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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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3. Uses and Abuses of Language


3.1 Language – a Means of Elusion. Avoiding the Painful Encounter with the Other

Research undertaken in this section aims at analysing the communicative acts initiated and established by Harold Pinter’s characters, from strained – tense-conversations on seemingly trivial matters to peripheral narratives and jokes carried out at random and with no clearly cut connection with what seems to be at stake. As part of the much favoured ritual of the non-sequitur, where Harold Pinter proved a master of silences and pauses, all these gestures of pseudo-communication, in reality obscure language games, derive their forcefulness from the speakers’ ability to avoid, by all means, disclosing their true intentions or desires. Speakers are well aware of the fact that such a linguistic exposure would be equivalent to losing their status and the world they put all their efforts to construct and display.

What speakers bring forward in their relationships with the others, what they profess as their specific position in society, their specific identity or past, must not leave room for interpretation, discussion or negotiation. All these carefully chosen and fabricated elements of identification represent goods that a subject possesses as sole proprietor and assignee and, although they have been accommodated in order to cover and compensate for several lacks, they must be strongly protected against any invasion, estrangement or revocation. Engaging in open and unaffected discussions is a risk they cannot take. Still, given that daily life situations or events may nonetheless expose their fragile nature...

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