Why doesn’t Clov leave Hamm, despite their contentious relationship? Does this unwillingness,…

Please read the following in anticipation for Wednesday’s viewing of
Endgameby Samuel Beckett
.For your final 3.5-4 page assignment, I ask that you build a FOCUSED and COORDINATED paper upon ONE of these three prompts. I ask that you engage with only what

-provides you the most in-depth critical responses above mere summary-prompts you to ask further challenging questions-drives you toward creative connections and insights and or-helps draw connections between details within the play.

*Due via email December 13th*

* * *


Hamm–unable to stand and blind
Clov–Hamm’s servant; unable to sit. Taken in by Hamm as a child.
Nagg–Hamm’s father; has no legs and lives in a dustbin.
Nell–Hamm’s mother; has no legs and lives in a dustbin next to Nagg.

—“I love the old questions, the old answers, there’s nothing like them.”
— -“Do you believe in the life to come?” -“Mine was always that.”


1) Many phrases are repeated over the course of conversation in the play, and the theme of repetition is also alluded to throughout. Hamm, for instance, often repeats “we’re getting on,” or asks “is it not time for my painkiller?” Nagg says that he tells his joke “worse and worse” each time. What do you make of repetition in this play? In any case, don’t simply identify language that alludes to repetition, but use particular incidences to think for yourself extensively about the play’s style/attitude/philosophy.

2) Why doesn’t Clov leave Hamm, despite their contentious relationship? Does this unwillingness, or inability, help you understand other relationships in the play, or to elucidate its ending?

3) Does this play ultimately show us a glimmer of hope, or do you find it absolutely hopeless? Hope for what? And, or, what would hope look like in regards to this play? Does humor play a role in your decision, in either case? A thoughtful argument toward either case will nonetheless be conflicted/complicated.

In any case, you may also consider what you can learn about this play and Beckett’s message by referencing the other Beckett productions we watched in class.

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