Estragon is trying to take off his boot when Vladimir enters. The two men greet each other; Vladimir examines his hat while Estragon struggles with his boot. They discuss the versions of the story of the two thieves in the Gospels, and Vladimir wonders why one version of the story is considered more accurate than the others.
Estragon wants to leave, but Vladimir tells him that they cannot because they are waiting for Godot, who they are supposed to meet by the tree. They wonder if they are waiting in the correct spot, or if it is even the correct day.
Estragon falls asleep, but Vladimir wakes him because he feels lonely. Estragon starts to tell Vladimir about the dream he was having, but Vladimir does not want to hear his "private nightmares." Estragon wonders if it would be better for them to part, but Vladimir insists that Estragon would not go far. They argue and Vladimir storms off the stage, but Estragon convinces him to come back and they make up.
They discuss what to do next while they wait, and Estragon suggests hanging themselves from the tree. However, after a discussion of the logistics, they decide to wait and see what Godot says.
Estragon is hungry, and Vladimir gives him a carrot. They discuss whether they are tied to Godot when they hear a terrible cry nearby and huddle together to await what is coming.
The beginning of the play establishes Vladimir and Estragon's relationship. Vladimir clearly realizes that Estragon is dependent on him when he tells Estragon that he would be "nothing more than a little heap of bones" without him. Vladimir also insists that Estragon would not go far if they parted. This dependency extends even to minute, everyday things, as Estragon cannot even take off his boot without help from Vladimir.