Analysis of the Setting in Endgame

The setting of Endgame is characteristic of a Beckett play; a décor reduced to the barest minimum. A naked stage, both a poetic symbol and a parody of traditional theater, with only two dust bins, a chair, and a backward painting to look at. High up on the walls we get an idea of the rest of Beckett's blank universe through to small windows looking out. "On these boards of disaster the characters play out their derisory role." (Fletcher, 48)

Traditional theater attempts to put a slice of life out onto the stage for the audience's enjoyment. The general idea is to fool the audience into thinking that they are looking at something that they have seen before. For example, a roach infested apartment or even a relatively simple office scene helps one relate to the characters before they speak. We know what to expect because we are familiar with the plight of the starving artist with his dinky little flat and we already expect the businessman to be under a great deal of stress. Beckett sets his text in a place we've never been, and God willing, a place that will never exist: a bunker of sorts, that resembles the inside of a skull with its neuroses bickering inside.

When the curtain opens on a place like that, the...

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