Volume 3, Special Issue: Metatheatrical Tendencies in Harold Pinter’s The Lover


Asst. Prof. May Ahmed Majeed


Metatheater, illusion, reality, Pinter


The term metatheater  is coined by Lionel Abel in 1963 which refers to theater about theater. It draws  attention to the  distinction between the fiction of the play and the  reality of performance. A play refers to itself as a play to encourage the audience to perceive it in two ways; as a pretended reality and as dramatic artifice.  Metatheater also appears in both  comedy and tragedy, where the audience can laugh and empathize at the same time.  The paradoxical perspective of   fake  and real promoting audience instability and this is the role of metatheater.   It   is an artistic way to examine the interaction between illusion and reality. There is a need to represent reality through artificiality   to provide an insight to see the truth of human mind and  to illuminate the individual perspective. Within this study metatheater considered as a tendency rather than a technique. It examines  the conflict between illusion and reality in Harold Pinter’s The Lover and focuses  on play within the play device. It shows that illusion and reality is the bases of  both the subject matter and the dramatic technique of the plays of Harold Pinter who is a revolutionary British playwright.   It shows how the  play employs  the standard Pinter’s technique of mixing  illusion and reality, presenting a comedy  in modern absurd way.   Metatheatrical tendencies in The Lover traces how people lost simplicity and spontaneity of  communication and unable express their real beings.


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