This article highlights the shared understandings of normative masculine behaviors performed by the characters within Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and how the shifts in power affect the hegemonic architecture and the gender hierarchy in the play. By analyzing how characters use language—most notably prototypicality threats—to establish dominant gendered behaviors, the article outlines how they can control the narrative of not just their own lives but the gender hierarchy within their relationships. The article also references Jamie Lloyd’s 2019 production, one that directly questions gender roles in the play and explores the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of both the male and female characters. This analysis adds further layers to how interpretations of the text can allow for understandings of the power dynamics within the play and how they relate to the normative gendered behaviors in performance as well as the text.

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