The fundamentals of the play
When speaking about Samuel Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last Tape, it is necessary to highlight some fundamentals of his unusual production. So, first of all, there is a need to state that the peculiar feature of the play is considered to be a lack of a story-line. In other words, it is obvious that the author mostly depicts a sequence of events from the so-called reflective standpoint.
The main character of the story Krapp just records every aspect, which occurs in his life. Tom Lagier thinks that “the most strikingly apparent emotion found in Krapp’s Last Tape is the intense separation of self that Krapp finds among his tapes” (par. 1).
The role of repetitions in the main character’s life
In my opinion, the author’s style seems to be really interesting and unusual, as Beckett uses numerous repetitions. Thus, one is to keep in mind that the main role of repetitions in this play is not only to disclose referential meanings, but also to form the relationships among interactants.
Silva and Santos state that “in addition to these textual, ideational, and interpersonal meanings, repetitions are also a key strategy employed by speakers at an intrapersonal level, as they are a central feature in the very semiotic processes developed by speakers” (2).
To my mind, the role of repetitions in the life of the main character is really important, as Krapp seems to have recorded all the details of his existence, in order to relive and review his past experiences. So, Beckett’s play arises the readers’ interest from the very beginning. Firstly, the author concentrates on his character’s actions.
The list of the character’s actions, which are repeated is following: Krapp peers into drawer, peers at drawer, locks drawer, unlocks first drawer, unlocks second drawer, remains a moment motionless, beaves a great sigh, chooses a key, gets up and moves to front of table, etc. Italicized verbs are repeated more than two times in Beckett’s play. Of course, the number of repetitions the author uses in his work is higher; however, I would like to analyze the most important ones.
The timelines the main character lived within
In my opinion, the most interesting phenomenon, which is to be highlighted, is considered to be a timeline the author depicts. So, the main character’s life is analyzed in three aspects. Krapp’s lifetimes are divided into certain periods, and all the time the present character is involved into his past. Several sets of eyes described in the play determine the key theme of Beckett’s work. In other words, one can make a conclusion that the main character regards the past through these sets.
I It is obvious that the three Krapps the author depicts are recognized to be totally different. They are separate entities, as each Krapp is separately aged. Generally, it is extremely important to state that “the structure in Beckett’s fiction and theatre seems to be determined by the conception… that man is essentially alone, that even his I is a stranger, a me to his consciousness” (Kern 17).
Finally, it should be pointed out that the main purpose of the play seems to be a reflection of the mind and thinking. The memories of the main character are expressed by the symbolic meaning of the tape-player. In my opinion, there were three subpersonalities in Krapp’s mind, who returned him to the past all the time.
Kern, Edith. “Structure in Beckett’s Theatre,” New Haven, Connecticut, Yale French Studies: 1971. Print.
Lagier, Tom. A Separation of Selves in Krapp’s Last Tape, 2006.
Silva, Glaucia, and Denise, Santos. Framing Participation Through Repetition: The Case of a Portuguese Learner in Different Settings, n.d.