Discuss the Confusion of Dramatic Genres in The Caretaker.
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The Caretaker by Harold Pinter breaks the boundaries of the classical dramatic genres. What is more, he also abandons the concept of the classical tragic hero described by Aristotle and uses the more modern idea presented by Arthur Miller in his essay Tragedy and the Common Man. Additionally, in his Poetics, Aristotle set number of guidelines by which the dramatic works should be arranged and what crucial elements of the dramatics works, the playwrights should consider and follow. However, in The Caretaker, Harold Pinter do not follow those patterns, instead he blends genres such as, tragedy, comedy, farce, realism, naturalism and the Theatre of the Absurd. This mixture of various styles is essential to the entire play but also to the specific elements of the play. Namely, those are the language, the plot and the interaction between characters.
In his Poetics Aristotle claims that the primary purpose of a good tragedy is to invoke both pity and fear. In order to do so, the tragic hero has to be highly renowned and prosperous person. Only then it is possible to present the change in fortune from good to bad due to some extreme error made by the hero. However, Harold Pinter in The Caretaker does not follow any of those rules. The main characters are ordinary men. They have flaws but they are not predestined to commit a critical mistake which would henceforth, affect their lives and their surroundings. As a result, the presentation of the tragic hero in reference to The Caretaker is similar to the one portrayed in the Arthur Miller’s essay Tragedy and the Common Man who explains that common people are equally important to be a subject of a tragedy as the high lords or the kings. Unlike the high-borne, common people usually trying to...
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...esemblance amplifies the credibility of the connection between the play and the real life.
All in all, The Caretaker is a great example of mixing the different genres and making it one. In so doing the, Pinter was able to depict a larger scope of life without any unnecessary adornments but life as it is. Not to mention that the play shows us that life is not only white and black but also has different colours and something in between. I strongly believe that by The Caretaker Pinter wanted to show different aspects of life and to show flaws that the classical comedy and tragedy have which is purely focusing on one element. However, the sincere and accurate picture of life has different shades, colours and angles. Therefore, we cannot put everything into the same bucket as life overlaps a large number of different experiences, both fortunate and unfortunate.