Summary and Analysis Act I: Arrival of Boy Messenger


Out of nowhere a boy with a message from Mr. Godot appears, but the boy is too frightened to come close to the tramps. They question the boy about his fears and ask him if he has been here before. Suddenly, the boy delivers his message: "Mr. Godot told me to tell you he won't come this evening, but surely to-morrow." The tramps question the boy about Mr. Godot and discover that the boy tends the goats for Mr. Godot, that Mr. Godot does not beat him, but that he does beat the boy's brother, who tends the sheep. Both of the brothers sleep in the hayloft of the barn. The boy then leaves.

The main significance of the arrival of the boy lies in what light he can shed on the figure of Godot. By the way the tramps question the boy about Godot, we now realize that Vladimir and Estragon know very little, if anything, about Godot. Apparently, Godot keeps sheep and goats and is good to the boy who tends the goats but beats the brother who tends the sheep. The reasons for beating the brother are unknown. If, therefore, Godot is equated with God, then Godot's behavior would suggest an Old Testament God who accepts the offering of one brother (Abel) and rejects the offering of the other brother (Cain). God's rejection of Cain's offering is difficult or impossible to explain. Thus Godot's actions are as incomprehensible as some of the actions of the Old Testament God.