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by Samuel Beckett

Nagg Timeline and Summary

  • Nagg emerges from his bin in a nightcap with a very white face. He listens to Hamm and Clov bicker, and then begins to call for his pap. Hamm asks about his stumps, but Nagg tells him not to mind them.
  • Hamm gives Nagg a biscuit, but he complains and says it is hard.
  • Clov bottles Nagg at Hamm's command.
  • Nagg again opens his bin to listen to Hamm and Clov argue. After a few minutes, he wakes up Nell.
  • Nagg asks Nell to kiss him, but for some reason they can't.
  • Nagg says that he lost his tooth. He asks Nell if she can see him, but she says that she can just barely see him. He says it's the same for him.
  • Nagg asks Nell if she remembers when they crashed their tandem and lost their shanks. They laugh.
  • Nagg asks Nell if Hamm has changed her sawdust, and she becomes irritated with him for not being accurate. It is sand.
  • When they establish that Hamm has not changed their stand, Nagg says that he will not stand for it. He offers a bit of the biscuit to Nell. She doesn't want any of it.
  • Nagg laughs at Hamm for saying that he has a heart in his head.
  • Nagg asks Nell for a scratch before she goes back into her bin. He says that it is down low in the hollow, but she refuses.
  • Nagg asks Nell if he can tell her the story of the tailor to "cheer her up." They recall being on Lake Como together. Nagg notes that they got engaged the day before.
  • Nagg says that she laughed so hard the boat almost capsized. He becomes angry when Nell says it was because she was happy – he just wants it to be his story.
  • Nagg recounts the joke of the Englishman and the trousers. Punch line: the guy takes a long time to make a pair of trousers. He takes longer than God took to make the whole world, but in the end the Englishman did a much better job.
  • Several times Nagg criticizes his own joke telling, but in the end he acts proud and laughs loudly at his joke.
  • Hamm begins yelling at Nagg, and he (Nagg ) disappears into his bin and closes the lid behind him. Clov bottles Nell a moment later.
  • Hamm tells Clov to open Nagg's bin and ask if he wants to listen to his story. Nagg does not, but he barters with Clov and decides to listen to it for a sugar plum.
  • Nagg emerges and Hamm yells at Nagg for engendering him. Nagg says he didn't know it would be Hamm.
  • Nagg asks Hamm if he swears that he will give Nagg the sugar plum. Hamm swears on his honor and they both laugh loudly.
  • Nagg tries to bargain to get two sugar plums so he can have one for Nell, but Hamm insists that he will only get one.
  • As soon as Hamm finishes, Nagg calls for his sugar plum. He keeps calling for it, but Hamm insists they pray first. Nagg begins to pray aloud, but Hamm calls for silence.
  • Nagg thinks he may have heard something (e.g. God) while he was praying, but decides that he did not.
  • Nagg calls for his sugar plum, but Hamm tells him there are no more sugar plums.
  • Nagg is dismayed and thinks that later Hamm will promise him a Turkish delight knowing full well it doesn't exist.
  • Nagg recalls when Hamm was a tiny boy and he used to call for him in the dark. He says that they moved his crib out of earshot so that they could sleep in peace.
  • Nagg says that he was asleep, and Hamm woke him. It wasn't indispensable that Hamm have Nagg to listen to him.
  • Nagg hopes that there will come another day when Hamm really needs Nagg to listen to him, like when he was a tiny boy.
  • Nagg calls for Nell twice, but she does not respond.
  • Nagg sinks back into his bin and closes the lid.
  • Later, Hamm asks Clov to check and see if he is dead. Clov finds him alive, but crying.
  • At another point, Hamm has Clov go over and check to see if his father heard him calling. He did.
  • In Hamm's final speech, he calls twice for Nagg, but Nagg does not respond.