Hamm - Hamm is the protagonist of the play, though his unlikable demeanor at times makes him the antagonist to his servant, Clov. Blind, immobilized by old. THE WORLD CORPSED IN SAMUEL BECKETT'S ENDGAME. Nicoleta . relationship, illustrative of their mental affliction: Hamm keeps Clov on as his servant. Endgame study guide contains a biography of Samuel Beckett, literature The relationship between Hamm and Clov is also confused by.
Isolation in Beckett’s Endgame | Reflections on Modernities:
Endgame has a plot at least to the extent that it holds its audience with an uncertainty, one which is continuously reiterated from the stage: Will Clov leave Hamm? At the end, when the final tableau shows Clov standing there, with umbrella, raincoat, and bag, unable to stay and unable to go, the question remains unresolved.
Nevertheless, any discussion of Endgame, including one which proposes to consider the play's dramatic method, should begin with this question, or rather with the relationship between Hamm and Clov from which it arises.
And since Clov is for the most part a passive victim, a pawn dominated by Hamm's active mastery, it is with Hamm that we should start. In order to get even as far as the play will let us towards understanding why Hamm keeps Clov assuming that he could in fact let him gowe must try to see what Hamm is like.
He is like a king, with Clov as his servant, for he refers to "my house,"l "my service," and even, echoing Shakespeare's Richard III, to "my kingdom. His relationship with Clov is like that between Pozzo and Lucky in Godot, and its quality is well conveyed by Lionel Abel's suggestion that it is an analogue of the relationship between the young Beckett and the old, blind, Joyce.
Hamm treats Nagg and Nell as further objects for gratuitous affiiction-"Bottle him! But it is at this point that the difficulties begin, for to say that Hamm enjoys exercising power is to attribute a familiar form of psychological motivation to him-and it is hard to be sure he has the capacity for this.
- A Blog for the Modernities MA at UCC
- Modern Drama
And the tone of what Hamm says is frequently consistent with that of an assumed identity, one deliberately acted out. This routine involves Clov bringing in the step-latter and peering out the two windows that offers him a minor contact with the outside world. Then, he removes the sheets covering Hagg and Nell and the one covering Hamm, meticulously folding the sheets before putting them away.
It is this cyclical routineness that cuts the characters off from the linear progression of time, compounding the feeling of isolation.
The cycle, however, is broken by the death of Nell, which will be treated later. For now, let us move to the relationships between characters. In other words, why this ridiculous daily attempt to connect, because, in the end, are we not only flesh in a bin? Though a rather bleak perception, such is the relationship between those who have spent a life together. In the end, do they truly know each other? Such a play between characters would suggest no. Regarding the relationship between Hamm and Clov, it is one of stepfather to stepson, master and servant, and disorder to order though the last two forms of relationships are not examined presently.
Isolation in Beckett’s Endgame
Though there are other instances in the play, these three instances do well to establish their relationship as stepfather to stepson. The significance of their relationship is not to be taken as simply a literal relationship between stepfather and stepchild, in which there is distance, but of the natural distance between father and son, between man to man.
In what could be the closest of relationship between two men — a relationship between a father and son — there is a great distance. This distance is made more apparent between biological relationships.Hamm and Clov Endgame Actor Interviews
The relationship between Nagg and Hamm is one of biological father and son, though it is not a very pleasant one. Nagg recounts to Hamm a horrific childhood experience: Whom did you call when you were a tiny boy, and were frightened in the dark?
We let you cry. Then we moved you out of earshot, so that we might sleep in peace How does the world generally react to the suffering of another person?
People usually move out of earshot or eyesight of those who suffer. It is the notion that we all suffer alone when we suffer. It is not to say that there is never assistance, or that there should not be assistance by others, but that we ultimately suffer alone.