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stuffed into ash cans, make all to brief appearances which diminish in frequency

and lightness as the play progresses. We can easily imagine two questions becoming

tantamount within the minds of the audience: "What does this mean?" and

"When will this end?"

Although I realized that we were presenting the play to an audience in 1996,

who would come to the theatre with a different set of expectations, I decided to

assume the two questions which I believed Beckett assumed of his audience. When

I did this, I found a wealth of wit in how Beckett had set up the play.

With the first question: What does this mean? I found constant jabs that

were directed at the audience. If one takes Hamm and Clov's exchanges about what

is going on or what it all means to be in reference to the play that they are

performing and not to some elevated questioning of ultimate truth in a barren

universe, suddenly it becomes a joke.



Clov (impatiently):

What is it?


We're not beginning to ... to ... mean something?


Mean something! You and I, mean something!

(brief laugh)

Ah that's a good one!32

The joke here is on the audience, and it is a two edged sword; On one hand

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