Introduction Summary Texts Meaning Intellectual Contexts Dramatic Art Performance Bibliographical Essay
Discusses the plot, background, ideas, and reception of Waiting for Godot, one of the most widely studied plays.
William Hutchings is Professor of English at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
"[P]rovides a summary of the play's plot, a description of the various texts and editions available, a discussion of the play's intellectual content, an essay on its meaning, and overview of its dramatic art, a history of its performance worldwide through 2004, and a bibliographic essay directing readers to further reading." - Reference & Research Book News "Hutchings places Waiting for Godot on a par with Oedipus Rex and Hamlet in terms of meaning: the three plays have inspired more puzzled arguments than most other dramatic works. Beckett's set is a lone tree, and his characters are only waiting--supposedly--for the central character, who never comes or communicates. The play's meaning, if it has any, has left many playgoers spellbound and confused others. First produced in 1953, the play has fascinated an audience drawn by Beckett's questions: Why are we here? Are we alone in an uncaring universe? What are we to do while we are here? How can we know? And, ultimately, what does it matter? Though Hutchings provides no answers to these questions, he does provide an excellent guide to this complex and puzzling play. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." - Choice