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The Caretaker a Comedy

The caretaker a comedy play
The Caretaker may be taken as a very Comedy play, as Pinter himself has admitted that the audience are meant to laugh in the play. Pinter uses various techniques to gain his comic effects. One of these is incongruity of speech or behaviour of the character. When a speech or episode is so unexpected, so out of place, it becomes funny.

Much of the comedy in the play in ironical; the audience are able to distinguish between what a character says and what he actually means. An example of this is Mick's comment to Davies that Aston is "work shy". He seems to talk about Aston, but in fact, is talking about Davies. Pinter is skilful at creating sudden anti-climaxes which are comic. After a highly enthusiastic description of a pair of shoes that Aston has offered him, during which the audience are led to believe that he will accept them, Davies announces that they "Don't fit though". Another anti-climax occurs when after terrorising and assaulting Davies, Mick suddenly says "It's awfully nice to meet you". This expression evokes surprise and laughter in the audience.

Further, the self-deception of the characters gives rise to a comedy of a subtle type For example, Davies declares that he will go to Sidcup and makes Aston believe that a woman has invited him to see her body. Davies's 'choosiness' is also a matter of fun, because a man in his position should accept gratefully whatever is offered to him.

There are a number of comic episodes which raise audience's laughter that can exposes the layers of deception, created by the characters. Thus the true nature of the character is revealed. The element of menace or terror is also present in Pinter's comedy. Davies being chased by Mick with the vacuum cleaner is funny, but for him it is terrifying experience.

To sum up, The Caretaker is not a comedy, but a mixture of comedy and tragedy. Comedy is not a theme of the play but merely a technique which helps Pinter focus on the multi-layered portrait of three characters in relation to their loneliness, isolation, frustration, failure of communication, dreams and fancies.


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