Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot

(936 words)
  • Paul Davies (University of Ulster at Coleraine)

Beckett called his play a “tragicomedy” on the title page, a genre which the work obeys in its concern with the need for humour when confronting an apparently unconcerned “fate”, and which it considerably revises through its radically new conception of “humanity” and its “anti-dramatic” technique: one reviewer commented that this is a play in which “nothing happens, twice”, a reference to its two acts which are in several respects repetitions of each other. Often regarded as Beckett's first play, it was in fact preceded by Eleutheria, a play equally experimental but carrying few signs that Godot would follow within four years. The earlier play failed to find a publisher or t…

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Davies, Paul. "Waiting for Godot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 20 December 2014.]