Silent Voices in Harold Pinter’s Theatre

Hungary, ID LLCE2016-346;        Harold Pinter, designated as one of the most prominent absurd playwrights, is well-known for the use of long pauses and silences in his theatrical plays. According to Pinter, these non-verbal communication signs have as great significance as any spoken words. If the reader takes Pinter’s viewpoint for granted, which says that “we communicate only too well in our silence”, it can be deduced that sometimes silences reveal much more than verbal speech. If language has lost its function as a means for communication, then it can be safely proclaimed that words are needless, since they fail to convey meaning or reveal human emotions. Samuel Beckett often borrowed Democritus’s words: “Nothing is more real than nothing” accordingly, silence appears to be more real than oral manifestation. As absurd dramas fail to provide catharsis at the end of the plays, it seems that these muted voices are very much part of the repressed possible solutions. The purpose of the present paper is to investigate what these long pauses suggest and how they influence the characters’ motives, reactions and what effect they cause on the audience.