Comparison between Shakespeare and Pinter
Both extracts are obviously dramatic texts, although the differences between Shakespeare and Pinter are considerable. Set in 1592, Shakespeare’s Richard III focuses on the epic story of a man striving to be king at any cost. By contrast, Pinter’s post-modernist concerns highlighted through this ‘kitchen sink drama’ focuses on the claustrophic oppressive domestic world of an ordinary family. Shakespeare’s Jacobean reflection is equally as intriguing as Pinter’s view of society in 1965.
Both Shakespeare and Pinter address love as a ploy in order to gain power. Pinter initially portrays the female character being dominated by her brother-in-law. He states, “I tend to get desensitized,” beginning his story about his character and strength. Lenny highlights that “I just gave her a short-arm jab,” to the woman he was initially helping, thus attempting to craft is dominance over Ruth as well. Nonetheless Pinter immediately alters the progression of the scene, Ruth begins to refute against Lenny’s questions. She states, “It’s not in my way.” This simple definitive clause illustrates Ruth as poised and understanding of Lenny’s motives. She follows this with further simple lines such as “No, I haven’t” and moves on to call Lenny by his full name, “Not in mine, Leonard.” This evidently begins to display the alteration in power as her using his full name asserts her in a higher authority and position. When Lenny states he will take the glass she casually states, “If you take the glass… I’ll take up.” Pinter portrays Ruth using her sexual superiority to gain power which leaves Lenny ultimately shocked and speech less denoted by the pause which was not apparent in the first half of the scene when he held the power. By the end of the scene, Pinter clearly presents that Ruth has won the power struggle as when she gets up and leaves, the stage directions illustrate him following her and “shouts up the stairs.” Thus Pinter is...
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