Lover LIFF

THE LOVER: The play presents us with an archetypal situation in which an ultra-respectable couple acts out afternoon fantasies as a lover. The lover is both a comment on the staleness of bourgeois marriage and on the need to reconcile out instinctual appetites with our tamed, public, social selves. But what is fascinating is the skill with which Pinter leads us into a triangular jealousy-drama enacted by two people and shows the danger of splitting our sexual lives into watertight compartments. The essential joke is that the husband himself is the afternoon lover and that he and his wife indulge in role-playing, cat-and-mouse sex-games ending, as often as not, in coitus under the tea-table.

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