Agony of Postmodern Love: A Study of Patrick Marber’s Closer

Huaiyu QIN


As one of the most significant British plays of the 1990s, Closer depicts a postmodern consumerist society where young adults suffer from the agony of love. In light of the inadequacy of current interdisciplinary studies on the play, this study is aimed at extrapolating the reasons for the characters’ failure to attain closeness in Closer based on Byung-Chul Han’s philosophy of postmodern Eros. As is manifested in the play, these young men and women are isolated and dissociated due to their egocentric tendency to appropriate and use the Other for their own ends; their substitution of uniqueness in the Other with self-imaged Homogeneity; the commodification of love to pornography in society which induces their fuzziness of true identify and incapability of differentiating between the real and the fake; and their complex play of power relations between two competitive sexes. Hopefully, this study can not only enlighten the contemporary humanity who still wish for a healthy and long-lasting relationship but provide some reference for subsequent scholars to conduct more diversified cross-field studies of Marber.


Closer; Patrick Marber; Postmodern; Love

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