Thoughts on Krapp

Topics: Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Krapp's Last Tape Pages: 4 (1364 words) Published: March 12, 2013
“Krapp’s Last Tape” is a single actor show with a very minimalist stage. The setting in the version I watched had an older man in a wheelchair sitting at a desk with a tape player and boxes upon it. Krapp does little talking other than completing a short recording of a tape for his annual tradition of recounting the events of the previous year. Krapp spends the first portion of the play thumbing through a ledger book, looking for just the right spool to recall his memories. The majority of the play is spent listening to the tape from Krapp’s 39th birthday and watching his reactions to the thoughts of his younger self. Despite hating himself for it, Krapp pours himself several drinks during his taping and listening ritual. It seems he is most disappointed in this part of himself: he only brings the glass back to the table with him after a few trips back to his drink buffet, and only when he is close to finishing. Listening to the tape from Krapp’s 39th birthday gives the viewer a better glimpse into his yearly tradition. At the beginning of spool five, from box three we hear Krapp recount the tape he listened to that year before starting the new recording. Except in this year, that was a brief portion of the tape. Krapp went on to recall a failed love and the death of his mother, fluctuating between laughing with his younger self and heartily disagreeing and at times, cussing his memories. As he records his new spool, Krapp does little to recount the previous year, and instead, he spends the majority of the tape discussing his arguments with his younger self from the recording of his 39th year. Krapp ends the play by listening again to the same clip heard throughout the play about the lost love. Watching Harold Pinter in Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” I became more than a bit depressed. Beckett’s character is played tremendously by Pinter. He encompasses the dismal feeling of Krapp: using perfect facial expressions and mannerisms to portray a...
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