A psychoanalytical approach to Harold Pinter’s plays : Old Times, The Homecoming and The Birthday Party

Abu-Arja, D 2018, A psychoanalytical approach to Harold Pinter’s plays : Old Times, The Homecoming and The Birthday Party , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This PhD thesis presents an analysis of a number of Harold Pinter’s plays, by using a Freudian psychoanalytical approach aligned with a close reading of the following works: Old Times (1971), The Homecoming (1965) and The Birthday Party (1957). Furthermore, the thesis aims at conducting a thorough analysis of the selected plays, by using key Freudian concepts such as the Oedipus complex, the castration complex, the ‘uncanny,’ aggression and dream analysis, and by providing an alternative understanding Pinter’s plays from a psychoanalytical point of view.

The method used herein involves critical analysis, starting with a close reading of the abovementioned works and Freudian material consisting of the Freudian psychoanalytical terms mentioned earlier. The thesis proposes that, the psychoanalytical terms applied here support a substantial analysis of the plays. This is particularly the case, I argue, because Pinter, through his creative writing process, produces complex plays that touch on controversial subjects including sexual aggression and unconventional dysfunctional familial dynamics. The other method I used is conducting a psychoanalytic reading of the theatre event, including a review of the reception of the plays and aspects of design, thus connecting theatre and theatricality, sexual dynamics, Pinter’s process and Freudian theory.

The study is supported by a reading of extant literature addressing Freud, Pinter and literature which links them with each other and with the theatre in general. The other resources and data I have drawn on include witnessing live performances of the selected plays, watching recorded film adaptations and archive including interviews with the actors, with directors, Pinter’s own commentary and that of his wife Lady Antonia Fraser.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Bergstrom, CR (Supervisor) and Talbot, RJ (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: D Abu-Arja
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 12:24
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:53
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/49077

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