Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The plays of Harold Pinter, with their myriad ambiguities of plot and language, reflect an attitude of utter bewilderment about the nature of human existence. There is also an utter collapse of the external frames of reference manifest in traditional drama, so that the establishment of interpretive schemes becomes a veritable impossibility. For this reason we would expect to, and indeed to, find a wide range of conflicting criticism on the plays. this is not to say, however, that these diverse interpretations are entirely without their relevance, but that Pinter teases his audience into a false sense of understanding that a later convolution in the play will quickly dispel. To attempt a systematic ordering of these fragmented parts is to play the very game the characters are playing in their attempts to deal with the perplexities of life. In this way the plays represent mimetically the process of locating meaning in a world devoid of certainty.