Endgame and Act Without Words

Endgame and Act Without Words

Samuel Beckett

Language: English

Pages: 112

ISBN: 080214439X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Samuel Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969; his literary output of plays, novels, stories and poetry has earned him an uncontested place as one of the greatest writers of our time. Endgame, originally written in French and translated into English by Beckett himself, is considered by many critics to be his greatest single work. A pinnacle of Beckett’s characteristic raw minimalism, it is a pure and devastating distillation of the human essence in the face of approaching death.

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. [He breathes out.] Then babble, babble, words, like the solitary child who turns himself into children, two, three, so as to be together, and whisper together, in the dark. [Pause.] Moment upon moment, pattering down, like the millet grains of . . . [he hesitates] . . . that old Greek, and all life long you wait for that to mount up to a life. [Pause. He opens his mouth to continue, renounces.] Ah let’s get it over! [He whistles. Enter Clov with alarm-clock. He halts beside the

stops, reflects, runs his finger along blade of scissors, goes and lays them on small cube, turns aside, opens his collar, frees his neck and fingers it. The small cube is pulled up and disappears in flies, carrying away rope and scissors. He turns to take scissors, sees what has happened. He turns aside, reflects. He goes and sits down on big cube. The big cube is pulled from under him. He falls. The big cube is pulled up and disappears in flies. He remains lying on his side, his face

me? CLOV [bearing closer to wall] There! There! HAMM Stop! [Clov stops chair close to back wall. Hamm lays his hand against wall.] Old wall! [Pause.] Beyond is the . . . other hell. [Pause. Violently.] Closer! Closer! Up against! CLOV Take away your hand. [Hamm withdraws his hand. Clov rams chair against wall.] There! [Hamm leans towards wall, applies his ear to it.] HAMM Do you hear? [He strikes the wall with his knuckles.] Do you hear? Hollow bricks! [He strikes again.] All

[Pause.] I’ll tell you the combination of the cupboard if you promise to finish me. CLOV I couldn’t finish you. HAMM Then you won’t finish me. [Pause.] CLOV I’ll leave you, I have things to do. HAMM Do you remember when you came here? CLOV No. Too small, you told me. HAMM Do you remember your father. CLOV [wearily] Same answer. [Pause.] You’ve asked me these questions millions of times. HAMM I love the old questions. [With fervour.] Ah the old questions, the old answers, there’s

die a nice natural death, in peace and comfort. [Pause.] Well? [Pause.] In the end he asked me would I consent to take in the child as well—if he were still alive. [Pause.] It was the moment I was waiting for. [Pause.] Would I consent to take in the child . . . [Pause.] I can see him still, down on his knees, his hands flat on the ground, glaring at me with his mad eyes, in defiance of my wishes. [Pause. Normal tone.] I’ll soon have finished with this story. [Pause.] Unless I

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