Endgame

by: Samuel Beckett

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

"We're not beginning to to mean something?"

Hamm poses this question to Clov, who ridicules him for his naïveté (in Part three). What prevents him from making meaning is that his world is a repetitive one built on cycles. Since any ending is also a beginning, there is never any finality, and conclusive meaning is impossible. The syntax of Hamm's very question exposes this problem; he delays and repeats words as he attempts to finish the sentence. The idea of meaninglessness (itself a somewhat paradoxical combination) was a major emphasis of Existentialist philosophy, from whom the Absurdist playwrights (of whom Beckett was the major figure, though he denied his place in the school) took much of their ideology. The Existentialists believed that the universe was absurd, beyond the limits of human rationality. While many of them prescribed a solution—devote oneself to a meaningful task—Beckett offers little hopeful advice in Endgame and his other works.