"Endgame", as one of Samuel Beckett's most famous plays, describes the ritual small "Hamm and Clov" are locked into some kind of interminable relationship . Hamm, Clov, Nagg and Nelly are the characters to whom their past are characters and their relationship to the theme of the play are going to be examined. 2. Sigmund Freud As McDonald puts it in his book in this way: Beckett is one of the. However, Beckett did return to a version of the domestic interior in Endgame ( ). . Hamm and Clov, Nagg and Nell are apparently the last surviving people, The twists and turns of the relationships among the three, the permutations and . Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach and its film adaptation would be.
I feel that the moral of the story is up to the perception of the reader, however. It has been discussed that there is no relationship between God and waiting for salvation. Beckett accomplishes this through Hamm, who assumes the identity of a kingly figure, and his relationship with Clov, who acts Hopelessness in Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett words - 4 pages existence of the people they meet as they have no way of knowing who these people are.
Time also plays a large role in the hopeless state of Estragon and Vladimir as they aimlessly wait and wait for Godot to save them from their misery in front of the solitary tree. They wait with little for them to get their hopes up for as they anxiously wait for Godot. Their extreme actions, for example considering suicide, signify the hopelessness of their situation concerning the existence of their symbolic savior, Godot.
Works Cited Beckett, Samuel.
The Father And Son Relationship In "Endgame" By Samuel Beckett - Essay - Words - BrightKite
The Complete Dramatic Works. Faber and Faber, The play is set up as a monologue. The monologue Samuel Beckett and The Theatre of the Absurd words - 3 pages What is the basic, most fundamental parts, methods, and ideals of human life and existence? Despite Father-Son Relationships In The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini words - 5 pages many; they include the sad love-hate tensions between Baba and Amir, the relationship between Ali and Hassan, which seem to be more friendly than familial explained late in the bookand the wistful, cautious affection that Baba has for Hassan.
The most important father-son relationship in The Kite Runner is that between the protagonist Amir and his father Baba, a highly successful Kabul businessman. In the memoir Night, by Elie Wiesel, a young boy and his father were condemned to a concentration camp located in Poland. In the concentration camps, having family members along can be a great blessing, but also a burden.
Duras' novels exemplify the contemporary crisis of representation and signification because they are unable to address suffering except by silence, leading to a "blankness of meaning.
The reverberation among characters as well as the silence inscribed as such, the emphasis on the "nothing" to be spoken as ultimate expression of suffering, leads Duras to a blankness of meaning. Coupled with rhetorical awkwardness, they make up a world of unsettling, infectious ill-being Black Sun Or does it infect the audience with its despair?
Is this something that we can determine through Kristeva's analysis? Although these differences suggest that Endgame may provide a sublimatory solution, whether the play spreads or curbs melancholia, whether it evokes an "impossible mourning" or a "defeated depression," is not something that can be determined by an analysis of the play alone, since both possibilities are left open. This can only be determined by the experience of the reader or spectator. Since the absence of meaning is fundamental to Kristeva's conception of melancholia, I will first consider the well-noted difficulty of deriving a stable interpretation of Endgame.
By drawing upon Theodor W. Adorno's and Simon Critchley's writings on Beckett, I argue that despite the destabilization of meaning in Endgame, the play does not lead to a "blankness of meaning"; rather, the play questions and debates meaning.
It is the indeterminacy of meaning in Endgame that leads to the impossibility of assessing whether or not the play evokes impossible mourning, based on the text alone. At a thematic level, Endgame is similar to Duras' novels in that it provides no catharsis, no resolution, no promise of a beyond, no redemption.
However, I argue that it is problematic to analyze the ability of Endgame to address the contemporary crisis in meaning based on its lack of catharsis and resolution since Beckett's works can be more aptly characterized as anti-cathartic and anti-redemptive.
Despite the absence of resolution in Endgame, the play differs from Kristeva's analysis of Duras' novels because the play does not respond to suffering with silence.
Even though the characters desire silence, they can't stop talking, and they can't stop telling stories. Kristeva's analysis of sublimatory art in Black Sun is not limited to art that is cathartic in its thematic development.
She also argues that literary works can overcome melancholia at a semiotic level, by means of melody, tone, rhythm, gesture, semantic polyvalency, and prosody.
Such an analysis is more appropriate with respect to Beckett's work since for him, form is as important as content; or rather, "form is content and content is form. Mourning and Melancholia in Psychoanalytic Theory For Freud, mourning and melancholia are responses to the loss of a libidinal object.
In mourning, the resentment and aggression against the lost object is projected onto other objects. In melancholia a pathological state of "impossible mourning"one turns these feelings against oneself, not being conscious of what one has lost.
This conflict within the ego acts like a painful open "wound" and empties the ego until it is totally impoverished. Instead, she attributes the melancholic's sadness to "the most archaic expression of a non-symbolizable, unnameable narcissistic wound" Black Sun The melancholic only has the impression of having been deprived of an unnameable, unrepresentable good; she is unable to signify it.
Kristeva describes melancholia as "an abyssal suffering that does not succeed in signifying itself and, having lost meaning, loses life" Black Sun For the melancholic, signs do not have the force of replacing the loss or of expressing the pain of the loss.
A way to curb melancholia is by naming suffering, elaborating it, dissecting it into its smallest components Black Sun Kristeva argues that literary and artistic creations may provide a sublimatory solution. Artistic and literary creations provide a semiological representation of the subject's battle with symbolic collapse in a manner that is closer to catharsis than to elaboration Black Sun She identifies three artistic devices that allow the artist and spectator to secure a sublimatory hold over the lost Thing: She privileges poetic language, regarding it as a model of "conquered depression" Black Sun Through melody, rhythm, semantic polyvalency, and parody, the poetic form, in decomposing and recomposing signs, is able to secure an uncertain but adequate hold over the Thing Black Sun Meaning in Beckett Beckett's writing resists and frustrates all attempts made to decipher its symbols or to provide a coherent, unified interpretation.
In a letter to director Alan Schneider inBeckett wrote: My work is a matter of fundamental sounds no joke intended made as fully as possible and I accept responsibility for nothing else. If people want to have headaches among the overtones, let them. And provide their own aspirin. Hamm as stated, and Clov as stated, together stated nec tecum nec sine te [neither with you nor without you], in such a place, and in such a world, that's all I can manage, more than I could.
In his early novel, Watt, he writes: His statement also suggests that he, as a writer, is concerned with the form rather than the content, with the sound and the rhythm of words and phrases, rather than with communicating certain ideas or intending any specific interpretation.
This approach seems to leave the meaning open. I take no sides. I am interested in the shape of ideas. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine: Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned. It is the shape that matters. Many, including Beckett, have commented on the particular difficulty of interpreting Endgame.
Beckett described Endgame as "rather difficult, elliptic, mostly depending on the power of the text to claw, more inhuman than Godot. One of the more common interpretations suggests that the play represents the last stage of a game of chess in which Hamm is the King, Clov is the knight, and Nagg and Nell are captured pawns. Who the enemy is, and whether the game ends in checkmate or stalemate, is unclear.
The texts continually seem to pull the rug from under the feet of the philosopher by showing themselves to be conscious of the possibility of such interpretations or, better still, such interpretations seem to lag behind their object by saying too much: In her analysis of Duras, Kristeva argues that her writing evokes impossible mourning because its emphasis on silence and on the "nothing" to be spoken leads to an inhuman "blankness of meaning" Black Sun Does the instability of meaning in Endgame lead to a similar blankness of meaning?
He interprets Endgame as a parody of philosophy, particularly Existentialist philosophy. He argues that Endgame destroys the Existentialist illusion of the free, unified, absolute subject that is able to create its own meaning when faced with metaphysical meaninglessness; instead, the play recognizes that with the historical disintegration of the subject's unity, there is no longer any closed structure of meaning.
His work is ruled as much by an obsession with positive nothingness as by the obsession with a meaninglessness that has developed historically and is thus in a sense merited, though this meritedness in no way allows any positive meaning to be reclaimed.
A problematic aspect of Adorno's analysis of Endgame is that while he recognizes the difficulty of interpreting Endgame, in the end he seems to provide a determinate, unifying interpretation. He himself seems to have no difficulty uncovering "the" meaning of Endgame as he reads the play into his own account of contemporary society.
While the possible interpretations are limited by the context of the play and Beckett's body of writing, Endgame resists being encapsulated by a definitive, unifying interpretation. As a result, although in the next section I examine the melancholic elements in Endgame and consider its ability to either curb or spread melancholia according to Kristeva's theory, I do not mean to suggest that Endgame is "about melancholia" in any definitive sense.
The play's openness and undecidability further distinguishes Endgame from the blankness of meaning that Kristeva observes in Duras' writing. Beckett's use of multiple signifiers, as well as his concern with the network of sounds and significances rather than with the communication of ideas, creates a polyvalence of sign and symbol.
With respect to Nerval's prosodic polymorphism, Kristeva argues that creating an undecidable polyphony with symbols provides an antidote to depression Black Sun By unsettling the sign-referent relationship and by building a plurality of connotations around the sign, this artistic device allows the subject to imagine the meaning or nonmeaning of the Thing; it allows the subject to secure an uncertain but adequate hold over the Thing Black Sun Melancholia in Endgame Kristeva's description of melancholia as a "living death" provides a fitting description for Endgame.
She describes the condition as: I live a living death, my flesh is wounded, bleeding, cadaverized, my rhythm slowed down or interrupted, time has been erased or bloated, absorbed into sorrow. In Endgame, the outside world is perceived as dead and empty, a feature Freud attributes to both mourning and melancholia. Some have interpreted this to signify that the play takes place after some end-of-the-world disaster.
However, Hamm's description of the mad painter suggests that these negative perceptions of the outside world might be due to the projective identifications of a melancholic ego. I once knew a madman who thought the end of the world had come. I had a great fondness for him.
I used to go and see him, in the asylum. I'd take him by the hand and drag him to the window. All that rising corn! The sails of the herring fleet!
He'd snatch away his hand and go back into his corner.
The Father And Son Relationship In "Endgame" By Samuel Beckett
All he had seen was ashes. He alone had been spared. It appears the case is Endgame 44 The hesitant manner in which he indicates that this melancholic experience is not so unusual suggests that he and Clov may be suffering from the madman's psychosis. Similar to the madman's experience, when Clov looks out the window, he sees nothing: In this passage, Beckett also connects madness with artistic creativity.
The characters in Endgame appear to have suffered a loss that renders their melancholic egos wounded, incomplete and empty. In his first speech, Clov says, "I can't be punished any more" Endgame 1. Both characters are introduced as sufferers. The fact that the characters are wounded and incomplete is visually and externally represented by their physical disabilities. Hamm is blind and cannot walk. Clov can see and walk, but cannot sit. Nagg and Nell are legless, and have lost some of their hearing and sight.
The features and abilities that one character lacks are reflected by the presence of that feature or ability in the other characters. The characters appear on stage already wounded.
The many references to the fact that they are "almost finished" or "at the end" indicates that the initial unnameable loss occurred long ago. The audience is presented with what seems to be the last stages of a deteriorating process.
When Clov says that there is no more nature, Hamm proves that there is by pointing not to nature's growth, but to its decay: Have you had enough? Endgame 5, 45 When Hamm asks, "What's happening? Whatever they are referring to, it is unnamed; and yet they seem to know what the other is referring to by "this thing" or "something. The loss of meaning associated with melancholia is present in Endgame at various levels: Just as readers, audience-members, critics and scholars may become frustrated in their attempts to make sense of the play and discover its meaning, the characters also are thwarted in their half-hearted attempts to make a "meaningful connection" with other characters, and even between their own thoughts.
We're not beginning to You and I, mean something! Ah that's a good one! Imagine if a rational being came back to earth, wouldn't he be liable to get ideas into his head if he observed us long enough. Voice of rational being. Ah, good, now I see what it is, yes, now I understand what they're at! Clov starts, drops the telescope and begins to scratch his belly with both hands.
And without going so far as that, we ourselves To think perhaps it won't all have been for nothing! I have a flea. Endgame While this passage indicates the desire for meaning, the possibility of meaning is immediately belittled by Clov. Endgame illustrates the inadequacy and arbitrariness of words as it is experienced by the melancholic. Kristeva describes melancholic people as witnesses and accomplices of the signifier's flimsiness Black Sun The arbitrariness of words is made explicit by Clov's statement to Hamm: If they don't mean anything any more, teach me others.
Or let me be silent" Endgame Towards the end of the play, when Clov contemplates leaving but fears that he is too old to form new habits, he says: They have nothing to say" Endgame Throughout the play, Clov and Hamm repeat each other's words and phrases to fill space. These passages reveal that language has become an alien skin for them, foreign and detached from their drive base.
They illustrate the "dead language" of a melancholic, as set out by Kristeva Black Sun The characters' inability to form a meaningful connection with each other demonstrates another symptom of the melancholic condition. This inability is depicted visually by the fact that the characters do not touch each other. Nagg and Nell want to touch and kiss each other but they are physically prevented from doing so by their infirmities and their bins.
Hamm and Clov are physically capable of touching each other, but when Hamm asks Clov to kiss him and hold his hand, Clov refuses. The only affectionate touch is given to the unfinished, three-legged, castrated toy dog. Hamm feels it and fondles it at first Endgame 40then he wants the dog to look up at him as if it were begging or imploring him for a bone Endgame 41and towards the end of the play, he throws the dog on the ground Endgame The characters have an ambivalent love-hate relationship.
While Clov and Hamm need each other, they are adversarial. Hamm seems to enjoy making Clov suffer. Clov usually obeys, but defiantly. The relationship between Hamm and his father is also ambivalent.
To some degree they need each other. Nagg needs Hamm for nourishment and Hamm needs Nagg to listen to his stories.