Pragmatism

Waiting for God? Oh.

Reposted with permission from The Cripplegate.

If you haven’t seen Samuel Beckett’s famous play, Waiting for Godot, let me tell you what you missed by quoting a stage critic, Vivian Mercier: “Waiting for Godot has achieved theoretical impossibility: a play in which … nothing happens, twice.”

The play has two acts and involves two characters joined sporadically by a few more characters, who are waiting for a character named Godot. At the end of the first act a boy shows up with a message from Godot that he will not be coming today, but will certainly come tomorrow.

After the interval, the play resumes as the next day, with no plot development at all, until at the end of the second and final act, when the boy shows up again with the same message that Godot will not be coming today, but will surely come tomorrow.

The drama world was startled by the advent of a new concept: a play with no plot, no climax, and no character development, breaking all the rules of theatre, for no apparent reason. Of course, when interrogated as to what it all meant, Samuel Beckett declared emphatically, “It means what it says!”

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