Endgame

Definition

Theater

  • A one-act play by Samuel Beckett. The original French version,Fin de partie, received its first performance in London in 1957 at theRoyal Court Theatre; the English version was published a year later.

    The play has four characters: the domineering Hamm, blindand wheelchair-bound, is nursed by his servant and foster son, Clov; his leglessparents, Nagg and Nell, whom he continually berates, are stuffed in dustbinsand talk in repetitive circles as they slowly disintegrate. Clov announcesfrom time to time that he is leaving but Hamm's influence preventshim from doing so. Beckett depicts with grim irony this pitiful group,cut off from the dying world outside (which seems to have sufferedsome kind of apocalyptic disaster) and trying to come to terms with their own impendingdoom.

    This formally perfect but utterly bleak work is famously theplay that Beckett himself declared he "disliked least"of all his works.

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