Study Questions and Essay Topics
Hamm says Clov loved him once, and Clov emphasizes "Once!" Nagg says the sand in his ashbin was "once" sawdust, and Nell also emphasizes "Once!" What are the possible reasons behind Beckett's emphasis on this word?
Why does Nell die in a play where everything is cyclical? Shouldn't she live forever, just like the others?
Discuss the role of Hamm's toy dog.
Compare Hamm and Clov to the main couples in Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Happy Days.
Discuss the physical movement in the play—Clov's, Hamm's movement on his chair, Nagg's and Nell's popping in and out of their ashbins.
Endgame is highly self-conscious of its status as a play; Hamm even refers directly to his soliloquy at the end, and Clov turns his telescope on the audience and comments. Discuss.
Discuss the allusions in Endgame—especially those to the Bible and Dante. How do these add to the themes of the play?
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