Waiting for Godot
Act I: Pozzo and Lucky Scene
Pozzo enters, driving Lucky ahead of him by a rope around his neck. Vladimir and Estragon wonder if Pozzo is Godot, but he tells them that he is Pozzo and asks if they have heard of him. They tell him that they have not. Pozzo commands Lucky to put down his stool, and sits down and begins to eat some chicken. While he eats, Vladimir and Estragon circle around Lucky, inspecting him. They notice a sore on his neck and begin to ask him a question, but Pozzo tells them to leave him alone.
Estragon asks Pozzo if he can have the bones from his chicken, and Pozzo tells him that Lucky gets priority over them. Estragon asks Lucky if he wants the bones, but he does not reply, and Pozzo tells Estragon that he can have the bones. He comments that he has never known Lucky to refuse a bone and hopes that he is not sick.
Vladimir suddenly explodes with anger at Pozzo's treatment of Lucky, but then seems embarrassed at his outburst. Pozzo decides to go, but then decides to stay and smoke another pipe. Vladimir wants to leave, but Pozzo reminds him of his appointment with Godot.
Estragon begins to wonder aloud why Lucky does not put down his bags. Pozzo begins to answer the question, after much preparation involving his vaporizer spray, but gives a convoluted and contradictory response. Vladimir asks Pozzo if he wants to get rid of Lucky; Pozzo responds that he does and is taking him to the fair to sell him.
Lucky begins to cry, and Pozzo hands Estragon a handkerchief to wipe away his tears. Estragon approaches Lucky, but Lucky kicks him in the shins. Pozzo tells Vladimir and Estragon that he has learned a lot from Lucky, and that Lucky has been serving him for nearly sixty years. Vladimir becomes angry that Pozzo is going to get rid of Lucky after so much time, and Pozzo gets upset. Vladimir then gets angry at Lucky for mistreating Pozzo.
Pozzo calms down, but he realizes that he has lost his pipe and begins to get upset again. While Estragon laughs at Pozzo, Vladimir exits, apparently to go to the bathroom. He returns, in a bad mood, but soon calms down. Pozzo sits down again and begins to explain the twilight. When he finishes, he asks them to evaluate his performance and then offers to have Lucky perform for them. Estragon wants to see Lucky dance, while Vladimir wants to hear him think, so Pozzo commands him to dance and then think.
Lucky dances, and Estragon is not very impressed. Pozzo tells them that he used to dance much better. Vladimir asks him to tell Lucky to think, but Pozzo says that he cannot think without his hat. Vladimir puts Lucky's hat on his head and he begins to think aloud, spouting a long stream of words and phrases that amount to gibberish. As he goes on, the other three suffer more and more and finally throw themselves on him and seize his hat to make him stop. Pozzo tramples on the hat, and the men help Lucky up and give him all the bags.
Pozzo is about to leave, but finds that he cannot. He decides that he needs a running start, so he starts from the opposite end of the stage and drives Lucky across as they exchange good-byes.
Pozzo's statement about his pipe, that the second pipe is never as "sweet" as the first, can apply to experience in general—it suggests that feelings and events dull with repetition.
Repetition of events in the play is emphasized by further textual repetition. When Vladimir and Estragon alternate short lines back and forth, Estragon often repeats himself at the end of a string of lines. This occurs for the first time in this exchange: "Estragon: The circus. Vladimir: The music-hall. Estragon: The circus." This same trope will recur several times in a row at the beginning of the second act, always with Estragon repeating himself.
We see here that Vladimir supports Estragon after Estragon is kicked by Lucky: when he cries that he cannot walk, Vladimir offers to carry him, if necessary. This illustrates Vladimir's attempt to protect and take care of Estragon.
Vladimir is often very quick to change his mind. When he learns of Lucky's long term of service to Pozzo, he becomes angry with Pozzo for mistreating his servant. However, when Pozzo gets upset and says that he cannot bear it any longer, Vladimir quickly transfers his anger to Lucky, whom he reproaches for mistreating his master after so many years. This illustrates how Vladimir's opinion can be easily swayed by a change in circumstances.
In this section we see the first suggestions that Vladimir and Estragon might represent all of humanity. When Pozzo first enters, he notes that Vladimir and Estragon are of the same species as he is, "made in God's image." Later, when Pozzo asks Estragon what his name is, he replies "Adam." This comparison of Estragon to Adam, the first man, suggests that he may represent all of mankind; and this link between Estragon and Adam also relates to the idea of Godot as God.
Pozzo's inquiry about how Vladimir and Estragon found him suggests that Pozzo is giving a performance. This notion is reinforced when he has Lucky perform for them. It seems that Pozzo and Lucky appear primarily to entertain Vladimir and Estragon—after Pozzo and Luck leave, the other two men comment that their presence helped the time pass more rapidly.
Pozzo's failure to depart anticipates the way that Vladimir and Estragon remain waiting at the end of each of the acts, after saying they will depart. However, even after saying, "I don't seem to be able to depart," Pozzo does actually manage to leave. Pozzo moves on while Vladimir and Estragon remain fixed even as the curtain falls at the end of each act.
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