The Parable of Salvation or Damnation: A Study of Samuel Beckett’s Biblical Allusions in Waiting for Godot
Hossain, Mohammad Kamal
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Equivocally referred Biblical allusions in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot conform significantly to the playwright’s uncertain vision of the Christian creed as projected in many of his major works. The ambiguous nature of the scriptural references in his plays has very often been attributed as the most convincing reason to the perception of Beckett as a skeptic or in some cases as an atheist. The present study intends to examine the Biblical allusions used in Waiting for Godot with a view to understanding the dramatist’s real objectives behind using them. Uncertainty about the quintessence of some fundamental Christian truths is presented through cryptic references to the Biblical contents. The intricate web of scriptural references in the play serves the purpose of presenting a vision of hopelessness and chaos at the core of human existence. The possibility of redemption for humanity is denied through the ambiguity reflected in the numerous references to Biblical parables. One major finding of the present study is the fact that, through his characters’ Biblical citations Beckett seems to oscillate between the realms of faith and faithlessness. The present study concludes that the Biblical allusions in Waiting for Godot do not foreshadow any change in the immobile lives of the characters, instead, it only adds to the intensity of what is already there.