Endgame The Hegelian definition of tragedy is defined as good intentions will collide in a finite area where those good intentions will develop a tragedy. Beckett’s Endgame can be included within the definition of the Hegelian tragedy. Both main characters in the play had good intentions, but were formed through obligations. These good intentions through obligation made the novel suitable to be a Hegelian tragedy. The characters good intentions were shown throughout the play. Both Hamm and Clove depended on each other to survive. They were both afraid to leave each other and be left alone.
Clove admits that Hamm became a father figure to him and he once loved him but not anymore, but he has nowhere else to go. Also Hamm points out that Clove stays with him out of compassion. Nagg depends mostly on his wife, Nell. He would only wake up from his garbage bins to tell the same story to his wife and attempt to give her a kiss. However Nell dependency is the past. Nell in the play represents life where in this type of story it is unlikely to see. The script and the film made Hamm’s parents look more childlike and pet like.
The play had several themes, which consist of emptiness, loneliness, and the overall nature of beginnings and endings in other words- life and death. The repeated lines such as “finished” and “zero” represents Hamm, the protagonist, wanting to welcome in death but he is too scare to finish the “endgame”. The script made me think the characters were trapped in this small dark hole full of nothingness, which emphasizes the emptiness of the play. However, in the film there was light coming from the two windows. Outside the windows, there is “zero” nature, which also helps to illustrate the emptiness of play.
Another example of emptiness being represented in the play, is that there was absolutely no sound coming from the outside or inside in the film, except for the character’s voices. The killing of the rat and flea demonstrates the beginnings and endings of the play. Hamm told Clove to kill the flea because he is afraid of the rebirth of humanity. The stage directions in the script represent Hamm and Clove’s fear of escaping. In the film, when Hamm directs Clove to move him back to the center of the room after being pushed around the room, is one example of Hamm’s fear of escaping the room.
Another example is Clove’s failed attempts to leave the room to go to the kitchen. In the film, it showed Clove’s many hesitations before leaving the room. Even though the characters had good intentions to help each other survive the “endgame”, the tragic flaws were overpowering. Nagg mentions in the play that since birth Hamm has always being afraid of loneliness. Clove finally had courage to escape but eventually returns because he didn’t have enough courage to end one thing and start a new beginning somewhere else. Hegelian tragedy suited the Endgame because the characters good intentions collided in this finite dark hole.
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