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Theatre / Endgame

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Clov: Do you believe in the life to come?
Hamm: Mine was always that.

An absurdist one-act tragicomedy by Samuel Beckett, Endgame is perhaps his best known work that isn't Waiting for Godot. Taking place in a desolate post-apocalyptic world, the play is focused on a single household. Hamm is blind and cannot stand, while his servant Clov cannot sit. Hamm's parents Nagg and Nell live with them in a pair of ash bins, and both have lost their legs. They all lead miserable lives and subsist on dog biscuits. Tends to be a confusing read, which is to be expected of something coming from the Theatre of the Absurd. Has been adapted into film a couple of times, including an adaptation starring Michael Gambon as Hamm and David Thewlis as Clov.


Endgame contains the following tropes:

  • Evil Old Folks: Played fairly straight with Hamm, but a bit more ambiguous with Nagg and Nell who, while more sympathetic than their son, certainly aren't the nicest people in history.
  • Fat Bastard: Hamm is often portrayed this way.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Clov having a flea is a big deal. The justification given is that "humanity could start all over again from there!"
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Nell's last line is a repeat of her recurring "so deep" line about Lake Como, but when Hamm asks what she's blathering about, her reply is "desert" before she dies.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Nagg gives one to Hamm in his last scene.