Six Characters in Search of an Author

Characters and Characteristics; Exploring Fiction and Reality in Pirandello

Pablo Picasso, father of cubism and pioneer of neo-expressionism, immortal in his fame, once said, "Everything you can imagine is real". To the layperson, Picasso's notion may smack of enigmatic evasiveness; the transcendence of reality is not easy to conceptualize. To playwright Luigi Pirandello, however, these words are representative of an absolute truth. In his play, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello tests this relationship between fiction and reality using the 'Verismo' style of writing. There is a thin line drawn between the six characters, who acknowledge themselves as such, purely creations of the writer, and the 'actors', not meant to be characters at all but instead a representation of actuality, of true people easily confused with those seated in the audience. And while it is true that everyone depicted within the play is intrinsically a character of Pirandello's, these characters are separated into two distinct groups: those representative of characters and those representative of true people. In attempting to differentiate these two groups, Pirandello gives the Characters masks, so that their singularity of emotion and individual objectives are visible throughout...

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