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by Samuel Beckett
 Table of Contents

Endgame Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

HAMM Scoundrel! Why did you engender me? NAGG I didn't know. HAMM What? What didn't you know? NAGG That it'd be you. (1.525-528)

Several times, Hamm yells at his father for giving life to him. Is this the source of Hamm's cruelty to his father? Does he hate his life so much that he could hate his creator? Does such an attitude leave any room for sympathy?

Quote #2

NAGG I hope the day will come when you'll really need to have me listen to you, and need to hear my voice, any voice. (Pause.) Yes, I hope I'll live till then, to hear you calling me like when you were a tiny boy, and were frightened, in the dark, and I was your only hope. (1.561)

What is Nagg admitting by saying this? Is his desire to be needed a desire to regain a relationship with his son or does he just want to be back in power?

Quote #3

CLOV There's one thing I'll never understand. (He gets down.) Why I always obey you. Can you explain it to me? HAMM No…Perhaps it's compassion. (Pause.) A kind of great compassion. (Pause.) Oh you won't find it easy, you won't find it easy. (1.745)

What are some alternate explanations for why Clov stays with Hamm? What does Hamm have to gain by suggesting that it is compassion rather than something else? Is he trying to get Clov to feel benevolent? If so, why?

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