Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


In comparing Ruth of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and Kate of Pinter’s Old Times, it was necessary to analyze the women individually within the context of their respective plays. The focus of each distinct analysis is on the issues of need, possession and power, which are prevalent in both plays. Both Ruth and Kate elicit need in the other characters of their respective plays. The needs that Ruth and Kate evoke, and the process through which they elicit these needs were examined. Motivated by the needs Ruth and Kate elicit, the characters surrounding the women attempt to possess them. As a result of these attempted possessions, power struggles ensue. The individual analyses of The Homecoming and Old Times precedes a comparison of Ruth and Kate, which again focuses on the issues of need, possession and power. The writer of this thesis directed productions of both The Homecoming and Old Times in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Master of Arts. The concluding examination reveals the implementation of the issues of need, possession and power as they relate to Ruth and Kate in production.

Although critical works on Pinter’s The Homecoming and Old Times were consulted, and are cited in the text, this thesis does not center exclusively on the compilation of research, but primarily is comprised of this writer’s analysis. Published interviews with Harold Pinter were utilized to illuminate his intentions, and to substantiate arguments within the text of the thesis.

Ruth and Kate are pivotal characters in The Homecoming and Old Times. respectively. The action revolves around them. While need is more prevalent in the characters surrounding Ruth in The Homecoming, the desire to possess Kate in the characters surrounding her in Old Times is more apparent. The power struggles in the two plays differ in that Ruth is actively engaged in battle with the men of The Homecoming, while the main struggle in Old Times occurs between the characters who wish to possess Kate.