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Quotes

Quote #4

HAMM
Something dripping in my head, ever since the fontanelles.
(Stifled hilarity of Nagg.)
Splash, splash, always on the same spot.
(Pause.)
Perhaps it's a little vein.
(Pause.)
A little artery.

What does this thing dripping in Hamm's head have to do with his suffering? Might it be his inability to stop thinking? When one is in situations of extreme pain, how is the inability to cease thinking a form of torment?

Quote #5

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. (1.561)

How can you explain Nagg and Nell's cruelty to Hamm? In what ways does it account for and justify his current behavior? Did it, in a way, help to prepare him for a life of suffering?

Quote #6

HAMM(letting go his toque)
What's he doing?
(Clov raises lid of Nagg's bin, stoops, looks into it. Pause.)
CLOV
He's crying.
(He closes the lid, straightens up.
HAMM
Then he's living. (1.629-630)

What do you make of the fact that Hamm measures life by one's ability to cry? How is the ability to suffer linked with the ability to live? Contrast this with the fact Nell was incapable of crying shortly before he died.

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