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Endgame

Endgame

by Samuel Beckett

Endgame Analysis

Literary Devices in Endgame

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Most people (us included) find Beckett to be a challenging writer. There is a big temptation to read his work as a metaphor and to ignore the physical realities that are a part of it. It's easier t...

Setting

During a play – any play, not just Endgame – the characters are trapped on stage and forced to perform for an audience. Their space is confined. They are not free to move anywhere they...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author's point of view, they don't all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece of literature...

Genre

First, let us just note that the entire genre of tragicomedy might best be summed up by Nell's line early in the play: "Nothing is funnier than unhappiness… Yes, yes, it's the most comical th...

Tone

It's hard to attribute any specific tone to the play since there is no narrator, but there are a few things to note. Much of the humor of the play derives from irony, when the characters have attit...

Writing Style

Beckett is known for bringing in a movement known as "minimalism" to both theater and prose. As we discuss in the "In a Nutshell," minimalism means that an author keeps word use to, well, a minimum...

What's Up With the Title?

Endgame refers to the final part of a chess game, when very few pieces remain on the board. The play was originally written in French, before Beckett translated it back into English himself. The Fr...

What's Up With the Ending?

All right, let's recap. The play ends with Nell dead in her trash bin, Nagg trapped in his trash bin with the alarm clock sitting on top of it, Clov in the doorway dressed to make an exit, and Hamm...

Plot Analysis

Clov unveils the other characters on stage.Before we begin, let's just say if there is one playwright who is going to break the "Classic Plot Analysis," it's probably Samuel Beckett. Still, we've m...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Stage Directions The general situation of the play is established almost from the very first scene. It is in Clov's slow, almost ritualistic actions, though, that the scene is revealed to us. He lo...

Three Act Plot Analysis

This play doesn't lend itself particularly well to a three act analysis. For starters, the point of no return has already happened before the play begins (that's the point; hence the title Endgame)...

Trivia

Beckett was a close friend of James Joyce, and at one time undertook a translation into French of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, though he never completed it. (Source: Damned to Fame, by James Knowlson)I...

Steaminess Rating

This play isn't exactly piping hot. Hamm actually curses his father for giving birth to him at all. He looks down on Nagg for giving into his animal drives and procreating. As for sex, there's none...

Allusions

Sorites Paradox (1.1)William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Hamm's name)William Shakespeare, Richard III: "My kingdom for a horse" (1.231)Possible Illusion to Mary, mother of Jesus, as Margaret: Peggy: Pegg...
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