Six Characters in Search of an Author

Why might Pirandello choose to make Six Characters in Search of an Author an experimental play? What can he show about the characters and their conflicts that he might not be able to show in a conventional play?

While Six Characters in Search of an Author is an experimental play, a number of the elements of the play-with-the-play are conventional: The characters want to the actors to perform a story about conflicts in a middle class family.

Consider the work Pirandello put into creating the play-within-a-play: He created a number of characters for a middle-class Italian family. He created a series of conflicts for those characters that are all believable--the wife's infidelity, the broken marriage, the father's visit to the brothel, the younger brother's suicide, etc.

Pirandello could have fleshed out the play-within-a-play and created a fairly conventional family drama. Instead, he chose to make his characters self-aware that they are characters and created an experimental play.

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