Endgame Defeat Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
HAMM I'll give you nothing more to eat. CLOV Then I'll die. HAMM I'll give you just enough to keep you from dying. You'll be hungry all the time. CLOV Then we won't die. (1.32-35)
How do these lines capture the entire dilemma in the play? How does Clov's simple repetition of Hamm's words suggest that a sort of inner mental defeat has already taken place?
CLOV I can't sit. HAMM True. And I can't stand. CLOV So it is. HAMM Every man his specialty. (Pause.) No phone calls? (Pause.) Don't we laugh? CLOV(after reflection) I don't feel like it. HAMM(after reflection) Nor I. (1.96-101)
How is the inability to laugh linked with the inability to cry? How is the failure to laugh a sign of defeat? Why is it that they laugh at Hamm's pointless question rather than his more deliberate joke?
CLOV I look at the wall HAMM The wall! And what do you see on your well? Mene, mene? Naked bodies? CLOV I see my light dying. HAMM Your light dying! Listen to that! Well, it can die just as well here, your light. Take a look at me and then come back and tell me what you think of your light. (Pause.) CLOV You shouldn't speak to me like that. (1.120-124)
What does it say about Clov that even in his fantasies he imagines that he sees his "light dying"? Once again, notice how Hamm tries to one-up Clov by pointing out that Hamm suffers more than he does.