Krapp's Last Tape: Imagery in Color

Topics: Samuel Beckett, Theatre of the Absurd, Anal retentive Pages: 3 (857 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Krapp's Last Tape: Imagery in Color

During the 20th century, there was an evident disillusion and disintegration in religious views and human nature due to the horrific and appalling events and improvements in technology of this time, such as the Holocaust and the creation of the atom bomb. This has left people with little, if any, faith in powers above or in their own kind, leaving them to linger in feelings of despair and that life is an absurd joke. From these times grew the Theater of Absurd. Here they attempted to depict the very illogical and ridiculous life they were living. In comparison to traditional characteristics of earlier plays, the plots are seemingly deficient, if not sparse with little resolution. Yet despite this, these plays make very bold and philosophical statements about life in the 20th century. The playwrights indiscreetly utilize metaphoric and symbolic details to support their message. In "Krapp's Last Tape," Samuel Beckett exploits such techniques in expressing his own bleak and pessimistic view of the world.

In his middle years of his life, Krapp retained this rigid and anal retentive nature. He kept these tapes in which he would constantly reevaluate his own life and try to always improve it, using these tapes as "help before embarking on a new retrospect" (1629). He had also stored these various tapes organized in boxes with their location written in a ledger. Yet in his latter years, there is an apparent decay of this regimental attitude. His very appearance is an indication of this decline. He is described as wearing "Rusty black narrow trousers to short for him. Rusty black sleeveless waistcoat. Surprising pair of dirty white boots. Disordered gray hair. Unshaven. Very near-sighted (but unspectacled)," which is not the description of an anal retentive person (1627). Also despite the ledger and the boxes, he still cannot find the tapes which evidently have obviously become disorganized over time. And in his...

Cited: Beckett, Samuel. "Krapp 's Last Tape," The Bedford Introduction to Literature.
Ed. Michael Meyers. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin 's Press,1993. 1627-
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