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have responded negatively to changes in the scheme of Beckett's plays,19it seems

clear that one can take liberties... But only very carefully.

Beckett was not a playwright most of his career, nor was he a regular

playgoer, but the time that he spent in theaters after the sensation of WAITING

FOR GODOT made a significant and practical impact on him. ENDGAME was

written not only on the foundation of a historically unique literary talent, but with

a very realistic understanding of what the theatre of the 20th century was. Beckett

knew what theatrical lighting and scenery could do. What he lost in not having a

background in the theatre he made up for with his sharp insight into the essential

reality of any situation. After GODOT, he also knew something about audience


ENDGAME was written to be performed, with a solid objective

understanding of the realities of performance. The literary merits of ENDGAME

notwithstanding, it is a production script.

Throughout his life Beckett was obsessed with Dante's Inferno. There are

many oblique relationships between the poem and ENDGAME but in most cases

they are buried so deeply into the world of the play that direct referencing is almost

impossible. It is however, important to note that Beckett knew his territory well in

constructing an image that is hellish to most.

The strongest case can be made for the state of the characters in ENDGAME

being similar to Dante's Ante-Purgatory, purgatory's "waiting room" in Purgatorio.

Peter Campbell and I spent some time going over this material. Although it is

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