Six Characters In Search Of An Author

1708 words - 7 pages

Luigi Pirandello’s play is deemed by many literary critics to be a significant play that greatly changed how the world literature is currently viewed. The play’s plot and its dramatic setting puzzled the literary critics and the audiences that watched it because it deviated from the literary canons of play writing as many knew them. The play sets of as a realistic play and thus Pirandello introduces six individuals who allege that they are an imperfect although self-determining outcomes of an author’s imagination. The characters allege that their author disposed of them before they could be perfect characters in a complete play. They further alleged that their story was incomplete because ...view middle of the document...

The end product of the institution was expected to be law abiding, well behaved, of good social conduct, have attained a sense of individuality and with a disciplined career. As individuals, the imprisoned were expected to look back into their pasts so as to be able to examine their present and hence be in a position of explaining them (Shapiro 1). Foucault asserted that punishment was initially employed as a demonstration of power whereby the punisher had more power than the punished and was thus used as a deterrence force. Today’s prisons no longer possess this power because the society has set up other institutions, for instance schools, which are tasked with impacting knowledge and correcting the attendees.
Literary criticism
There often exist some similarities between the stage or theatre and a prison. In the same way that a prison has rules and regulations governing it so does the stage and theatre. In the same way that the prison is expected to manage, change, correct and ultimately improve individuals, so does the stage and theatre because there is normally a certain way that the characters on stage are expected to act. Moreover, both in prison and on stage and theatre, there are usually rules and regulations to be followed without question. In Pirandello’s play, there are instances where the characters are expected to do certain acts and gestures because they are in the piece that they are acting. In certain cases, the actors have no idea why they are expected to behave in the way that the script want them to, but still do because they have no power to question the script. In Pirandello’s play, the Leading Man was wondering whether it was really necessary for him to wear the cook’s cap, and the Manager, unknowing whether it was right to put on the cap or not asks the Leading Man to put it on because the script demanded that of him (Pirandello Act 1).
In the same way that the prisoners at Mettray institution were expected to learn from their chiefs and deputies and thus be able to train themselves, keep tabs with their changing behaviour and thus become knowledgeable (Shapiro 25), the characters while on stage are usually expected to act and perform as per what the script asks of them. In the case between the Manager and the Leading Man, the manager asked the Leading Man to put on the cap because the script demanded so and further explained to him that it was not by his doing that they were expected to act the way they were but the book’s (Pirandello Act 1). From the text, both the Manager and the other actors were in a ‘prison’ because they had no other option but to follow each and every word that the book demanded of them. After asking the Leading Man to wear the cook’s cap because acting out their scenes made them puppets of themselves, the Manager then asked him if he understood, but it turned out that he did not and thus the manager too admitted to following the book although he understood nothing.
Leading Man:...

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