Act I, Part-I Detailed Summary of Waiting for Godot: "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Becket
Two Tramps In Bad Times:
It is evening time; there is a road with a single tree while Estragon, sitting on a mound, is trying to take off his boot. Vladimir advances to Estragon. He expresses joy to have met him again. He asks Estragon to stand up and hug him but Estragon refuses to do so because he is taking off his shoe or it may hurts. Estragon tells him that somebody beat him up and he spent the night in the ditch. This seems to be the routine for Estragon. Estragon does not remember whether it is the same group which beat him always. Vladimir talks about how difficult the life has been for them while Estragon asks him to help pull off his shoe but Vladimir keeps on talking. He says they should have committed suicide: "Hand in hand from the top of the Eiffel Tower, among the first". Estragon asks him to help and Vladimir innocently asks him help for what. Estragon asks him again but Vladimir does not help saying: "No one ever suffers but you. I don't count". Estragon is almost yelling: "Why don't you help me?" But Vladimir would keep on talking and discussing the matters pertaining to the existence of man. What Estragon often does is: "He takes off his hat again, peers inside...knocks on the crown as though to dislodge a foreign body, peers into it again, puts it on again". In the meantime, Estragon succeeds in pulling off his boot.
The Tramps Discussing the Philosophy and Chances of Survival:
Vladimir begins a philosophical conversation without any clue to the topic:" One of the thieves was saved. (Pause.) It's a reasonable percentage". Then, in the same fit of frenzy, he continues: "Suppose we repented". Estragon is unable to understand the meaning of what Vladimir says. He asks for details but finding no answer thinks it is about their birth. Vladimir laughs and asks if he ever read Bible and the reply is "I must have taken a look at it". They discuss about Gospels and Estragon remembers nothing about the book except the map of the holy city.
We find the characters are extremely short of their memories; either they don't remember at all and if they remember, this is incomplete and incomprehensible probably an effort on the part of the author to depict the unbearable existence of man. Therefore, the characters in the play do sound strange at times but they always seem to suggest the fall of man and loss of clarity.
They Are Waiting For Godot:
Vladimir tells the story of the two thieves to Estragon because "it will pass the time" though he says "no". He tells only one of the two thieves was saved. And during all the conversation Estragon and Vladimir never agree on the incident they are discussing. Estragon asks Vladimir to go but he refuses to go because they are waiting for Godot. Estragon is not certain where they were asked to wait but Vladimir reminds him that it was by the tree. The tree itself is bare. Estragon says the Godot should be there but Vladimir replies: "He didn ' t say for sure he'd come". Both of them agree that if Godot does not come the next day they shall wait there every day until Godot arrives because they are "merciless" lest he comes.
Then they begin doubting if this is the same place and time. Vladimir remembers the Godot said he would come on Saturday. They are not sure of it. They are even not sure if it is Saturday today. The worst thing is they don't manage to determine what day of week it is or which year it is. They seem to have lost the tide of time and space. They are in an era which is timeless for them.