Theme of Humor
Humor is the ability to see things as funny and the tendency of an act or experience to cause laughter and amusement.
In the play, Waiting for Godot, different types of humor has been portrayed. Dramatic irony is seen in act two where Vladimir thinks that he is crazy. At this juncture, nobody recalls the event that has happened earlier. The conversation between Vladimir and the boy tells us that the boy does not recall past event yet as a messenger, he is expected to have sound and reliable memory. Since the audience is aware of what is happening, they are conflicted with believing Vladimir.
“Vladimir: off we go again. (Pause). Do you recognize me?
Boy: No sir.
Vladimir: it was not you came yesterday.
Boy. Yes sir. Silence.” (81).
Stand-up as another kind of humor is portrayed in the conversation between Vladimir and Estragon. As they continue waiting for Godot, they ask themselves what to do to pass time.
In response, Estragon suggests that they hang themselves. Vladimir counteract by saying that in deed hanging themselves would give them an erection.
“Vladimir: it is for the kidneys. . . .What do we do now?
Vladimir: yes, but while waiting?
Estragon: What about hanging ourselves?
Vladimir: Hmm.it would give us an erection.
Estragon 🙁 highly excited). An erection!
Vladimir: with all that follows . . .
Estragon: Let’s hang ourselves immediately!” (12-13).
The suggestion of the two committing suicide is tragic while on the other hand the audience receives it as joke and a comic one. Humor continues even after this conversation whereby the two argues who would start hanging himself. Vladimir suggests a comic reason why Estragon should be the first one. He argues that Estragon should start since he weighs less. This will cause laughter to the audience by the fact that the lighter person should be the one to commit suicide first. The author uses humor in the play as a tool to capture the attention of the audience and at the same time ensuring that they understand the importance time in their own existence.