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"Endgame" by Samuel Beckett

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Hayley Meyer

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of "Endgame" by Samuel Beckett

By: Samuel Beckett The Endgame Theater Of The Absurd Samuel Beckett According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary theater of the absurd is defined as: theater that seeks to represent the absurdity of human existence in a meaningless universe by bizarre or fantastic means.

This type of theater was popular during the twentieth century when Beckett wrote the Endgame. He uses irrationality, meaninglessness, and dark humor throughout this play, particularly in the interactions between Hamm and Clov. Endgame and Chess Emptiness/ Loneliness Themes and Techniques -Constant tension of whether Clov will leave Hamm. Summary Of Plot PLOT:
Four characters named Clov, Hamm, Nagg, and Nell are left in a post-apocalyptic world with dwindling supplies and patience. The threat of life outside of their shelter grows each day. As the characters die off the plot runs into an open ending to where the reader if left to interpret what happened. Character Analysis Hamm - Hamm is one of the duel-protagonist of the play, though his unlikable demeanor at times makes him the antagonist to his servant, Clov. Blind, immobilized by old age in his wheeled chair, Hamm believes no one suffers more than he does. To him, there is no cure for being on earth, especially not in the dank hole where he also rules over his father, Nagg, and mother, Nell.

Clov - Clov is the other duel-protagonist of the play, the servant to Hamm despite his own infirmity. He was taken in by Hamm as a child, and the play's tension pits Clov's desire to leave against his obligation to stay with Hamm (an obligation he questions many times). He performs various tasks for his master, such as wheeling him around and reporting on the landscape outside the windows.

Nagg - Nagg is Nell's husband and Hamm's father. Contained in an ashbin next to his similarly trapped wife, he emerges now and then to cry for food or to try unsuccessfully to kiss Nell and tell her the same story he always tells. At times he is childlike, barely verbal, but he can be profound and articulate.

Nell - Nell is Nagg's husband and Hamm's mother. She seems most resigned to their lives of routine, calling the daily attempt to kiss Nagg a "farce." Though her part is minimal, she seems to be the one reason Nagg keeps living and stands as the sole example of healthy love in the play. Set Design minimal design - two trash bins, two windows, a wheelchair
the entire play takes place in the same room (1906-1989)
Foxrock, Ireland
Trinity University in Dublin
Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 1969
Output of novels, poems, stories, plays * Eleutheria, Waiting for Godot, Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, and Mercier et Camier, two books of short stories, and a book of criticism.
* Commended for having "transformed the destitution of man into his exaltation." -Having someone around, even if an irritant helps ease the pain of being alone. -Dominant and submissive pairing highlights their dependency even though they have a hatred towards each other. -Similar to Beckett and Wife who wanted to leave each other but were too afraid. -Through use of grey and empty walls
-Pauses of silence
-Not speaking in full sentences
-Minimalistic setting Perspectives Nell, Nagg, Clov, and Hamm all have different perspectives. -While Hamm cannot see, Clov sees for him. Hamm cannot stand up. Clov cannot sit down.

-See world from a different point of view

-Chaos vs. Order

-Painting, backwards on the wall

-The house is a mind, the windows the eyes

-Painter, is Hamm the painter? What is the evidence?

-Clov sees a boy outside, is he real? Is it Hamms imagination from when he saw Clov as a child? Who is in charge of who? -Clov "pushes" Hamm around in chair, but not in real life.

-If one leaves, the other is dead.

-Opposites, make a whole?

-Two people that come together to make one person.

-Shows internal struggle of people in society. The "endgame" in chess is the series of moves at the end of the game, where the outcome is usually predicted beforehand. Characters repeat actions, lining themselves up for the endgame because the player predicts the ending - this is the role of Beckett. Hamm - King piece
Clov - Knight
Nagg - Pawn
Nell - Pawn
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