and floating transformation. Krapp would rather be other things than be human. This issue can be seen in every part of the play when he has obsession with things around himself
Krapp remains a moment motionless, heaves a great sigh, looks at his watch, fumbles in his pockets, takes out an envelope, puts it back, fumbles, takes out a small bunch of keys, raises it to his eyes, chooses a key, gets up and moves to front of table. He stoops, unlocks first drawer, peers into it, feels about inside it, takes out a reel of tape, peers at it, puts it back, locks drawer, unlocks second drawer peers into it, feels about inside it, takes out a large banana, peers at it, locks drawer, puts keys back in his pocket (76).
Krapp seems to repeat a lot of the same movements and then proceed to undo them as though he is not sure of what he is doing. For example, he takes out an envelope then immediately puts it back. He takes out a reel of tape from his dresser then puts it back. When he peels a banana, puts it in his mouth yet stops midway as though he does not remember what he’s doing. He does this twice before the monologue begins. Negating the ego is representing with his obsession with things rather than his identity.
Krapp is focusing on papers, tapes and spools, he is drinking too much and he eats bananas a lot despite his constipation. One of Beckett’s primary themes in Krapp’s Last Tape is that of unfulfilled goals. Despite his early convictions that he should give up his nasty obsessions, drinking and eating bananas, we still see him at sixty-nine and hear him at thirty-nine doing both. Beckett meditates on the uselessness of every goal ever set by Krapp. Krapp has never accomplished anything he hoped to, nor has he ever really tried. Becoming banana throughout the play can be as a representation of these unfulfilled goals. In fact, results can be seen by banana and alcohol. The former represents his identity that is nothing in this society, Krapp suffers from constipation and this can pave the way that he is remained part of the society too. In fact, not only is he nothing in his personal life but also he is negated by the society through his art. Also, the latter shows his own negation of identity by drinking too much alcohol, he tries to ignore his gloomy life through unconsciousness and this is concerned with Krapp’s suffering and survival, and his characteristics is struggling with meaninglessness and the world of the Nothing.
When Krapp plays the tapes, we hear his confident voice proving he was not always a loser but he became one some time ago. Young Krapp reveals two character flaws before the first pause that could foreshadow his demise. First, he reveals that he is healthy except for an old weakness and he celebrates this weakness alone at a wine house. Already at the age of thirty-nine, he refers to his weakness as an old one, as oppose to a new or recent weakness, leaving the reader to wonder, “what is this weakness and how long has he had it?” We also learn that recently he has been escaping his weakness through alcohol. As the tape continues, we are presented with young Krapp reflecting on an even younger Krapp. This Krapp is between the ages of twenty-seven and twenty-nine. This younger version of Krapp claims to want “to drink less.” However, young Krapp does not manage this and instead begins to drink to escape his weakness. So becoming banana and alcohol can be concluded from mentioned explanation.
Through becoming tape, Krapp tries to negate his identity. In fact, by recording his voice in different ages, he is attempting to copy himself and escapes from his identity. A live audience could interpret that Krapp is stuck in a moment in his life. This could explain why he is always repeating everything. He ritualizes it into an annual event to listen to this particular tape since it is the defining moment of his life. This tape then becomes a symbol of a bittersweet memory. His greatest triumph mixed in with his biggest failure. He never did overcome these flaws nor has he ever shared the same level of intimacy with someone else. Krapp’s life climaxed at the age of thirty-nine and from that point on, it could only go downhill. His only option from that point is to wait for death while escaping life through his tapes and alcohol. Every time that he records his voice, he is copying his identity and in the old age he is listening to those copies that were negated his humanity through copying.
By becoming tape, Krapp puts the process of subjectivity under the question. By considering the tapes and Krapp, we can see the body without voice in the old age and the voice without body in tapes. Separation between body and voice can be represented as shattered identity and catastrophic situation for identity. Tapes here are recording of identity. So we can conclude that without having a body, identity goes to nowhere. In fact, Krapp is destroying little by little physically and simultaneously he is collapsing his identity through recording himself. Krapp is looking for himself and his identity through different tapes in order to find himself because his identity is shattered into different tapes. As a matter of fact, he is trying to put these pieces of tapes together in order to find his own identity. But nothing comes out of it.
We can discern from Krapp’s heterogonous combination that the tape, the spool and the nonsense sound are put together not according to their structure. Krapp enters a regime of becoming silence through making a lot of hole and void phase. In fact, he is trying to desubjectify himself by recording silence and making a lot of pauses through recording
Here I end this reel. Box–(pause)–three, spool–(pause)–five. (Pause. Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want them back. Krapp motionless staring before him. The tape runs on in silence.(67)
Deleuze believes that with a repetition of the text doesn’t produce the same but effects a difference. When a virtually identical course of parts is repeated on two tragic figures, one can read them as paradigms of repetition and difference in Deleuzean mode. The lunatic Krapp seems to echo Deleuze’s word that “to produce difference in repetition is to discharge, to lighten”. As Deleuze says “Essence is nothing, essence is repetitions and differences” (87). We can see the different reflections in Krapp who fails in his personal life and his writing when he listens to one part of the tape twice but with different reflections toward it. For the first time that he is listening to this part of the tape, he is mocking at himself and he puts himself under the focus
–gooseberries, she said. I said again I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her eyes. (Pause.) I asked her to look at me and after a few moments–(pause)–after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare. I bent over her to get them in the shadow and they opened. (Pause. Low.) Let me in. (Pause.) We drifted in among the flags and stuck. The way they went down, sighing, before the stem! (Pause.) I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her. We lay there without moving. But under us all moved, and moved us, gently, up and down, and from side to side (68)
but for the second time that he is listening to the same part, he is kind of feeling pity for himself and kind of regret can be seen in his eyes.
2.3 Krapp’s Last Tape and Language
Throughout the play, Krapp attempts to reshape his identity by his use of language. Krapp wants to eliminate emotional ties and intimacy from his life in the present and in the past by editing his life as he listens to his yearly reflections on tape. Through eliminating the past’s relevance, Krapp hopes to make himself content with his present status. Language plays a large part in Krapp. Krapp says to his tape recorder, “Revelled in the word spool. [with relish] Spooool! Happiest moment of the past half million” (68). Krapp is bound by and to language. It is his source of delight, the object for which he sacrificed his chance at love. His obsessive recording of and listening to himself speak exemplifies his entrenchment in the sphere of language.
Language in this play is kind of sound, so the important sound that can be heard in this play is the word “Krapp” as one can read this as the same pronunciation “crap” that means something which is useless, worthless and nonsense. When he says he wants to back to Krapp,
With all this darkness around me I feel less alone. (Pause.) In a way. (Pause.) I love to get up and move about in it, then back here to . . . (hesitates) . . . me. (pause.) Krapp. (67)
It can mean that he wants to back to his nothingness and he believes in his nonsense life. This explanation can be parallel with his desire for eating bananas in spite of his constipation; this can represent his own personality as the crap of the society. He put the crap inside himself and he is the crap of the life in his own identity and life.
The written descriptions of his tapes are another example of these empty words, such as “Memorable equinox,” the reading of which produces complete confusion for Krapp. Such an objective and clinical method of self-evaluation leaves little room for Krapp to develop a sense of identity. By reducing his life to a succession of detailed statistics and numbers, Krapp acquires a fragmented sense of self. Krapp’s fragmentation into a progression of past selves also occurs because of his constant interruptions and editing, which disengage his memories. Krapp constantly stops the tapes he is playing in order to “brood,” laugh, drink, or sing, and the play is characterized by its sheer amount of asides, commentaries, and curses (13). For example, while he is replaying the tape of his “Memorable equinox” – his