Character of Vladimir in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket
In "Waiting for Godot", Samuel Becket's portrayal of Vladimir is to give vent to a dying rim of light, a sort of hope, in contrast with the dismal and shocking condition of man . Vladimir is the sort of character used by Becket to develop the theme by use of pairing and parallels in establishing the relationships of the characters in such a way as to project the miserable plight of man. In comparison to Estragon, Vladimir is quite strong whether it be saving Estragon or it comes to the basic purpose of them being there. It is him that keeps on reminding Estragon that they are waiting for Godot, a mysterious personality supposed to help them out of their terrible condition.
Vladimir, though quite different from his parallel Estragon, is not strong of memory either. Though he does remember that they are waiting for Godot but he cannot recall the day Godot is supposed to come. Nor does he remember where he exactly said he would come. Even the time and place is not certain. What he remembers is that Godot would come tomorrow. Therefore, they are waiting for him. He keeps on reminding Estragon that they must wait for Godot though:
"He didn ' t say for sure he'd come. "
He is similar to Estragon is several aspects including the loss of memory as well the concept of them being lost to the stage where there is very little chance of their survival even if they repent. He proposes Estragon that they should have committed suicide in the days gone by when they had little respect left:
"Hand in hand from the top of the Eiffel Tower, among the first. We were respectable in those days. Now it's too late. They wouldn't even let us up."
Vladimir is also a ray of hope in the play because he is the only character that remembers something. He is the one that talks of hope and betterment. Only he talks about repentance and redemption though he does admit that chances are little and "It's too much for one man." He too, is unaware of the notion of time. When he comes back to the same place where it was a bare tree "yesterday"; he claims to have separated from Estragon just for one night whereas we can observe the tree has got new leaves and this is not possible in a single night.
However, his character is quite strong in comparison to all other characters in the play. He does represent the entire mankind and the little hope with them:
"But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!"
But unfortunately, he does nothing but to profess that :
"We'll hang ourselves tomorrow. (Pause.) Unless Godot comes."