The Birthday Party Essay

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Fiero is a Ph. D., now retired, who formerly taught drama and play writing at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In this essay he discusses The Birthday Party as a work of anti-text, pure theater that gains great power at points where language fails or simply eludes logical analysis.

If, as the poet Wallace Stevens maintained, there are thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird, there ought to be at least as many ways of looking at a play. There are really, however, only two essential perspectives: one which views the play as a literary text, and the other which views the play as a script to be performed. Judged strictly from the first perspective, Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party remains an impassable mote to trouble the critical eye, while, from the second perspective, it seems a powerful stage vehicle, capable, metaphorically speaking, of slicing through an eyeball...

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This section contains 2,072 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Birthday Party Study Guide
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The Birthday Party from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.