Krapp's Last Tape

by Samuel Beckett

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The American author Henry James’s ‘‘The Beast in the Jungle’’ (1903) is a short story that examines the life of Marcher, a man very similar to Krapp. Compare and contrast the two protagonists’ expectations of their futures and what these futures actually bring them.

In what ways is Krapp an ‘‘everyman’’ figure? Despite the experimental nature of the play, in what ways does it offer its audience a man who is like all men and who holds many of mankind’s assumptions about the self, experience and time?

Many now-famous writers have had their diaries, journals, and letters published. Read a selection of these by a writer such as the Scottish biographer James Boswell (1740-1795) or the English poet John Keats (1795-1821) and compare their understanding and examinations of their personalities with Krapp’s.

Waiting for Godot(1956) is Beckett’s most widely-read play. Examine the ways that the play explores issues similar to ones found in Krapp’s Last Tape, such as alienation, isolation, and the search for meaning in a disordered and chaotic world.

Compose an essay in which you imagine what Krapp does after the action of the play concludes. Despite the fact that the audience knows this is his ‘‘last’’ tape, will he live his remaining days any differently? Or will he sink into even deeper despair? Use what Beckett tells the viewer about Krapp in the play to support your ideas.

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