Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Waiting for Godot: Context
Waiting for Godot: Plot Summary
Waiting for Godot: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Waiting for Godot: Themes
Waiting for Godot: Quotes
Waiting for Godot: Characters
Waiting for Godot: Symbols
Waiting for Godot: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Samuel Beckett
Historical Context of Waiting for Godot
Other Books Related to Waiting for Godot
- Full Title: Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
- When Written: 1948-1949
- Where Written: Paris
- When Published: 1954
- Literary Period: Modernism, Postmodernism
- Genre: Drama, Tragicomedy (a mixture of tragedy and comedy), Theater of the Absurd
- Setting: The side of an unidentified road, near a tree, at an unspecified time.
- Climax: Beckett's play essentially lacks a climax. Vladimir and Estragon spend both acts waiting for the arrival of Godot, but Godot never comes.
- Antagonist: While Vladimir and Estragon speak of an anonymous "they" who threaten to beat them and from whom they must hide, there is no real antagonist in the play. Part of the characters' predicament is that there is no precise cause or origin of the suffering and alienation they feel.
Extra Credit for Waiting for Godot
En Attendant Godot. Beckett originally wrote Waiting for Godot in French (under the equivalent title, En Attendant Godot). He said that writing in French made it easier to write in the blank, plain style for which the play is famous. Beckett later personally translated the play into English.
Waiting for Whom? While Godot is such an important part of the play, there is widespread disagreement over the correct pronunciation of his name. Some opt for stressing the first syllable ("GOD-oh"), which emphasizes the name's link to God, while others choose to stress the second ("god-OH").