Really Reality? - An Overview of Criticisms of Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author"... particularly the setting.

Essay by poonjabbyHigh School, 12th gradeA, September 2005

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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...