Waiting for Godot: Characters
Known simply as “boy,” at the end of both acts this character appears with a message from Godot informing Vladimir and Estragon that once again he will not appear but he will surely come tomorrow. In Act I the boy is fearful because he saw Pozzo with a whip, and in Act II he says he did not appear the night before but that perhaps it was his brother instead. He takes care of Godot’s goats while his brother cares for his sheep. He informs the men that Godot, who beats his brother but not him, has a white beard.
Paired with Vladimir and nicknamed Gogo, Estragon is one of the play’s main characters. When he is not with Vladimir he is helpless and gets beaten up. He doesn’t seem as intelligent as Vladimir, at times seems childlike, and depends on Vladimir for food and protection. He likes carrots, complains about troublesome boots, and cannot differentiate one day from the next. He constantly threatens to leave but is held back by Vladimir who constantly reminds him that they cannot leave because they must wait for Godot.
Godot is the elusive man whose name sounds and reads like God, for whom Vladimir and Estragon obsessively wait night after night. He never comes to meet them nor does he appear at all in the play. Instead, a boy appears every evening to the waiting men to inform them that Godot has sent him and that he will not be coming that evening but surely will tomorrow. Godot has possibly kept Vladimir and Estragon waiting for at least fifty years.
Paired with Pozzo, Lucky is Pozzo's slave and carries Pozzo's luggage without ever putting it down. He provides a diversion for Vladimir and Estragon and kicks the latter in the leg when Estragon attempts to steal the bone thrown him by Pozzo. In Act I, he sleeps, dances and thinks, albeit gibberish, when he puts his hat on. In Act II, he seems more diminished and doesn’t speak.
Paired with Lucky, Pozzo is a cruel master who is intent on taking his slave Lucky to market where he intends to sell him after years of servitude. He provides a diversion for Vladimir and Estragon’s mind-numbing lives. He drives his slave with a rope collar, makes him carry his luggage, and treats him with great cruelty. Whereas in Act I, Pozzo is sighted, in the second act, he is blind and fails to recognize Vladimir and Estragon.
Paired with Estragon, and nicknamed Didi, Vladimir is one of the play’s main characters. Far more intelligent than Estragon, his memory is better and he seems more deeply concerned about the state of their desperate lives. He is the one who constantly reminds Estragon that they cannot leave because it is imperative that they wait for Godot. The boy calls him Mr. Albert as if he knows him, and Vladimir, unlike Estragon, remembers seeing the boy. In some regards, Vladimir seems parental to the dependent Estragon but Vladimir is also dependent on Estragon for company, diversion and most of all to validate the necessity to wait for Godot.