Lucky is Pozzo’s slave, and he endures significant verbal and physical abuse throughout the play as well as dehumanizing treatment from the other three characters. The physicality of his character offers a key glimpse at the nature of his personality as he struggles under the weight of the bags he carries, bags which he refuses to put down. This posture emphasizes Lucky’s lack of power and calls attention to the suffering he experiences at the hands of his master. In this context, Lucky’s name becomes another symbol of the play’s absurd universe as he is far from fortunate in his position. Unfortunately, he finds himself literally tied to the source of his struggle like an animal, and the possibility of escape seems virtually impossible. Beckett offers some hints throughout the play, however, that Lucky may not wholly object to his life under Pozzo’s authoritative rule. He follows Pozzo’s orders without much hesitation or resistance, and Pozzo even suggests that Lucky refuses to put the bags down in order to show him how much he wants to continue working for him. While this justification does not come from Lucky himself, the fact that he begins to cry as Pozzo discusses getting rid of him suggests that there may be some truth to it. As brutal as Lucky’s situation is, it does offer him a degree of certainty and stability that none of the other characters can achieve. Pozzo dictates every aspect of Lucky’s life and essentially shields him from the meaninglessness that the others inevitably face.

One of Lucky’s most notable qualities, however, is his ability to think, and this leads to his famous speech near the end of Act One. While this long, convoluted monologue seems like nonsense, it works to establish him as a more intellectual character than he may initially appear to be. He attempts to make a formal speech and draws on academic conventions in order to do so, a strategy which the other characters rarely employ. Beckett uses the garbled nature of Lucky’s musings in order to push back against the assumed authority of academia, but this moment also implies that he possesses a more philosophical view of the world like Vladimir does. Pozzo limits Lucky’s ability to explore his ideas, however, by taking away the hat that allows him to think. By Act Two, Lucky becomes completely mute and has no lines, a shift which reflects the tighter control that Pozzo has over him once he becomes blind. All of his attention shifts instead toward learning to navigate the world without the certainty of Pozzo’s uninhibited authority.

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