Rasmus Thorup, Anneliese Leitthof, Felizia Kock, Lars Johansson, Mie Moustgaard, Tobias Rosenkrands, Sarah Staalhøj & Freja Jeppesen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project aims to reassess and discuss the different interpretations of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, made by Martin Esslin and Michael Y. Bennett. The analytical tools needed to enable the reassessment is found in the dimensional courses of Philosophy and Scientific theory (Da: Filosofi og Videnskabsteori) and Text-analysis (Da: Tekst og Tegn) and the discussion is based on Esslin’s The Theatre of The Absurd and Bennett’s Reassessing The Theatre of The Absurd. The conclusion is reached through the discussion reflected in the project’s own analysis, based on the text-analytical tools found in Det Litterære Værk (1995) by Morten Nøjgaard, and the theory of the philosophical viewpoints and terminology found in The Myth of Sisyphus (2004) by Albert Camus and Existentialism is a Humanism (2002) by Jean-Paul Sartre, whose thoughts influenced Bennett’s and Esslin’s interpretations, respectively. Neither of their interpretations are fully conclusive, and both theorists agree that it would be a violation of the artist to fixate the play in a definite conclusion. Esslin, the originator of the term 'Theatre of the Absurd', argues that the play encourages the audience to embrace the existentialistic view, through cathartic means. Bennett, however, presents the idea, that the play and Camus fundamentally do not belong in the existentialistic category, claiming Camus is an essentialist and that the play promotes a less pessimistic view of the world, than his predecessor and counterpart, Esslin, in the optics of Bennett, concludes. Both ideas, when reflected in the analysis of the project, have their merits and demerits. But the thoughts presented through Camus’ work are more compatible with the result of our analysis, than Sartre’s more abstract ideas. The project however, does not conclude whether Camus or the play presents the essentialistic views, which Bennett argues. As Bennett references are to another theoretical interpreter of Camus ideas, rendering his arguments hard to reassess, and therefore moot. The project supports both theorists’ statements of the plays inconclusiveness, which ultimately leaves the project as open-ended as the play itself.

UddannelserBasis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato13 jun. 2013


  • Absurd tester
  • Eksistentialisme
  • Waiting for godot