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The Birthday Party(1958)

The Birthday Party(1958)



An Absurd Drama,

An Absurd Drama,
Pinteresque's Feature,
Comedy of Menace.



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    The Birthday Party(1958) The Birthday Party(1958) Presentation Transcript

    • The Birthday party(1958)
      Harold Pinter(known as a World War dramatist)
      Preetiba Jhala
    • An Absurd Drama
      A pervasive attitude rather than a system of thoughts.
      The concept of absurdity defers person to person.
      The term is applied to many of the works of a group of dramatist of 1950s.
      What is the meaning of Absurd?
      According to Ionesco : “Absurd is that which of purpose . . . cut off from his religious metaphysical and transcendental root , man is lost , all his actions become senseless , absurd , useless.”
    • An Absurd Drama
      The theatre of Absurd , The theatre of Cruelty(derived from French dramatist Antonin Artaud)
      Because the theatre of Cruelty is the general notion of exposing the audience to horror.
      This reveals the threat behind the evasive exchanging of everyday life and to convey tension between people those who think they know each other.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      Use of Non-Verbal device(Non-Verbal Communication)
      Silence and Pause
      To avoid conversation
      To show extreme emotional strain
      As an answer to a rhetorical question(a question for information but to produce effect)
      To see the effect of what has been said to the interlocutor
      Dialogues: expose characters alienation from each other , no feelings towards each other.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      Deceiving- from it we can’t know the reality of the characters.
      Character’s talk or chatting- Futile talk , without meaning.
      Comedy of Menace: Perhaps applied to his early plays “The Room” , “The Birthday Party”.
      Violence , tension , suspense , terror.
      Stanley’s struggle: An individual’s imperative need for resistance.
      Neurotic- is he? Or Neurosis- a reaction against irrationality of existence.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      Needless mystery and violence were introduced.
      Stanley learns two men’s arrival but their arrival remains completely unexplained and surprise
      Who are they? Don’t know.
      Goldberg and MaCann: Tow men’s arrival unexpectedly and take the third man (Stanley) away is ‘Abstract’ and ‘Absurd’.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      The theme of Absurdity is created by :Contradiction:
      Little expository information in the play.
      Contradiction by the characters , therefore one can’t take what they say at first value.
      Act-I: Stan: I have played the Piano all over the World , (reduces immediately to) all over the Country , (a pause) undercuts both hyperbolic presentation in stating “I once gave a concert”.
      Contradiction in dialogues.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      Dialogues about Stanley’s birthday party , about the house.
      Because of Contradicted dialogue the identity is shifting
      The theme of Identity makes the play ambiguous.
      Goldberg is called Nel but in past he was called Simey and Benny he refers to MaCann both ‘Dermont’ and ‘Seamus’.
      Actual identity remains unclear.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      “We see the destruction of the victim from the victim’s own point of view.” –Arnold P. Hinchilffe
      Goldberg refers to his job and his family , it seems that he may be the victim of the society.
      Goldberg and MaCann both faces nervous breakdown , so they are victim of their past.
      Stanley becomes his victim.
      May be Stanley will meet his death or will only receive brainwashing.
    • Pinteresque’s features
      So the play is the destruction of an individual , the independent voice of an individual.
    • Comedy of menace
      Freud’s theory – Jokes and the Relation to the Unconscious
      According to Freud 3 people are required for the successful teasing of a tendencies or purposeful joke
      1 who makes the joke
      2nd who is taken as the object of the hostile or sexual aggressiveness
      3rd in whom the joke’s aim of producing pleasure is fulfilled
    • Comedy of menace
      Jokes – used as theatrical device (events)
      Purpose to please or impress the audience
      Joke maker makes the jokes for his pleasure, to create the relationship between someone else
      The act of telling jokes forces anyone to become the part of the event
      If they listen, they compromise
      If laugh, they are with the aggressor
      if they refuse to laugh they are with the victim
      They are not free to do what they want