Really Reality? An Overview Of Criticisms Of Pirandello's "Six Characters In Search Of An Author"... Particularly The Setting.

1025 words - 4 pages

Reality? Illusion? William Shakespeare prophetically captures the essence of drama when he wrote, "All the world's a stage." When Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author" was first performed in 1921, it was far ahead of its time because the theme was so original and astonishing. Imagined but uncompleted characters burst into reality from Pirandello's creativity and verisimilitude - creating an appearance of reality. The setting of a theatre within a theatre explores the relationship between stage and life. Scholars have repeatedly studied this new concept in theatrical playwrights and derived their own conclusions and assumptions. A survey of current scholarships on the play epitomizes the setting in Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author" suggesting that the stage functions as a reconstruction of reality.According to McGuire, the stage "probes the whole nature of the convention of stage reality." In theatre, the setting becomes real in that whatever the audience sees, it is the "real" thing. However, it is a fair assumption that the audience understands they are not real (Art and props instead) and that is arguably Pirandello's point of view - theatre is not real, but rather an attempt of reconstruction. In Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author", there is a unique setting of a stage. "The stage is a representation of reality." Hence, the Company and Characters represent individuals in society who are in search for a meaning to life.Furthermore, props and scenery also contribute to the setting, thus playing a crucial role in the understanding of this play. A strong example of this is when Madame Pace appears. The hats and coats retrieved for the set are seen as props. But they are not props; instead, they are Madame Pace's properties. They belong to Madame Pace and are an important part of her life - necessary to her existence. This scene satires the failure of the Director to recognize what is really reality. In conclusion, Maguire asserts that the stage allows the audience to view reality in a world that is constantly changing. "It is not only a play within a play, but is a theatrical work regarding the nature of the theatre." The innovation of a static stage as a setting allocates Pirandello to hypothesize realism.Though the setting may appear to be simple, Fergusson commends Pirandello for accurately restoring "the ancient magic of two boards and a passion." Pirandello discards the idea of having a set on stage that represents a locale. "Instead of pretending that the stage is not the stage at all, but the familiar parlor, he pretends that the familiar parlor is not real, but a stage, containing many 'realities.'" Pirandello found a new insight within the analogy of the stage representing reality. By portraying the stage as reality, the audience is able to identify each character's individual perception. Additionally, Fergusson claims that Pirandello's depiction of theatre allows the audience to...

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