Waiting for Godot: A Deconstructive Study

Javed Akhter

Abstract


Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) is the most eminent French philosopher and literary theorist of deconstruction. He challenges the logo-centric Western tradition of the metaphysics of presence, which has been dominant from Plato’s “Phaedrus” until Edmund Husserl’s “Origin of Geometry” in Western philosophy. His trend-breaking theory of deconstruction attacks the metaphysical presuppositions of Western philosophy, ethics, culture, politics and literature. It may give a new meaning and perspective to Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, which has always been a focal point for the world’s literary critics.  They have applied various theories to it, but this paper tries to scrutinize the different facets of the play from Derridean deconstructive theory.

 

Applying Derridean deconstructive hermeneutics to the text of the play under discussion, the author of this paper introduces a new portrait of the personages of the play. The study will retrace the pathways of Western tradition of the metaphysics of presence and its compelling influences, which have proved to be the inhibiting and fossilizing deadlocks of aporia of meaning and authoritative structures of human thought to explore the new horizons. In its concluding mode, the study exposes preventive stumbling aporic blocks of centralized structure of the minds of characters in the given play.


Keywords


Jacques Derrida, deconstruction, metaphysics of presence and messianic, aporia, binary oppositions, delogocentrism.

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