Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Fences" by August Wilson


QUESTION: Fences is about the American dream--the idea that with hard work and dedication, people can achieve a comfortable, even prosperous and successful, lifestyle. What elements of the American dream do you see in Act One, and what do you think the play says about the American dream?

ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

The strongest statement that the play says about the American dream is that although things have changed, blacks still do not get to participate in it. The play shows this through Troy's stories. No matter how hard he works, his wants and dreams are just not in the cards.

Though Troy' friend Bono is more optimistic, he still struggles to believe that the American dream could possibly include the black community. He admitted that "To this day I wonder why I stayed there for six long years. But see, I didn't know I could do no better. I thought only white folks had inside toilets and things (Jacobus 882)."

First Troy tells about the job descriptions available to blacks at his own place of employment. "Brownie don't understand nothing. All I want them to do is change the job description. Give everybody a chance to drive the truck. Brownie can't see that (Jacobus 881)."

Troy is clearly jaded with his inability to achieve his dream, especially in baseball. He said: "What it ever get me? Ain't got a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of (Jacobus 883)." Troy elaborated his inability to achieve his dream by explaining how white players with less ability have been admitted into baseball, and even praised for their abilities, when black players with more talent are denied entry into the game. He sees this as an extreme injustice. "Come telling me I come along too early. If you could play . . . then they ought to have let you play (Jacobus 883)."

"ROSE: Times have changed since you was playing baseball. Troy, that was before the war. Times have changed a lot since then.
TROY: How in the hell have they changed?
ROSE: They got lots of colored boys playing ball now. Baseball and football.
BONO: You right about that, Rose. Times have changed, Troy. You just come along too early.
TROY: There ought not never have been no time called too early! (Jacobus 883)"

Troy wants his son Cory to find a job that will provide him an income rather than help him achieve some unattainable dream. After Troy was denied a career in baseball because of his ethnicity, he decided that Cory should not waste his time trying to succeed in his "American dream" of becoming a football player. Troy said "I told that boy about football stuff. The man [white people] ain't gonna let him get nowhere with that football." and "It ain't gonna get him nowhere. Bono'll tell you that (Jacobus 882-883)."

Even Lyons, his oldest son, mimics his attitude. Troy sees the benefit of working hard. He gets something for it, but he can never achieve his dream. Lyons has decided that success is just finding something that makes him feel good. He refuses to work hard for a dream because the effort will produce little benefit.
"I know I got to eat. But I got to live too. I need something thats gonna help me get out of the bed in the morning. Make me feel like I belong in the world. I don't bother nobody. I just stay with my music because that is the only way I can find to live in the world. Otherwise there ain't no telling what I might do (Jacobus 885)."

WORKS CITED:
Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama. 6th. Boston, NY: Bedford's/St. Martin's, 2009. 876-886. Print.

David Wobler. FENCES by August Wilson. 2009. Photograph. www.flicker.com, Performance Network Theatre . Web. 30 Nov 2011. .

** A play review for ENG105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Endgame" by Samuel Beckett


QUESTION: Choose a theme that you would like to explore, and use quotes from the play to illustrate the theme.

ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

There are several themes in the play, but the most obvious one is aging and death; and in this, there is a theme of the futility and repetitiveness of life. Death could come or delay, but neither would have meaning. Both death and life are exhausting and miserable.

"HAMM: Have you not had enough?
CLOV: Yes! Of what?
HAMM: Of this... this... thing.
CLOV: I always had. Not you?
HAMM: Then there's no reason for it to change.
CLOV: It may end. All life long the same questions, the same answers (Beckett)."

Clov, though younger and in better condition than Hamm, admits he has always been tired of life. He has tried to bring fruit of it, but the seeds of his labor have never sprouted. He reasons several times in the play that "something is taking its course." This something is the meaningless misery in living, ageing, and dyeing. Hamm is the character that embodies this something. This is why Clov is always trying to leave Hamm, but finds himself obeying his cruel demands.

"CLOV: They haven't sprouted.
HAMM: Perhaps it's still too early.
CLOV: If they were going to sprout they would have sprouted. (Violently.) They'll never sprout!
HAMM: This is not much fun. But that's always the way at the end of the day, isn't it, Clov?
CLOV: Always.
HAMM: It's the end of the day like any other day, isn't it, Clov?
CLOV: Looks like it.
HAMM (anguished): What's happening, what's happening?
CLOV: Something is taking its course.
HAMM: All right, be off. (Clov heaves a great groaning sigh.) I thought I told you to be off.
CLOV: I'm trying. Ever since I was whelped (Beckett)."

Life is not merely suffering, but progressive loss. Beckett seems to be saying that as we live out our days, our only comforts will be taken from us one by one until we die in a state of misery. The parents in the garbage can bring this theme to life. Nell and Nagg have become so old and physically broken that their bodies are garbage. Their life is being stolen from them painfully one joy at a time. They have lost their sight and they cannot even embrace in a kiss. Today, he has lost a tooth. Even their hearing is beginning to fail. Death is inevitable.

"NAGG: Kiss me.
NELL: We can't.
NAGG: Try. (Their heads strain towards each other, fail to meet, fall apart again.)
NELL: Why this farce, day after day?
NAGG: I've lost me tooth.
NELL: When?
NAGG: I had it yesterday.
NELL (elegiac): Ah yesterday. (They turn painfully towards each other.)
NAGG: Can you see me?
NELL: Hardly. And you?
NAGG: What?
NELL: Can you see me?
NAGG: Hardly.
NELL: So much the better, so much the better.
NAGG: Don't say that. Our sight has failed.
NELL: Yes.
NAGG: Can you hear me?
NELL: Yes. And you?
NAGG: Yes. Our hearing hasn't failed.
NELL: Our what (Beckett)?"

As you can see, Beckett has a very dire look on the state of life. He admits that we feel joy and pleasure, but this too is a cruel mockery. He sees this as a cruelty because it mocks the human condition. When Nell says in the lines above "Why this farce, day after day?" she introduces this theme. Later, Nell criticizes that "One mustn't laugh at those things, Nagg. Why must you always laugh at them?" Nagg objects and shows humanities' willful desire to ignore the pain and misery of life. She continues "Yes, yes … we laugh, we laugh, with a will, in the beginning. But it's always the same thing. Yes … we still find it funny, but we don't laugh anymore." She realizes that she too has mocked the human condition, but now that her body is broken, she understands the gravity of it. She finds it insulting that joy could be found while bearing such an evil circumstance (Beckett).

WORKS CITED:
Beckett, Samuel. "Endgame."www.samuel-beckett.net, n.d. Web. 16 Nov 2011. http://samuel-beckett.net/endgame.html.

Beckett, Samuel, writ. Endgame. Conor McPherson, 2000. Web. 16 Nov 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkkEDZO5f0s.

Photo: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/6346160/Endgame-at-the-Duchess-Theatre-review.html

** A play review for ENG105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Play Review of "No Man's Land" by Harold Pinter

By Lisa Bauman

On Nov. 4th, 2011 a production of No Man's Land by Harold Pinter was preformed staring Allen Nause and Oscar-winner William Hurt at the Artists Repertory Theatre. There are four characters in the play. Hirst (played by Nause) and Spooner (played by Hurt) are both poets. Hirst is a successful, but raging alcoholic. Spooner is a failure. Foster and Briggs serve Hirst in his upper-class home in Hampstead as an amanuensis and a servant or bodyguard.

The four characters meet when Spooner comes to Hirst's home for a drink after meeting in a pub (fig 1). Later, the audience discovers that Spooner and Hirst may know each other from the university. This is never determined defiantly because Hirst moves in and out of coherency between drinking binges. Hirst sometimes does not recognize Spooner. Other times he recalls memories of their friendship from decades past. Soon, a conflict is built between Spooner and Hirst's two friends. Spooner wants to take Foster's position as amanuensis and Briggs wants things to remain the same. Still, the issue is not spoken of until the final scene. The audience is left to merely feel the tension and interpret the deeper meaning of the events in their own way.

Because of the cerebral nature of the play, it required a more academic type of audience. Some audience members who attended this showing fell asleep and one man even began to snore. Fortunately, these particular audience members left at the intermission. Act two was not disrupted.

The actors were given the task of bringing the script to life on mostly their own merit. The quality of acting in this play became very important because of the simplicity of the context. Physical action, extra characters, and elaborate effects were unavailable. The plot and setting consisted mostly of dialog and occurred within one room.

The set consisted of one room furnished in fine d├ęcor to represent Hirst's home in Hampstead. The room was positioned in the center of the theatre and the audience sloped upward from the ground. Most of the audience peered down into this circular room to see the scenes. This made some of the important dialog difficult to hear; especially if the lines were spoken quickly. This became a problem because Hirst's character changed ideas and context often and suddenly between the alcoholic binges being portrayed.

Like the set, special effects such as lighting and sound were very minimal (fig 2). Several times lighting was used to portray the sun shining through the window. The effect was very believable. In one scene Hirst moves to the window and opens the blind. The light was perfectly timed and very realistic. Also, a bell sound was used for the ringing of the phone. Humorously, the ring was different the second time the phone sounded in the play. Despite this inconsistency, the actors moved through the scene undisrupted.

The props were very ordinary, but fundamental in the play. For instance, in one scene, Briggs locks Spooner into a room where he stays overnight against his will. The next morning Briggs brings Spooner a fine meal served in silver dishes (fig. 3). Spooner appears entirely astonished at Briggs' actions, but the fine dishes and meal persuade him to sit. This prop was important to help the audience understand the situation, but also to communicate Spooner's character. Spooner is looking for a way out of his financial and poetic failure; he is not focused on the long-term. He wants immediate gratification or inspiration.

The most important prop in the play was the liquor bottles. Clearly, Hirst has found his salve for his wounds here. Whenever Hirst is unhappy or angry, Briggs and Foster obey his commands for "more drink." The more agitated Hirst appears, the more alcohol he consumes. Additionally, whenever someone else appears unpleasant, Hirst insists on giving them a drink.

Hirst's alcoholism represented his intentional blindness to the pain of his life or reality. "No Man's Land" for Hirst was his booze-induced stupor. Hirst changed costumes often; much like his character's demeanor. One moment the character would have a groomed appearance; wearing a fine suit and shoes. The next moment he would look wild from drunkenness; with disheveled hair. He would become so intoxicated that he would end up crawling to exit a scene. Nause realistically portrayed the change from sober to intoxicated in such a natural way that the sudden changes of Hirst's character did not cause a disruption in the plot.

Spooner wore a cheap suit and winter clothing; giving the impression of homelessness (fig 4). His suit was wrinkled and looked as though it had been slept in. He held himself in a shifty manner and stood while others were sitting. He prepared to leave several times in a scene by putting on his hat and coat, passing around the room and looking into boxes on the mantle. It appeared that he was looking for an opportunity to escape or discover something. Symbolically, Spooner was seeking to escape his poor fortune by any means necessary. His "No Man's Land" was his endless search to fulfill his poetic dream and his inability or inadequacy to do so.

Foster and Briggs are unlikely characters to be with such a wealthy, literary genius and they know it. Briggs especially protects his position as body guard both verbally and physically. Briggs' "No Man's Land" is his world, where he continually tries to take what he wants by force, but desires peace and tranquility. He makes several aggressive movements aimed at Spooner, and even Hirst (fig. 5). Still, he shows kindness to Spooner, preference to Foster, and loyalty to Hirst. The actor successfully expressed Briggs' contrasting violent tendencies and kindness.

Foster portrays a meeker, yet ironically cockier character than Briggs (fig 6). Foster is well-groomed and wears a fake leather jacket; playing the part of a "play boy." He makes references to his adventure before he became Hirst's amanuensis. When Hirst appears to be considering Spooner's offer to take Foster's place as amanuensis, Foster looks hurt. Foster's "No Man's Land" is an exhaustingly dutiful and charmed life with no benefit.

The play is left open for audiences' interpretation in the final scene following Pinter's tradition for creating "a commonplace situation … with menace and mystery through the deliberate omission of an explanation or motivation for the action (Esslin)." Hirst insists on a subject change and begins lustfully drinking. Spooner then declares that they are all "in no man's land which never moves," changes, or grows older, "but which remains forever icy and silent." Hirst responds "I'll drink to that." and the lights on stage go black (No Man's Land).

I believe that Pinter is trying to communicate a common theme in the theatre of the absurd. He is showing that we have no control over what our fate will be. We exhaustively try to escape pain like Hirst, failure like Spooner, powerlessness like Briggs, and meaninglessness like Foster, but we cannot escape gritty, ironic reality.

Works Cited
Esslin, Martin . The Theatre of the Absurd. Random House Digital, Inc., 2009. eBook.
Faith Cathcart. Artists Repertory Theatre's production of "No Man's Land". 2011.

Photographs 1-6. The Oregonian , Portland. Web. 14 Nov 2011. http://photos.oregonlive.com/oregonian/2011/10/artists_repertory_theatres_pro_8.html.

"No Man's Land." Artists Repertory Theatre. Portland, Oregon. 4 Nov. 2011. Play.

** A play review for ENG105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

"Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles


QUESTION:
What is Oedipus' tragic flaw, and should we hold him entirely responsible for the destruction he brings to himself and those around him? If it was his fate to kill his father and sleep with his mother, then can we hold him responsible?


ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

Oedipus was without self-control and guided by emotion, especially fear. This rash attitude caused to his lifelong internal conflict and unhappiness, and eventually his full distruction.

This personality flaw was introduced in the very first scene of the play. Kreon was clearly a very dear friend of Oedipus, but in one of his emotion-driven fits he risks this friendship and even tries to murder Kreon. Oedipus rashly accused Kreon of treason because he had suggested that Oedipus consult Teiresias who prophesied that Oedipus is the murderer of Laios. Oedipus accuses him when he says publically that "Kreon my friend . . . desires in secret to destroy me!" (Jacobus 51). Later in the story, when Oedipus is brought to shame, Kreon shows that he truly is Oedipus' best friend. He shows pity on Oedipus by allowing him to be with his daughters one last time before his punishment of exile.

His first fault caused this second flaw to be truly disastrous for him. First, he was emotional and rash, and second, he was so blinded by his pride that he was incapable of taking sound advice. Oedipus was so intent on fulfilling his lusty, rash desires that he ignored all warnings against his desire to seek his birth origins.

The prophet, Teiresias warned Oedipus to not force him to tell his "detected truths." Teiresias warns Oedipus to bear his "own fate" and says that it "is better to do so" and insists that Oedipus lets him go home. Oedipus refuses with great anger and even threatens Teiresias: "Now twice you have spat out infamy. You'll pay for it!" (Jacobus 49).

Kreon's warnings went unheeded too. He warned Oedipus that "Natures like yours chiefly torment themselves." when Oedipus insisted that Kreon would die for his suspected treason (Jacobus 55). Additionally, Oedipus disregarded warnings from the shepherds, the messengers, and even his wife. Oedipus refused to take advice from anyone.

Finally, Oedipus refused to except that he could not escape his fate. This refusal is a symptom of his original fatal flaw: he cannot control his emotions, especially fear. When he first learned of his fate through the prophet, he fled from his home and missed years of joy with his family. His desire to protect his family was noble, but his sacrifice was unfounded. This rash decision only caused him pain.

Even his wife tries to reason with him that he should visit his mother and stop fearing fate. She says "Why should anyone in this world be afraid since Fate rules us and nothing can be foreseen?" She admonishes him that "No reasonable man is troubled by such things." (Jacobus 58). His fear to harm his family makes him unable to be with them. His fear of being murdered causes him to seek out Laios' murderer in such a passionate way that he pronounces his own horrible and unbearable punishment. Finally, his fear destroys him when he puts out his own eyes. He was so fearful to see the people he had wronged that he blinds himself. Truly, Oedipus lived a life of blinding, constant fear for his unbearable fate and this fear stole the joy from his life.

The final question is: Is Oedipus responsible for those he has hurt? I think Oedipus is responsible for wasting his life away. Oedipus even admitted that he had "wealth, power, craft of statesmanship, kingly position, [and was] everywhere admired!" (Jacobus 51). His own fear and rash behavior destroyed himself and many people around him. Oedipus cannot be held responsible for the Fate in this situation as he had no way to avoid it. Still, he is responsible for the way he conducted himself.

WORKS CITED
Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama. 6th. Boston, NY: Bedford's/St. Martin's, 2009. 1-259. Print.

Photo: http://www.clarencebrowntheatre.com/2009-10season/oedipus.shtml

** An assignment for Eng105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

Luigi Pirandello's Ideals in Theatre in the play "Six Characters in Search for an Author"


QUESTION: In "Six Characters in Search for an Author" by Luigi Pirandello what kind of commentary does Pirandello seem to be making about the nature of theater and those that produce it?

ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

Pirandello best describes the difficulty in creating a piece of work that conveys exactly the meaning that has been intended when the father says:

"But don't you see that the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do (Jacobus 572)."

I believe that the play is a parallel to Pirandello's own life. The context was likely inspired by his wife's long-term bout with insanity (Jacobus 567). Clearly, she was experiencing something and it seemed real to her. Yet, no one around her could relate. In the play Pirandello aims to evoke the thought in the audience that maybe reality is as meaningful as imagination. Both states of mind are real to the thinker; much like a dream. Also, both cannot hold the same interpretation for any two people since they are experienced separately. Pirandello was quoted saying that people have a deep need to deceive themselves "by creating a reality … which … is discovered to be vain and illusory (Jacobus 567)." In essence, all thought is a human illusion in the mind of Pirandello.

Pirandello also wanted to bring credit to drama as it occurs in real life. The text aims to legitimize dramatic themes that contain no specific purpose, but portray life in its raw, hard-to-swallow form. In some ways the text also delegitimizes drama that is intended to merely entertain.

You can see this theme in the play if you think of the father as viewing his family and life as if it were a play. The father had become the author and director. He had made life unrealistic. The very fact that he created this mess is what caused the grittiness and appeal of his "real" life to unfold.

The father married the mother because he found pleasure in her simplicity; much like an audience seeking to be entertained. She was like a fairytale to him. He couldn't bear anything gritty to happen to her. He even sent away their son to a wet nurse because he believed she couldn't handle it. "She did not seem to me strong enough, though she is of humble origin. That was, anyway, the reason I married her (Jacobus 575)."

Still, his lifelong search for "moral sanity," which appears to be a type of realist honesty, drives him to be completely open with the fact that his fairy-tale wife bored him. Instead he chose the part of the author and created an alternate reality. The consequences for this pride of thinking that he could create better drama than real life offers caused him to live an even more dirty and gritty life. Now he has repented of his past attitude and freely admits his fault. He also premises it that his intensions were good. The father explains his revelation in third person: "He is like all the others, better indeed, because he isn't afraid to reveal with the light of the intelligence the red shame of human bestiality on which most men close their eyes so as not to see it."

Now he has embraced his life by calling it drama. He wants to find an author to play his part honestly. The father has found that fairytales can amuse, but only for a short time. In the long-term they distract the viewer from real, valuable, gritty, dramatic life.

In conclusion, the major theme in the first act of this play is: Life is drama and it is the ultimate pride to believe you could create better drama than life itself.

"THE FATHER: We want to live.
THE MANAGER [ironically]: For Eternity?
THE FATHER: No, sir, only for a moment . . . in you (Jacobus 572)."


WORKS CITED:
Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama. 6th. ed. Boston, New York: Bedfords/St. Martin's, 2009. 570-591. Print.

** An assignment for Eng105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

"Othello" By William Shakespeare


QUESTION: Why do you think Iago is the way he is? Is he acting this way simply because he didn't get the promotion? Some have argued that there is something deeper going on here, like an obsession with Othello, maybe even verging on homosexual love. Do you see evidence supporting this theory? If not, what is your explanation of Iago's behavior? Make sure to use examples (in the form of quoted lines from the play) to support your position.

ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

Iago is acting on what he finds most beneficial for himself. He says this throughout the play. In fact, the very beginning of the play reveals Iago's philosophy of serving his own purposes regardless of the expense of others. He confesses this to Rodergio

"O sir, content you. I follow him to serve my turn upon him. We cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly followed. You shall mark many a duteous and knee-crooking knave that (doting on his own obsequious bondage) wears out his time much like his master’s ass for naught but provender, and when he’s old, cashiered. Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are who, trimmed in forms and visages of duty, keep yet their hearts attending on themselves and, throwing but shows of service on their lords, do well thrive by them. And when they have lined their coats, do themselves homage. These fellows have some soul, and such a one do I profess myself." (Jacobus 212).

After deceitfully convincing Rodergio to sell all he owns in an effort to gain Desdemona's affection, Iago says "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse. For I mine own gaine knowledge should profane if I would time expend with such a snipe but for my sport and profit." (Jacobus 220). The most showing statement Iago makes is towards the end of the play. He admits that he would rather both Cassio and Rodergio, men whom he did not hate, die so that he could get his way. He says to himself "I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense, and he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, every way makes my gain." (Jacobus 246).

Additionally, Iago hates Othello because he believes that he has slept with his wife. Iago confesses "I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets he’s done my office. I know not if ’t be true, but I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety. " Later, he says "led to diet my revenge, for that I do suspect the lusty Moor hath leaped into my seat. The thought whereof doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards, and nothing can or shall content my soul till I am evened with him" (Jacobus 220 and 224).

Iago, armed with spite and revenge is called to action by the final insult from Othello. Othello failed to promote him as lieutenant. Now he is ready to punish Othello for not promoting him in the ranks. "Despise me if I do not. Three great ones of the city (In personal suit to make me his lieutenant) off-capped to him, and by the faith of man I know my price, I am worth no worse a place. But he (as loving his own pride and purposes) evades them with a bombast circumstance horribly stuffed with epithets of war, and in conclusion nonsuits my mediators. For “Certes,” says he,'I have already chose my officer." (Jacobus 212).

I see no internal conflict or hidden agenda in Iago. Iago was a narcissist by nature and he had every motive to punish Othello. Othello brought on his wrath by not promoting him, potentially sleeping with his wife, and merely being in his way.

WORKS CITED
Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama. 6th. Boston, NY: Bedford's/St. Martin's, 2009. 1-259. Print.

Image: http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/education/shakespeare/the-tragedy-of-othello-1225783.html

** A response for Eng105, Intro to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College

"Six Characters in Search for an Author" by Luigi Pirandello


QUESTION:
What does Pirandello's play say about the nature of reality? What is reality? Is art more real than life? How much does one's own perception determine what reality is?


ANSWER
By Lisa Bauman

Pirandello believes that gritty, honest life is far nobler than drama. It is the closest thing that can be achieved as reality. This is why the Father (whom takes the opinion of Pirandello) cannot understand why an actor could ever be convincing. He doesn't necessarily object to having the actor play his part, but he objects that he could. He finds it insufficient. This is why the Father says the actor would have to "absorb" him into himself to convey the person of the Father. The Father believes the spectacle of having an actor pretend to be him on stage so large of a miscommunication that even the critics will take note (Pirandello).

"THE FATHER: Exactly! It will be difficult to act me as I really am. The effect will be … according as to how he supposes I am, as he senses me -- if he does sense me -- and not as I inside of myself feel myself to be. It seems to me then that account should be taken of this by everyone whose duty it may become to criticize us . . . (Pirandello)."

Pirandello believes that reality is relative. It is different for every person and based on their experiences. Reality is more artful than art, because it is real. His form of drama is considered the "theatre of the absurd" where authors attempt "to convey … that reality is itself unreal. In their plays human beings often portrayed as dupes, clowns who, although not without dignity, are at the mercy of forces that are inscrutable (Twentieth-Century Drama)."

By far the best and most distinct phrase in the play that explains Pirandello's idealism is:

"But don't you see that the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do (Jacobus 572)."

Again, the best way to look more closely into Pirandello's mind is to listen closely to the philosophies of the Father. The Father expresses Pirandello's ideology throughout the entire play. He says: "if you are really conscious of the fact that your reality is a mere transitory and fleeting illusion, taking this form today and that tomorrow, according to the conditions, according to your will, your sentiments (Pirandello)."

Pirandello believes that even his ideals are his own reality; there is no real true or false. For this reason, he pokes fun at himself throughout the whole play. In the final act Pirandello even goes to the point of bluntness when the Manager says: "Nonsense! … it isn't a thing … which one can believe seriously … it seems to me you are trying to imitate the manner of a certain author whom I heartily detest (Pirandello)." He pokes fun at himself for three purposes: to keep those who are unconvinced able to hear his message, create humor, and remain consistent with the philosophy he is preaching.

WORKS CITED:
Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama. 6th. ed. Boston, New York: Bedfords/St. Martin's, 2009. 570-591. Print.

Pirandello, Luigi . Six Characters in Search of an Author. New York: 1921. Web. http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/lp/six.htm.

http://whiteknightproductions.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/six-characters-in-search-of-an-author-abridged/

** An assignment for Eng105, Introduction to Drama, Fall Term 2011, Portland Community College