Open Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
English Language and Literature
Annette Wannamaker, Ph.D.
Paul Bruss, Ph.D.
Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot is commonly interpreted within the context of the Theater of the Absurd, existentialist literature, or Christian allegory. This thesis recognizes the validity of all such readings while attempting to merge these seemingly contradictory perspectives. By reading the play within the context of Christian Existentialism, new insights are uncovered as to what the play may be saying about the existential dilemma. Søren Kierkegaard, often called the Father of Existentialism, authored multiple works that influenced modern existentialist writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Kierkegaard’s writings, however, were Christian in nature rather than atheistic. By applying his philosophical theories to various aspects of Waiting for Godot, one can see how several common readings of the play relate. This thesis focuses particularly on the relationships of the two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, the servant Lucky’s speech, the figure of Godot, and the use of paradox.
Kelsch, Amanda L., "Reading Waiting for Godot through the Lens of Christian Existentialism" (2007). Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 41.