How we cite our quotes:
Did you ever have an instant of happiness?
Not to my knowledge. (1.630-631)
Is unhappiness the same as suffering? Do we think that Clov is being honest or simply extrapolating from the present back into the past? Can present experience change whether or not you were happy in the past?
Is it not time for my painkiller?
Ah! At last! Give it to me! Quick!
There's no more pain-killer.
No more pain-killers!
No more pain-killer. You'll never get any more pain-killer. (1.698-703)
Why didn't Clov tell Hamm this earlier? Though Hamm is proud of his suffering, how is Clov responsible for it? In what ways is Clov also a tyrant? How can Hamm ask for painkiller when he thinks that his suffering is so exalted?
I say to myself—sometimes, Clov, you must learn to suffer better than that if you want them to weary of punishing you—one day. I say to myself—sometimes, Clov, you must be there better than that if you want them to let you go—one day. But I feel too old, and too far, to form new habits. Good, it'll never end, I'll never go. (1.794)
Who is the "they" that Clov is speaking of? Why does he think that he must "suffer better" in order to be set free? Is the fact that he speaks in generalities another sign of his inability to come to terms with his immediate situation?