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Multilevel Representations of Power in Harold Pinter's Plays

Alina-Elena Rosca

The study offers an interdisciplinary analysis of Harold Pinter’s dramatic discourse and focuses on the way power makes the characters play on the borders of linguistic, spatial, narrative and gender configurations. It examines the experimental nature of Harold Pinter’s dramatic technique and how he compromises both the realistic and the absurd dramatic formulae. The study also investigates the narrative of the past – a new dramatic technique in Pinter’s Plays, which brings into focus the inner life of the characters without causing any severe disturbance to the realistic conventional formula. It asserts that the narratives of the past become a form of doing, of being anchored in life and of acting in response to it. It also argues that sexuality is constantly submitted to manipulation and that women are more prepared than men to transgress gender constructions.
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2. Spatial Configurations


2.1 Territorial Confrontations

This chapter analyses Harold Pinter’s multiple ways of organizing and structuring the scenic space according to extremely simple architectural details which significantly transform the setting of the plays into an appropriate territory for the confrontation of adverse beings and sequences of action. All the indications Harold Pinter offers on space layout, from the spatial arrangement of the stage props to the manner in which the characters interrelate according to their spatial positioning and their centre or off-centre placement, strongly lead towards a comprehensive valorisation of space properties and forms. Instrumented as a powerful means of exercising power and holding control, space is frequently defined and built up in such a determinate and precise manner as to facilitate the extension of domination over all bodies, objects and individualities coming across the respective spaces.

The patterns that are traced in the relationships the characters establish throughout their mobility or fixity, their readiness to either generate or inhibit action, the way they get involved in the surrounding environment through a more or less awkward handling of objects can be properly decoded by an ample quantification of the space material and of its concrete adaptation and adjustment at the level of the stage setting. Space analysis is not to be used as an additional tool, complementing the linguistic, traditional parameters of research, but as a self-contained and consistent device of interpretation to be correlated with all the other paradigms in bringing to the surface unexplored...

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