And yet . . . (pause) . . . how is it –this is not boring you I hope– how is it that of the four Evangelists only one speaks of a thief being saved. The four of them were there –or thereabouts– and only one speaks of a thief being saved. (Pause.) Come on, Gogo, return the ball, can't you, once in a way?

While Vladimir offers many different philosophical musings throughout the play, this one, which occurs early in Act One, emphasizes his role in illustrating Beckett’s thematic interest in meaninglessness. Vladimir calls attention to the discrepancies between the stories in the Gospels and questions why one version dominates over the others, a point which works to challenge the assumed authority of religion as a whole. Through Vladimir’s attempts to interpret the absurd world around him, Beckett demonstrates that the constructs that humans look to for meaning, such as religion, academia, and friendship, are not as certain as they appear.

ESTRAGON: (on one leg). I'll never walk again! 

VLADIMIR: (tenderly). I'll carry you. (Pause.) If necessary.

Vladimir offers this response to Estragon after Lucky aggressively kicks him in Act One, and the kind tone that he uses points to his role as the caregiver in their relationship. As is the case elsewhere in the play, Vladimir does what he can to ensure that Estragon is comfortable and in possession of the things he needs. The addition of “if necessary” to the end of Vladimir’s generous offer, however, points to the ambiguity that they maintain in their relationship.

VLADIMIR: Ah Gogo, don't go on like that. Tomorrow everything will be better.  

ESTRAGON: How do you make that out?  

VLADIMIR: Did you not hear what the child said?  


VLADIMIR: He said that Godot was sure to come tomorrow. (Pause.) What do you say to that?

At the end of Act One, Vladimir offers Estragon this reassurance that Godot will surely come to visit them the following day. He believes the message that Godot’s boy delivered, and his inherent sense of optimism gives him the confidence to continue waiting. While Vladimir’s hope in the face of the absurd world of the play is admirable, it also serves as his primary downfall. He struggles to imagine anything beyond waiting for Godot because of his fixation on the possibility that he may one day arrive.

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