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Endgame
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2001
'Old endgame lost of old, play and lose and have done with losing.....'
So says Hamm, patriach and master of the stage on which the play is set. Beckett originally wrote the piece in French (Entitled 'Fin de Partie')in 1957 shortly after the death of his brother and it was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre on 3rd April 1957. The two main protagonists, the blind, crippled Hamm and his lame manservant Clov live in a perpetual state of symbiosis- despite Clov's threats to leave and die in the wilderness beyond the stage and Hamm's threats to starve Clov, neither can live without each other, and they exist in a constant see-saw of pathos and hatred, love and hope. Written in Beckett's unique style of 'Lessness', the piece explores many themes in Beckett's own domain of contempory existence; our relationships, fears, and struggles against the dark. The play itself is wildly eloquent, the characters managing to attain hights of pathos but also a dark hallucinatory humour, often in the same line. As effective on paper as it is on stage, Beckett's Endgame must rank as one of the finest plays ever written, conforming to what may be described as 'modern theatre' but also expanding and exploring the genre at the same time. Beckett is one of the most important and influential writers of the twentieth century, and Endgame is his masterpiece. It is as relevant now as it ever was, and is a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2009
If you like Waiting for Godot then read this play. It is a bizarre situation where Ham and Clov annoy one another in a small space and to add a comical image is the parents nagg and nell living in dustbins. The language is reductive in itself and that is Beckett's trait. A man of few words yet they speak volumes. It is one of those plays that you either love or hate and some say they prefer to watch this as oppose to reading it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2002
This is a master piece. Beckett's characters and settings may seem somewhat absurd to those who do not grasp the underlying message of the play, but when fully understood, Beckett's true meaning is frightening. His characters appear to be in a hopeless state of paralysis, both physically and mentally and their constant references to the 'end' which is drawing near is utterly depressing. Hamm and Clov's hopeless relationship is filled with disrespect, yet neither can survive without the other, while Nell's death in her ash can is barely acknowledged by anyone other than Nagg. Their monotonous and never ending wait for death is a dreary yet eye opening insight of the world, which forces us to reasess our own existence. Brilliant!
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on 6 April 2013
This play is part of the "Theatre of the Absurd" genre, and I can tell you that it really meets that standard. It took me a few reads to try and so much as start to understand what was going on in it. I found aspects of the play to be very funny and the characters all have their very own quirks.
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on 1 April 2013
While I enjoyed watching a production of this play, reading it without any visuals is not really very good at conveying anything at all, it leaves a reader confused and unable at times to remain focused on the dialogue, which is often broken up by the numerous stage directions
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on 15 December 2012
Read it a few times because the stage directions are important. I have seen this performed in Dublin, superb! Not as well known as it should be, probably because of all the "correctness" in the world.
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on 23 November 2009
Endgame is a very bizarre short play by Samuel Beckett. Few characters, no change of location, everyone's disabled and most are depressed. Worth a read - despite it sounding quite morbid.
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on 18 January 2013
Samuel Beckett's Endgame has everything what one would expect from his stories; sarcasm, irony, gallows humour - and there is more. I recommend this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2008
This is an interesting play. There is a contrast between dark and light. A battling conversation, which gives a sense of time passing by. Each part consist's a metaphor of some kind, including the characters all which represents the bigger picture.
The play also toys with death.

It reflects Beckett's previous marriage to some extent and demonstrates Beckett's dark humour. Though no doubt illustrates his genuis mind.
He is one of the few writers who wanted full control of his play and even revoked his play temporarily to make changes.

Some readers may find this strange ...perhaps even weird but read again and you realise never judge the book by its cover .... in this case never judge the play by its words. It is a deep book, philosophical even.
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on 29 June 2015
I like it and always have. You can read it over end over again.
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