Waiting for Godot - Freudian

Suzannah, Ally, Mikalah, Emma

What is the Freudian Lense

The Freudian Lens, or the Psychoanalytic lens, examines how the brain is influenced by the various aspects of display. The theory is built on Sigmund Freud’s psychological concepts. Freud asserted that the unconscious affects people’s behaviors. According to this specific lens, each character is attempting to achieve narcissistic bliss. Parent-child relationships, such as the “Oedipal complex,” are studied, The ID, Ego, and Superego are emphasized.

The ID (Latin for "it")

the ID is completely unconscious it consists of innate sexual and aggressive drives. The ID is impulsive, irrational, and immature (It’s the little devil on your shoulder tempting you)––operates on the pleasure principle.


Example: Ethan has a lot of ID in his life. His grandmother gave him a lot of money for college. He knows his grandma wants him to use that money for college, but, instead he blew it on a car even though he already had one

The Ego

latin for “I” it is rational. Aware of external realities


Example: his ego will make a compromise between putting almost all the money to college and only taking a little to put towards a car

The Superego

- Has the two characters chagrined by the thought of him

- Vladimir and Estragon return to the same spot multiple days waiting of Godot to come

- Godot keeps them “in check” which the objective of the superego according to Freud is to “keep the id in check”

Vladimir - the Ego (Ally)

ESTRAGON:

(violently). I'm hungry!

VLADIMIR:

Do you want a carrot?

ESTRAGON:

Is that all there is?

VLADIMIR:

I might have some turnips.

ESTRAGON:

Give me a carrot. (Vladimir rummages in his pockets, takes out a turnip and gives it to Estragon who takes a bite out of it. Angrily.) It's a turnip!

VLADIMIR:

Oh pardon! I could have sworn it was a carrot. All that's turnips. You must have eaten the last. Wait, I have it. There, dear fellow.

VLADIMIR: (Estragon wipes the carrot on his sleeve and begins to eat it.) Make it last, that's the end of them.


Here is an example of Vladimir as Ego. Vladimir is meeting the survival needs of Estragon but he makes the wise decision to tell him to cherish the last carrot which is meeting the needs of the Super ego.

Vladimir - the ID (Suz)

Vladimir: “When I think of it...all these years...but for me...where would you be…(Decisively.) You’d be nothing more than a little heap of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it.”

Estragon: “And what of it?”

Vladimir: (gloomily). “It’s too much for one man.” (Pause. Cheerfully.) “On the other hand what’s the good of losing heart now, that’s what I say. We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties.”

Estragon: “Ah stop blathering and help me off with this bloody thing”

Vladimir: “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.” (Estragon tears at his boot.) “What are you doing?”

Estragon: Taking off my boot. Did that never happen to you?”

Vladimir: Boots must be taken off every day, I’m tired telling you that. Why don’t you listen to me?”

Estragon: (feebly) “Help me!”

Vladimir: “It hurts?”

Estragon: (angrily). “Hurts! He wants to know if it hurts!”


In this passage Vladimir represents the ID. It shows that he is the “little devil on your shoulder.” Estragon asks for his help but Vladimir goes on about how he needs him reminisces about things that don’t relate to the situation but relate to him being the ID. The pleasure principle.

Estragon - the Ego (Ally)

“VLADIMIR:

Well? What do we do?

ESTRAGON:

Don't let's do anything. It's safer.”



This is an example of Ego in Estragon. The Ego tries to meet the demands of the outside world but works to do it in the most realistic and practical way. Here Estragon and Vladimir are debating hanging themselves from the tree but after the realization that they may break it Estragon decides that it is best to just wait safely for Godot.

Estragon - The ID (Suz)

Estragon: “What about hanging ourselves?”

Vladimir: “Hmm. It’d give us an erection”

Estragon: (highly excited). “An erection!”

Vladimir: “With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?”

Estragon: “Let’s hang ourselves immediately!”


Estragon fulfills the role of the ID in these lines rather than Vladimir who seemed to start out to be the ID. Estragon seeks gratification from hanging himself, which goes with Freud’s philosophy of the pleasure principle.

Godot - Superego (Ally)

VLADIMIR:

(triumphantly). It's Godot! At last! Gogo! It's Godot! We're saved! Let's go and meet him! (He drags Estragon towards the wings. Estragon resists, pulls himself free, exit right.) Gogo! Come back! (Vladimir runs to extreme left, scans the horizon. Enter Estragon right, he hastens towards Vladimir, falls into his arms.) There you are again again!

ESTRAGON:

I'm in hell!

VLADIMIR:

Where were you?

ESTRAGON:

They're coming there too!

This quote shows the god like figure of Godot. He never appears but Estragon and Vladimir both talk about him as if Godot is going to save them from whatever torture they are in. Estragon says they are in “hell” but with Godot’s help they will be removed from their suffering.

Godot - the Superego (Suz)

“VLADIMIR:

To Godot? Tied to Godot! What an idea! No question of it. (Pause.) For the moment.

ESTRAGON:

“His name is Godot?

VLADIMIR:

I think so.”


Godot is not an actual character, he never speaks at all and never appears. However, his name is constantly brought up and the play revolves around him and his arrival. He is the ultimate Superego, seemingly representing a greater good. The play’s main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, almost worship him. As the Superego, he represents what the characters strive to be.

Vladimir - the Ego (Emma)


“VLADIMIR:

Our Savior. Two thieves. One is supposed to have been saved and the other… (he searches for the contrary of saved)... damned.


This is an example of Vladimir as representing the Ego. Vladimir questions why two thieves, seemingly the same, have two totally different outcomes. The Ego focuses on finding the best possible outcomes in situations. In the situation with the thieves, Vladimir can not comprehend that, of two of the same people, one can be saved and one cannot. It is not practical to him.

Vladimir - the ID (Mikalah)

VLADIMIR:

Will you not play?

ESTRAGON:

Play at what?

VLADIMIR:

We could play at Pozzo and Lucky.

ESTRAGON:

Never heard of it.

VLADIMIR:

I'll do Lucky, you do Pozzo. (He imitates Lucky sagging under the weight of his baggage. Estragon looks at him with stupefaction.) Go on.


Vladimir now represents the ID by wanting to act out the events that happened the day before. Vladimir influences Estragon to do immature acts with him. In a way it could be known as pleasuring the principle. In life people are influenced to do immature things when they have spare time.

Estrago - the Ego (Emma)

“ESTRAGON:

If he came yesterday and we weren’t here you may be sure he won’t come again today.”


Estragon reasons, rather logically, that they could be wasting their time, waiting for someone that will never come. He wants to hold on to hope, but knows that he and his friend aren’t being logical, as the Ego in the scenario would reason. If Estragon and Vladimir have already missed Godot, it is logical to assume that Godot is not coming back.

Estragon - the ID (Mikalah)

VLADIMIR:

That prevents you from finding.

ESTRAGON:

It does.

VLADIMIR:

That prevents you from thinking.

ESTRAGON:

You think all the same.

VLADIMIR:

No no, it's impossible.

ESTRAGON:

That's the idea, let's contradict each another.


Estragon brings up the idea to Vladimir to pass time by contradicting each other. Instead of thinking of logical ways to pass time he finds ways for them to pass the time by contradicting, insulting, and making up with each other. In the Freudian view, Estragon starts to be lead by his aggressive drives. This shows how people go through life and think of random, immature ways to pass time waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Godot - Superego (Emma)

“VLADIMIR:

To Godot? Tied to Godot! What an idea! No question of it. (Pause.) For the moment.

ESTRAGON:

“His name is Godot?

VLADIMIR:

I think so.”

Godot is not an actual character, he never speaks at all and never appears. However, his name is constantly brought up and the play revolves around him and his arrival. He is the ultimate Superego, seemingly representing a greater good. The play’s main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, almost worship him. As the Superego, he represents what the characters strive to be.

Godot - the Superego (Mikalah)

Godot is the superego because he has the two characters Vladimir and Estragon waiting for his arrival everyday in the same exact spot. Godot has control over the characters or in other words keeps the characters in check throughout the whole play.