Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama : From Handke to Shepard
In this book, Jeanette Malkin considers a broad spectrum of post-war plays in which characters are created, coerced and destroyed by language. The playwrights examined include Handke, Pinter, Bond, Albee, Mamet and Shepard, as well as Vaclav Havel and two of his plays: The Garden Party and The Memorandum. These playwrights portray language's power within our political, social and interpersonal worlds. The violence that language does, the 'tyranny of words', grabs centre stage in their plays. Characters are manipulated and defined through language, their actions and identity limited by verbal options, in order to reveal the links between language and power. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of drama, theatre history, American and European literature, and comparative literature.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 144 x 224 x 24mm | 475g
- 20 May 2004
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
1. Introduction; 2. Language torture: on Peter Handke's Kaspar; 3. Gagged by language: verbal domination and subjugation; 4. Language as a prison: verbal debris and deprivation; 5. Wrestling with language: 'head to head'; 6. Conclusion; Notes; Index.
"In Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama, Jeanette R. Malkin considers plays by Pinter, Mamet, Albee and Shepard that use the manipulation of language and logical thinking to destroy institutions, character and interpersonal relationships." Backstage "...Malkin's significant contribution lies in her solid work of unifying under this conceptual banner an otherwise unwieldy amalgam of contemporary plays." Robert Baker-White, Essays in Theatre "No one should teach plays by Ionesco, Pinter, Havel, Kroetz, Bond, Mamet, Shepard, or Albee without reading Verbal Violence...." Servanne Woodward, Comparative Drama