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Endgame

Endgame

by Samuel Beckett

Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

HAMM
Did you get him?
CLOV
Looks like it.
(He drops the tin and adjust his trousers.)
Unless he's laying doggo.
HAMM
Laying! Lying you mean. Unless he's lying doggo.
CLOV
Ah? One says lying? One doesn't say laying?
HAMM
Use your head, can't you. If he was laying we'd be bitched. (1.355-359)

What is the difference in the word choice here? What particular meaning of "laying" is it that so concerns Hamm? Does Clov using the wrong word actually effect their situation? Are there other points where linguistic accuracy is key to their going on?

Quote #5

CLOV

I oiled them yesterday.

HAMM

Yesterday! What does that mean? Yesterday!

CLOV(violently)
That means the bloody awful day, long ago, before this bloody awful day. I use the words you taught me. If they don't mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent. (1.464-466)

What do you make of Clov's highly subjective definition? Why and how would the meaning of particular words change in their situation? Does the fact that Hamm taught Clov words mean that Hamm is more responsible for the words than Clov is?

Quote #6

HAMM
One! Silence!
(Pause.)
Where was I?
(Pause. Gloomily.)
It's finished, we're finished.
(Pause.)
Nearly finished.
(Pause.)
There'll be no more speech. (1.537)

How does Hamm equate the end of speech with defeat? How about with death? Why does he feel the need to go on speaking constantly? Is giving up talking admitting defeat?

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