Endgame: Top Ten Quotes

“I can’t be punished anymore.”  (p. 1)Clov feels comforted that the end of the game is near, and therefore, his misery or punishment will be over. The end of existence equals the end of suffering.

“All life long the same questions, the same answers” (p. 5)Clov never sees any progress in life, no final truth. It is all a repetition without final meaning.

“Is it not time for my pain-killer?” (p. 7)Hamm is in terrible shape, blind, and in a wheelchair. He lives for his painkiller which is administered by Clov. The painkiller is a metaphor for anything that distracts him from the emptiness of life.

“Outside of here is death” (p. 9).Hamm feels death all around him, both in his house and outside, but outside is worse. When Clov looks out the window, he sees no anywhere, as if all were obliterated by a bomb.

“No one that ever lived ever thought so crooked as we.” (p. 11).The dialogue is often nonsensical with one statement canceling the previous one, so Clov blames their crooked thinking and inability to come up with any clear truth. This is a pronouncement about the human condition, the blindness of humans to the purpose of life.

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” (p. 18).Nell tells Nagg not to laugh at Hamm’s misery, because even if it is funny in the beginning, one doesn’t keep laughing at the same joke.

“If I could kill him I’d die happy.” (p. 27).Clov is upset that Hamm keeps giving him orders for moving his wheelchair around the room. He is never satisfied.

“Infinite emptiness will be all around you, all the resurrected dead of all the ages wouldn’t fill it, and there you’ll be like a little bit of grit in the middle of the steppe.” (p. 36).Hamm tries to make Clov feel as insignificant as he does in the vastness of the universe, which he perceives as an empty void.

Clov: “Do you believe in the life to come?”Hamm: “Mine was always that.”  (p. 49)Hamm makes a joke indicating that he has always felt his life was deferred.

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m in my right mind. Then it passes over and I’m as lucid as before.”  (p. 73).Clov is mumbling to himself as he endlessly repeats his actions. This is a joke because none of the characters make sense, yet their talk is poetically lucid.