a farce, a tragedy, a music hall act, or any other familiar theatrical pastime. It is new and is now commonly called Theater of the Absurd.
Breaking with tradition seems to be one of the points of Pozzo’s comic appearance. When “Waiting for Godot” was first performed, the audience must have been “waiting for the actors” and “waiting for the drama.” When Pozzo arrived, they might have thought the real actor would finally arrive and the drama would begin, but his arrival is actually the big anti-climax.
Pozzo: (horrified voice) I’m Pozzo! (pause) Pozzo! (pauses) Does that name mean nothing to you?
He’s an “actor,” but he’s out of place on this stage. His melodramatic style does not fare well in an empty world of waiting. His acting style is as dated and irrelevant as his demeanor, and his importance to the audience as well as Vladimir and Estragon is nothing more than helping time flow faster.
By thus implicitly dismissing traditional forms of theater, Beckett further increased the impact his theater was able to address his views on the realities of twentieth-century life.
Beckett therefore uses comedy in different ways. Superficially we may be amused, but it helps keep us interested in play that would otherwise become boring. Humor, however, is always a statement that has a deeper meaning to the meaning of the play and, through the play, to our lives, either by its content, its implied meaning, or its implied relationship to other dramatic forms. is just one aspect of her. It can therefore be concluded that Waiting for Godot is structurally based on traditional farce and burlesque.
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