The play within the play tradition in Beckett's Endgame is given a modernist and self-reflexive twist from the Elizabethan way of handling the play within. What we have in Beckett's play is more of a Brechtian perception of theatre as theatre as opposed to theatre as harbouring an illusion of reality. The play within the play is performed through self-reflexive play-acting (Hamm as the ham-actor, the opening 'brief laugh' routine as an opening of the theatre) and a persistent use of dramatic metaphor that reminds one of Pirandellian metadrama.
1. Hamm's first line is 'me...to PLAY?'
2. Clov looks at the audience through his telescope and refers to them as a 'multitude' in 'transports of joy'.
3. Nagg's story as a performative narration...a play within
4. Hamm's 'chronicle' as a dramatized speech...another play within.
5. Hamm refers to bringing in 'characters' in a failed effort to elongate his grand story.
6. Hamm abuses Clov because he fails to remain silent to what he calls an 'ASIDE'.
7. When Clov sees some one/thing outside, Hamm wonders if it is an 'under-plot'
8. The play within the play is also the movemental play of the chess that operates as the guiding metaphor throughout.
The play "The Endgame" is written by Samuel Becket. It is a one act play consisting of four characters. The characters are Hamm (master), Clov (Hamm's servant) and Hamm's parents Nag and Nell. Hamm is confined to a wheel chair and relies on his servant, Clov, to provide him with mobility.
The play is about the people experiencing their world coming to an end but they continue to continue to make the same mistakes as always. The setting makes the reader believe that it may be an underground shelter. They are cruel and manipulative towards one another giving rise to the concern that would they be any different if circumstances were different.
The play with in the play is the moves and strategies of the game Chess. Hamm has the role of the chess piece, the King. Human nature puts people as adversaries in life. Just as people make calculated decisions, the players in the play calculate what they will say in language towards one another.