Endgame Historical Context

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Nuclear Capability

Although Beckett does not place the characters and actions of Endgame in a specific time and place, the play's only set can be viewed as a bomb shelter after a nuclear bomb has detonated and destroyed much, if not all, life outside the shelter. This was certainly a looming fear when Beckett wrote the play and when it was performed in 1957. Although today this fear is still present, in 1957 the fear was at an all-time high, and the likelihood of such an event seemed all too possible and near.

The Cold War

The late 1950s and the 1960s were dominated by the cold war, an intense rivalry between the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union. After World War II, Europe was divided into two zones of power, a capitalist west and a socialist east. The rivalry soon became worldwide, and there was always...

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This section contains 514 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Endgame Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Endgame from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.