Listen&Learn: Waiting for Godot

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the famous play by Samuel Beckett.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • tragicomedy: a type of play that tells a serious story with humourous elements
  • subvert: to change the way something is usually done
  • critic: someone who gives their opinion about something
  • allegory: a text that has a hidden meaning under the literal story it tells
  • mundane: boring, ordinary

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Waiting for Godot is a 1952 by Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Beckett originally wrote the play in French, and translated it into English a few years later. It is considered a tragicomedy. The play is about two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who speak to each other while they wait for a man named Godot to meet them. Godot never arrives. Waiting for Godot became famous for subverting common play . Besides the between Vladimir and Estragon, not much happens in the play. Many people have opinions about the hidden of the story. Some critics believe that Waiting for Godot is a religious allegory, and that Godot represents God. Others believe that the play represents the mundane parts of life, and that Godot represents .

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The writer of Waiting for Godot was
    a. French
    b. Irish
    c. English
  2. The play is considered a
    a. romance
    b. tragicomedy
    c. tragedy
  3. Waiting for Godot became famous because
    a. it criticized religion
    b. it subverted common play structures
    c. it told an epic story

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you prefer stories with exciting plots or thought-provoking ideas?

Transcript

Waiting for Godot is a 1952 play by Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Beckett originally wrote the play in French, and translated it into English a few years later. It is considered a tragicomedy. The play is about two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who speak to each other while they wait for a man named Godot to meet them. Godot never arrives. Waiting for Godot became famous for subverting common play structures. Besides the conversations between Vladimir and Estragon, not much happens in the play. Many people have opinions about the hidden meaning of the story. Some critics believe that Waiting for Godot is a religious allegory, and that Godot represents God. Others believe that the play represents the mundane parts of life, and that Godot represents death

Answers to comprehension questions

1b 2b 3b

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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