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by Samuel Beckett
 Table of Contents

Endgame Isolation Quotes

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Quote #1

HAMM Infinite emptiness will be all around you, all the resurrected dead of all the ages wouldn't fill it, and there you'll be like a little bit of grit in the middle of the steppe. (Pause.) Yes, one day you'll know what it is, you'll be like me, except that you won't have anyone with you, because you won't have had pity on anyone and because there won't be anyone left to have pity on. (1.379)

Does Hamm really think that he has taken pity on Clov or is it just a figure of speech? Is he speaking more of Clov or of his own fears? If you think it might be the latter, to what extent do you think Hamm realizes this?

Quote #2

HAMM If you leave me how shall I know? CLOV (briskly) Well you simply whistle me and if I don't come running it means I've left you. (Pause.) HAMM You won't come and kiss me goodbye? (1.483-485)

Why is it important to Hamm that Clov have some sentiment for him? What does he honestly expect this sentiment to be based on? What difference does it make to him if Clov is just dead in the kitchen or gone? How is this tied in with the first two questions?

Quote #3

NAGG Whom did you call when you were a tiny boy, and were frightened, in the dark? Your mother? No. Me. We let you cry. Then we moved you out of earshot so that we might sleep in peace. (Pause.) I was asleep, as happy as a king, and you woke me up to have me listen to you. It wasn't indispensable, you didn't really need to have me listen to you. (Pause.) 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)

Compare this with Hamm's threat to Clov earlier. Is Nagg's feeling more genuine? How does it reveal Hamm's earlier threat as largely a result of Hamm's own fears? What does this threat say about Nagg's own feelings of isolation?

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