Mel Conklin, Savannah Oakes, Allison Isbell, and Blaine Willard

Summary of Theories:
  1. Repression
  2. Father/Mother issues
  3. Slips
  4. Iceberg theory
  5. Eros
  6. Thanatos
  7. Id
  8. Ego
  9. Super Ego
  10. Sublimation
  11. Regression





adjective: Freudian


relating to or influenced by Sigmund Freud and his methods of psychoanalysis, especially with reference to the importance of sexuality in human behavior.

Id, ego, & Superego

They’re the three parts of the structure of personality that was developed by Sigmund Freud. He’s a famous psychologist from the early 20th century. These three personality parts have entered the mainstream understanding of how we think about internal conflicts. For example, a person is being pushed and pulled in lots of directions by lots of different drives, such as waiting for someone on a road, leaving, or killing themselves.These things are all pushing them and pulling them in different directions and maybe they’re not aware. That idea is basically based off this idea of internal conflict between the id, ego and superego.



The id is the childish and impulsive part of you. It’s the part that just does what it wants, and it wants things really intensely and doesn’t really think about the consequences. Freud describes this as operating basically on a pleasure principle; it’s always seeking to try to increase pleasure and decrease pain. Sound familiar?

id = Didi


What controls this is the other part of your personality that’s also unconscious, or mainly unconscious, and it’s the superego. It’s basically the part of you that’s super judgmental and moralizing. What the superego is gonna do is if you come home

Summary of theories in Godot:

1. Thantos- death instinct, aggression, self-destruction, cruelty.

“What about hanging ourselves?” - Estragon

In Act I Estragon and Vladimir converse about the idea of hanging themselves. They say that they can’t go on another day doing the same thing and killing time. This represents thantos, because they are both ready to end their lives. “Self-destruction” plays a key role in a couple of the scenes.

2. Id- Pleasure drives

“We should ask him for the bone first. Then if he refuses we'll leave him there.” - Estragon

In act II Pozzo is blind and falls into a heap of luggage with Lucky. Estragon says that him and Vladimir should not help Pozzo without something return (being the chicken bone). This represents the Id because, even though Estragon and Vladimir know helping Pozzo is the right thing to do, they are more concerned about what they can get out of it.

3. Ego- Conscious self

Estragon: “I may be mistaken. Let’s stop talking for a minute, do you mind?”

Vladimir: “Gogo!...Gogo!...GOGO!”

Estragon: “I was asleep! Why will you never let me sleep?”

Vladimir: “I felt lonely”

While telling Vladimir what to do, he also asks in such a way that would satisfy him, reconciling the situation as the ego is supposed to do.

4. Super Ego- Control check on the Id

Estragon: “All my life I have compared myself to him.”

Estragon in Act I is referring to constantly comparing himself to Godot. Godot is this “person” that is supposed to save Estragon and Vladimir. I feel that Godot represent the “Super ego”, because he is looked at as the good and can do nothing wrong.

5. Regression - slipping back into an earlier stage of development

Vladimir: “You again! Come here till I embrace you.”

In the beginning of Act II Vladimir and Estragon come back to the same spot where Act I ended. For some reason Vladimir remembers what happened the day before, but Estragon does not. Estragon in the beginning of Act I represent regression, because in his mind it is as if “yesterday” is non-existent to him. Maybe as a result of something bad happening to him in the night like the “beatings” he refers to, could have caused something inside of him to repress the memories of the day before.

6. Mother/ Father issue:


(wild gestures, incoherent words. Finally.) Why will you never let me sleep?


I felt lonely.


I was dreaming I was happy.


That passed the time.


I was dreaming that—


(violently). Don't tell me!

This quote reminds me of Father/Mother issue of Freud’s Theory because of the mixed emotions that Vladimir was giving Estragon. He was lonely so he obviously wanted his company but as soon as he began to speak he didn’t want to talk.

7. Repression:


(advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I'm beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again.

This deals with repression. Repression is pushing conflicts into the subconscious. It deals with repression because it’s like he is having a conversation with his subconscious and he’s trying to talk himself out of something.

8. Slips:


When I think of it . . . all these years . . . but for me . . . where would you be . . . (Decisively.) You'd be nothing more than a little heap of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it.

Slips Freudian theory talks about how the brain reveals hidden thoughts, needs, desires. I think this goes along with this quote because typically you don’t tell someone how you think they are going to die. It is rude and discouraging to talk about how someone would die. You might say out loud how you think someone will die but you have your ideas sometimes.

9. Iceberg Theory- “Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?

Vladimir: Yes, yes, we're magicians.” A-lot of characteristics are hidden about Vladimir and Estragon during this play and you only see the strange and annoying aspects of each character when there maybe things we don’t know about the characters now.

10. Eros- “Let's go." "We can't." "Why not?" "We're waiting for Godot.” Vladimir and Estragon are trying to make time go by while waiting for Godot. While they are waiting they have to encounter people and learn how to survive in conversations.

Group Opinion:

Our group thinks that the meaning of Waiting for Godot is about not letting life pass you by. The entire play is about Estragon and Vladimir waiting for this figure named “Godot” who eventually never comes. In our everyday lives we are always waiting for the weekend, or summer, or graduation. We have all of these things to look forward to, but aren’t paying attention to the things that are right in front of us in our present. Throughout the play Vladimir and Estragon are saying “we can’t leave we are waiting for Godot”. The idea of “Godot” is that thing in everyone's life that they are waiting for or waiting to happen.

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