What are the implications of the title of the play Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main implications of the title of Samuel Beckett's play, Krapp's Last Tape, are found in the word "last". It is used ambiguously in English. In its most precise usage, it suggests that the subject of the play is the very last tape Krapp will ever make, although it can also mean, somewhat more ambiguously, the tape prior to the current one. The first meaning is more complex in that it suggests that the play is both about the final tape and that the play itself constitutes a "last tape". Also, if this is his final tape, that suggests that he dies (or commits suicide) after it is completed. Some of this attitude is suggested by Krapp's statement:

“Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back.”