Samuel Beckett's Endgame

Samuel Beckett's Endgame

Samuel Beckett's Endgame

Samuel Beckett's Endgame

Excerpt

The stage is a place to wait. The place itself waits, when no one is in it. “When the curtain rises on Endgame, sheets drape all visible objects as in a furniture warehouse. Clov’s first act is to uncurtain the two high windows and inspect the universe; his second is to remove the sheets and fold them carefully over his arm, disclosing two ash cans and a figure in an armchair. This is so plainly a metaphor for waking up that we fancy the stage, with its high peepholes, to be the inside of an immense skull. It is also a ritual for starting the play; Yeats arranged such a ritual for At the Hawk’s Well, and specified a black cloth and a symbolic song. It is finally a removal from symbolic storage of the objects that will be needed during the course of the performance. When the theater is empty it is sensible to keep them covered against dust. So we are reminded at the outset that what we are to witness is a dusty dramatic exhibition, repeated and repeatable. The necessary objects include three additional players (two of them in ash cans). Since none of them will move from his station we can think of them after the performance as being kept permanently on stage, and covered with their dust cloths again until tomorrow night . . .

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