J.L Styan writes about Pinter. "His audience is made to feel, through an exquisite friction of nightmare and normality, the earthly need for security" (The Dark Comedy)
I think this quote applies to Beckett too, however.
Both of the plays I will look at are very sinister, subversive plays, riddled with dark humour. What is important to remember is that the plays are not just absurd for the sake of being pretentious, which I have to admit was my first opinion about the plays, it is important to remember that this mode of theatre is a reaction to realist theatre. Also, the incomprehensibility of the plays is another way of looking at the human condition and the idea of the irrationality of experience (adapted from the Penguin book of literary terms)
The idea of an actual ending in these plays is problematic.
" (Beckett) trades in plot, characterisation and a final solution, for a series of concrete stage images" (http://dana.nau.edu) Although they have endings, neither play really has a conclusion. This is one of the most prominent features of theatre of the absurd, the way in which the ending isn't clear-cut leaves the audience feeling somewhat uneasy.
In The birthday Party, Pinter builds up tension tremendously well throughout the play merely through the interaction between the characters. We are first introduced to the rather absent minded character of Me...
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.... The idea of friendship and reliance is also important in determining how we view. By the end, their incoherent speeches begin to make sense as we begin to tune into their world, of course we are left with many unanswered questions, as in The Birthday Party but feel that the conclusion has been coming, the whole play seems to have been one long dealy to an inevitable conclusion.
Styan, J.L. (1962) The Dark Comedy, The Development of Modern Comic Tragedy. Cambridge University Press.
Clifford Davidson et al Eds. (1984) Drama in the Twentieth Century, Comparative and Critical essays. Ams press Inc.
(No authorial name given) Http://dana.nau.edu/-sek5/classpage.html. Accessed on December 9th 2003.
(No Authorial name given) www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck. Accessed on December 9th 2003.
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