"The Dumb Waiter" as an Example of the Combination of the Absurdist and Naturalistic Traditions of Theatre
Pinter is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing post-war playwrights. His works are imbued with tension, but an understated tension, one which the audience itself often creates out of its own imaginings. His plays The Homecoming and The Dumb Waiter, but in particular the Dumb Waiter, are indeed a meeting of the Naturalist and Absurdist traditions of drama, combining to form Pinter's own 'Comedy of Menace'. His plays are often tightly controlled, set in single room with few characters, all in fear of an external force that the characters perceive as having an illogical approach to the meting out of justice.
Pinter said that 'I feel a sense of music continually in my writing' and his dialogue often has rhythmical verse, both very much present in the two plays. Yet this belies the underlying tension of the words; the audience knows that what's not being said is as important as what is. All these factors, combined with the physical staging of the plays, allow Pinter to explore larger themes in the existential manner of the Theatre of the Absurd. …
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