Betrayal Essay

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Topic #1: Examine the unique structure of this play and how it impacts on its content. Turning Back the Clock “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” (Stephen R. Covey). The consequences to our decisions are those concerns we should have thought about in the beginning. The play Betrayal, by Harold Pinter, is about a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best friend. Pinter’s particular usage of reverse chronology in structuring the plot is innovative. His unique structure gives the audience a sense of interest and shock to events that happen suddenly in the play. Through this reverse plot, the audience becomes curious as to how events start to unravel. The predictability of the romantic triangle is turned inside out through the reversal of the normal plot sequence. This essay will examine three major scenes of the play; scene one, scene five and scene nine. In Pinter’s backwards structure, Betrayal starts with the end of a love affair and ends with the starting of a seven year long love affair. We will also discuss how Pinter uses these scenes, in reverse, to unfold a series of events. Scene one starts off by Pinter giving us the end of the affair between Emma and Jerry. In this scene, Emma and Jerry meet at a pub, two years after their affair ended, where they reminisce about past memories and exchange news of their families. In scene one, Pinter reveals that Emma and Jerry were having an affair in the past when Emma speaks of her husband’s betrayal and Jerry says “But we betrayed him for years” (1, p.25). Emma reveals that she has just learned "last night" (1, p.25) that her husband Robert had "betrayed me for years" (1, p.25) and expects that they will "separate" (1, p.25). Regarding both her affair with Jerry and her marriage to Robert, she says, "It's all over" (1, p.30). By the

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