Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama: From Handke to Shepard

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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.