The play is in two acts. The plot, such as it is, concerns Vladimir and Estragon, who await the arrival of the eponymous Godot, who never arrives. Once in each act they are joined by Pozzo and Lucky. The four are often played as tramps, although Beckett does not actually describe them as such in the text. Towards the end of each act, a boy arrives with a message he says is from Godot that he will not be coming today, but will come tomorrow. The much quoted ending of the play might be said to sum up the whole work:
This was Beckett's second attempt at drama after the considerably more conventional Eleutheria, but the first to be performed. It was a big step back towards normal human experience, after his novel The Unnamable. Subtitled "a tragicomedy," the play has little indication of setting or costume; the only indication for decor is the typically succinct "A country road. A tree. Evening" prior to Act I. As such, Godot is capable of sustaining a wide range of interpretation.
Skilled comedians have had the most success with the characters in popular esteem, and there is a heartfeltness about the dialog and situation that is not always completely aligned with despair; perhaps this is why the play is beloved by its fans.
Beckett went on to resume his march towards the void in his new medium, and his later plays have had much less popular success, though they continue to be produced, and are generally accepted as important works.