Arold Pinter is and absurdist-existentialist writer in his play a?The Rooma?
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Harold Pinter is and absurdist-existentialist writer in his play a?The Rooma?
Harold Pinter was born in Hackney in Londons East End, his father was an English tailor
of Eastern European Jewish ancestry. He studied at Londons Royal Academy of dramatic Art
and Central School of Speech and Drama. He was one of the most important playwrights of the
last half of the 20th century, and the most influential on his generation. in 2005 he won the Nobel
Prize in Literature.
Pinter wrote what have been called a?comedies of menacea?, he used common place,
characters and settings. His plays concern struggle for power without any reason. He has his own
special style, nobody can produce so many pauses like him in order to express horror and
anxiety. The Columbia Encyclopedia explains:
The peculiar tension he creates often derives as much from the long silences between speeches as from the often curt, ambiguous, yet vividly vernacular speeches themselves. His austere language is extremely distinctive, as is the ominous unease and sense of imminent violence that it provokes, and he is one of the few writers to have an adjective-Pinteresque-named for him.
Pinter has written twenty-nine plays and twenty-one screen plays, he has also directed
twenty-seven theatre productions. Many critics regard him as one of the figures of the Theatre
of the Absurd. Charles A. Carpenter recommends: a? Absurd, which is one of the many different
aspects of his works, functions as a means of getting into the reality that is Pinters main
concerna? . In his own website he writes:
In 1958 I wrote the following: a? There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor Between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and falsea? I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: what is true? what is false?
a?The Theatre of the Absurda is a term coined by Martin Esslin, who made it the title of his
book on the subject. The term refers to a special type of plays which first became popular during
the 1950s and 1960s and which presented on the stage the philosophy expressed by French
philosopher Albert Camus in an essay named a?The Myth of Sisyphusa?. In his essay he defines
the human condition as basically meaningless.
The Theatre of the Absurd was undoubtedly influenced by the shocking experience of
the horrors of the Second World war , which showed the unsteadiness of human life and its basic
meaninglessness. This terrible experience of living from 1945 under threat of nuclear destruction
also seems to have been an important factor in the rise of this theatre.
This Theatre aims to create ritual-like, mythological and allegorical vision, closely
related to the world of dreams. The main point of these dreams is often manas confusion and
anxiety coming from the fact that he has no answer to the basic existential questions such as:
Why we are alive? Why we have to die? Why there is injustice and suffering? Therefore; The
Theatre of the Absurd is commonly associated with the existentialism and it shows the failure
of human beings without recommending the solution.
Most of the absurdist playwrights attempt to convey their sense of confusion, anxiety and
wonder in the face of an unexplainable universe. Their works express the believe that, in a
godless universe, human existence has no meaning or purpose . therefore; all communication
fails. Logical conversation and argument gives away to illogical speech and to its final
conclusion, silent. The absurd in these plays shows the manas reaction to a world apparently
without meaning or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by an invisible outside force.
One of the most important aspect of absurd drama is its distrust of language as a means
of communication. Dr. Culik suggests, a?Words failed to express the essence of human
experience, not being able to penetrate beyond its surface. The Theatre of the Absurd constituted
first and foremost an onslaught on language, showing it as a very unreliable and insufficient tool
The most important characteristics of The Absurd Drama:
Comedy, mixed with horrific or tragic images. The mode of the most of these plays is
Characters caught in hopeless situations, forced to do repetitive or meaningless actions.
Most of them are flat characters and their roles can be interchangeable. They may find
themselves trapped in a routine, or in a story. The characters are usually interdependence
pairs, it means that they are usually two males or a male and a female. One of them can be
dominant and may torture the passive one.
Plot can consist of the useless repetition of clichA© and routine, often there is a menacing
outside Force that remains a mystery, sometimes this menace exists within the limited space.
Plots are Often cyclical and circular. Absence, emptiness, nothingness and unresolved
mystery are Central features in many absurdist plot, therefore; we do not have a definite plot.
Use of small talk and elliptical dialogue.
Humanitys useless struggle against fate.
Inadequacy of communication.
Uncertainty and lack of coordination between the dialogues of the characters.
Illogical Responses of the characters.
The themes of absurd plays: loneliness, cruelty and violence, absurdity, futility and passivity
that is human being has no power to control his own fate.
World set on destruction.
The general analysis of Harold Pinters works has been one of the main interests of any
critics, It seems that there is a disagreement among his critics. Many critics regard him as one
of the main figures of the Theatre of the absurd who has used many tactics derived from Kafka
and Hemingway and they call him a?absurdista?, a?existentialista? playwright. but Some of them
believe that , we can not find the sense of absurdity in all of his plays, therefore; we can not
prove that he is a mere absurdist dramatist. The aim of this essay is to show the sense of
absurdity in Pinteras first play named a?The Rooma?.
The Theatre of the Absurd: absurd in this term means that man is an absurd creature
and humans life is without any purpose or meaning, man does not believe in god and religion
anymore, he is lost and all his actions become senseless, absurd and useless.
Existentialism: this term is usually associated with the a? Absurdism a?. It claims that god
is dead, therefore; man is left alone in this meaningless universe and all of his questions about
humans existence remain unanswered.
Comedy of Menace: It is a kind of comedy which is mixed with horrific or tragic images,
and by this, dramatist wants to show the situation which seems to be like a trap but, he does not
want to show the solution.
The room: Is Pinters first play, written and first produced in 1957.
II. Review of Related Literature
Some critics claim that Pinter is absolutely absurd as they see the first side; while,
on the contrary, some other critics deny Pinter as being an absurdist writer because they see
the other side. For example, Philip Hope-Wallace regards Pint