E ISSN: 2583-049X

International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Studies

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2023

Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, the reimagining of Tragedy

Author(s): Peyman Salehi


This study delves into the intricacies of Tragedy in Samuel Beckett's Endgame, a work that defies traditional Tragic conventions with its flat plot style. Through an exploration of various interpretations and definitions of tragedy, the study highlights the notion that the fundamental value of Tragedy in the works of literature, lies in the concept of catharsis. The study also examines the theories of the Theatre of the Absurd, as a movement that aims to convey the futility and purposelessness of life, arguing that it effectively wakes the audience up to the reality of decay and death. Drawing on Martin Esslin's Absurdist theater, and the work of Jean Paul Sartre concerning the Existentialist philosophy, the paper portrays the Absurdist movement as a necessary and benevolent evil that liberates the human mind, which is also instrumental in illuminating Beckett's reimagining of Tragedy. The paper will further on argue that despite being deemed incongruous within traditional works of Tragedy, the Endgame's form is secondary to its effect, since it utilizes an unconventional method in eliciting a cathartic response in the audience, elevating it to the status of a problematic Tragedy, but a Tragedy nonetheless. It is further on delineated that Beckett's perspective on humanity is bleak and uncompromising, as all the characters introduced in his play are equally miserable creatures bewildered by illusions of grandeur, with no agency or signifying identity such as Hero or Anti-hero applicable to their futile existence. Ironically, the debates surrounding whether or not Endgame qualifies as a proper Tragedy may align with Beckett's original intentions, as he reimagines his singular design by allowing catharsis while denying the consolations and closures offered in classic Tragedies.

Keywords: Samuel Beckett, Endgame, Tragedy, Aristotle, Martin Esslin,

Pages: 582-586

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