Waiting For Sisyphus Essay Research Paper Every

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Waiting For Sisyphus Essay, Research Paper Every mind has struggled with Existentialism. Its founders toiled to define it, philosophers strained to grasp it, teachers have a difficult time explaining it. Where do these Existentialists get the right to tell me that my one and only world is meaningless? How can a student believe that someone was sitting in jail and figured out that our existence precedes our essence? Existentialism places man in the center of his own universe; free to make his own choices and decide his purpose. Many of us are not ready for this. Fortunately, the world has come to trust its authors. You can t just sit down and explain the Existentialist belief to a person – it must be put into the context of the human situation. Through stories and situations

the ideas are defined – Franz Kafka s The Metamorphosis, Jean-Paul Sartre s Nausea, Friedrich Nietzsche s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and theater of the absurd plays like Samuel Beckett s Waiting for Godot and Eugene Ionesco s Amedee – they spin you around on your chair so you are facing the real world, and then shove you right into the middle of it. Existentialism especially turns our attention toward the meaningless, repetitive and dull existences we all must lead. Two works, The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus and Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett have exemplified these existential points in contrasting perspectives. In the essay The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus takes a look at the story of Sisyphus, a man that scorns the Gods, challenges their power, and causes a lot of

trouble in his life and afterlife. As his punishment, “His whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing.” He pushes and strains his entire body to move a boulder up a mountain slope, and when he reaches the top, it rolls back to the very bottom. Sisyphus must repeat this task for eternity. This is a lonely and painful experience. At first, Sisyphus must feel such agony and regret, but Camus believes that Sisyphus is happy. Maybe the first, second, or hundredth time that he returned to his rock, he realized: though his fate ties him to this ceaseless and futile labour, he is the owner of that fate. Once we are conscious of the useless and absurd things we do daily, we can accept them as our duty, and revel in joy that we accomplish even the most meaningless goals.

Sisyphus walks down the slope ready to try again, and ready to fail, because it is his purpose. Camus has added a little bit of hope to the lives we so often regret. Perhaps Camus believed that Sisyphus tries again because someday he can push the rock to the very top, and it will stay. Through the play Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett leaves little room for hope. Two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting for a man called Godot. Every day they wait, in the same spot, living out their lives believing that Godot will come. They are unsure, unsatisfied, and unhappy because they wait. They are restricted in their actions and decisions because they wait. This exchange occurs at least five times in the only two acts of the play: “Let s go.” “We can t” “Why not?”

“We re waiting for Godot” Vladimir – tall and abstract, and Estragon – stout, earthly and concrete, represent two halves of the same person. They are dependent on each other and both are dependent on their desire to meet Godot. The roles, time, and states of consciousness change, but for no purpose, because everything strangely remains the same. As they wait, they play repetitive games, asked unanswered questions, and speak much, but seldom act. Sound familiar? Vladimir and Estragon s situation is our own. Through the characters repeating actions and words and the play s obvious absurdity, Beckett has shown us how absurd and redundant our lives truly are. While waiting for something that doesn t exist, we run around in circles, make the same mistakes, and lose faith –