Faculty Mentor

Dr. Marilynn Richtarik


Samuel Beckett’s plays are often interpreted as literature which highlights the meaningless and banality of life. Endgame is no exception to this when read as record of the repetitive and futile efforts of Hamm and Clov to stave off their inevitable deaths. In this essay I examine the trope of death in the play as a function of time by appealing to Martin Heidegger’s conception of the temporal self. In doing so, I reveal that a positive interpretation of the play’s ending is just as valid as a pessimistic interpretation, and that pessimistic interpretations of the play simply ignore the possibility for hope and existential freedom.