The Aesthetic Values of Silence in Two Plays by Harold Pinter

Niloufar Amiri


In our modern world where people suffer from self-alienation and are after the meaning of existence in their mechanical and flamboyant outside world, finding a discernible language is very important. Dejected minds of people are the products of the miserable modern societies which have changed them to the taciturn and uncommunicative creatures in search of meaning. The significance of language specifically poetic or living language is an undeniable fact in different eras. Therefore, it would be easier for the artists to communicate people by letting them get the maximum meaning with the least amount of words.  This article shows the aesthetic values of silence in two Pinter plays, The Birthday Party and The Dumb Waiter. It uses Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s theory of “organic unity” to show that the simultaneous presence of language and silence in Pinter’s dramas keeps the whole work of art in balance, allowing opposite particles to reconcile.

Keywords: poetic/living language, theory of organic unity, unseen and unheard aspects of language, metaphoric and ambiguous language, defamiliarization in language, modern musical language

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