The Lover (play)

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The Lover
Written by Harold Pinter
Date premiered 1962 (1962)
Original language English
Genre One-act play

The Lover is a 1962 one-act play by Harold Pinter. The play contrasts bourgeois domesticity with sexual yearning.

As with the drama of Anton Chekhov, some of Pinter's plays support "serious" and "comic" interpretations; The Lover has been staged successfully both as an ironic comedy on the one hand and as a nervy drama on the other. As is often the case with Pinter, the play probably contains both.


Pinter leads the audience to believe that there are three characters in the play: the wife, the husband and the lover. But the lover who comes to call in the afternoons is revealed to be the husband adopting a role. He plays the lover for her: she plays the whore for him. As the play goes on the man (first as the lover and then as the husband) expresses a wish to stop the pretend adultery, to the dismay of the woman. Finally, the husband suddenly switches back to the role of the lover.

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