Augustine’s Take On Samuel Beckett’s Endgame

751 words - 4 pages

Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” was a book Augustine never had the chance to read, but I would like to shed light on what he would have to say about the never-ending game. Endgame focuses around the idea that beginnings and endings are intertwined, that human existence is cyclical. The numerous stories that are told have death related endings that are one and the same to their beginnings. Beckett was not talking about the physical aspect of the endgame in chess but rather as metaphor to explain other things in life. There are several instances, events, and cycles among the play that mirror an endgame. This can be seen through Hamm and Clov who are in the end game of their ancient lives. They are stuck in a perpetual loop that never allows them final closure. The real question is when does this cycle end? What draws us in and does not allow us to escape it? Beckett as well as Augustine has answers to questions such as these.
Beckett was taken with what it meant to be alive, to exist in this world. He focused on what it meant to exist in a world that seemed to resist any search for meaning to ones life. In many cases, writers and humans themselves are focused with how great it is to be human and to exist in a world with so much opportunity. Beckett on the other hand sheds light on the foul layer of humanism. We live to survive, and that means escaping our fears, avoiding competition, accepting failure. Once we are comfortable, it is hard to break away because it is the easy way out. Most of Beckett’s stories explain this notion of a circular existence. Hamm has a need to return to the exact center of the room after Clov takes him on chair rides. His comments about the environment, and the “other hell” suggests a reference to Dante’s Inferno another work that references the circularity of life. In Beckett’s Waiting for Godot the characters are stuck in eternally static routines while they wait for the end, which Beckett does in the Endgame. It is an “impossible” life without little moments that make it up. It’s...

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