In the no-man's land between misunderstanding and sexual harassment, we watch with impotent dread as the relationship between professor and student entirely breaks down, as their mutual respect evaporates and an unbridgeable divide opens which can only destroy one or both of them. This is the gender war, and more than that. It's the generation gap, and more than that. It's the class struggle, and more than that.
During it's New York run, audiences actually came to blows as they left the theatre, so powerful is David Mamet's writing. Time since has changed nothing.