Short notes on Pozzo

Pozzo is a character from the one of the most famous play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett published in 1952. The name Pozzo is an Italian word, which stands for “oil well”. The play is an absurd not only because of its subject but its characters has beyond the absurdisms.

On the surface he is a pompous, sometime foppish and aristocrat, he claims to live in a manor, own many slaves and a steinway piano, cruelly using and exploiting those around him specifically his slave, Lucky and. He wears similar clothes to Vladimir and Estragon i.e. a bowler and suit, but they are not in well condition.

While by no means a villain in a conventional sense of the word, Pozzo is sometimes considered an “antagonist” of Waiting for Godot. Although he is not technically in opposition to the main protagonists of the play i.e. Vladimir and Estragon, buthe does bring chaos into their sheltered world. On his first entrance, he immediately goes about attempting to exert authority on the hapless “Didi” and ‘Gogo’ by shouting at them, ordering them about, and generally making a nuisance of himself. Along the way he mercilessly abuses and tortures Lucky physically and mentally into performing menial and sometimes pointless tasks. However, despite his authoritative presence, he has the tendency of falling to pieces at the (literal) drop of a hat. At certain points in the first act and for most of the second act, he has minor nervous breakdowns when things don’t go his way for example, when he misplaces things, when Vladimir and Estragon don’t understand him. Pozzo should not be seen as merely a mindless and weak oppressor. He has developed Intellectual side, like; his philosophies, intelligently and optimistically etc.

However, Pozzo goes through a rather radical transformation between the first and second acts: when he goes blind. When he makes his second and final entry, he almost immediately falls over and cannot get up. He remains this way for the rest of his scene, helplessly moaning and bemoaning his fate and condition. This change supposedly only occurs in the past day. Some critics interpret this as representing his failure to see the suffering in others, and thus has brought suffering upon himself.

Pozzo is often compared to Estragon, as Lucky compared to Vladimir as being the impulsive, right-brained part of his character. The idea is that Pozzo and Lucky are simply an extreme form of the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon i.e. the hapless impulsive, and the intellect who protects him and thus extreme forms of the characters.

He, like Estragon, has an awful memory, and since he cannot rely on Lucky for memory (as Estragon can on Vladimir), he is even more in the dark (e.g. he cannot even remember one day before). Vladimir claims that he and Estragon know him, but this is naturally not corroborated by Estragon, and the nature of their former relationship remains unknown. He occasionally comes up with poetic metaphors for the current situation, again, just as Estragon does.

Pozzo is dominant and is viewed as a person of authority. Vladimir and Estragon mistook Pozzo for Godot because of this, but it is established that he is not Godot. In Act two, however, his dynamic in the play changes. He becomes blind overnight and is reliant on those around him now.

 Pozzo represents the negativity in human nature, the need to control to the point of controlling others and harming them. Yet, at the end of the play, Pozzo finds himself blind and helpless, indicating the general helplessness of all people in the face of adversity.

Pozzo himself makes the explicit connection between his going blind and his refusal to deal with time—what has become for him a ticking clock measuring out the remainder of his own life. He chooses to be blind because it means he can stop thinking about time and consequently, his own inevitable death.

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