Luigi Pirandello Drama Analysis
In Each in His Own Way, Luigi Pirandello playfully has one of his characters ask another to justify his incessant “harping on this illusion and reality string.” So persistent is Pirandello’s dramatic examination of the multiplicity of personality, the nature of truth, and the interplay between life and art that the term “Pirandellian” has become synonymous with the complexities that result from any attempt to define the fluid line between what is illusory and what is real. In his inquiry into the nature of truth, Pirandello constructs and demolishes layers of illusion, probing the multiple perceptions and identities of his characters to reveal yet conceal the “naked mask.” In his fascination with his own power as artist-creator, he dramatizes the dialectic between the fluid, spontaneous, sprawling nature of life and the fixed, predictable, and contained nature of art.
The typical Pirandellian character—Signora Ponza in Right You Are (If You Think So), for example, or Leone in The Rules of the Game—presents himself through both “mask” and “face,” a dichotomy that is more generally reflected in the playwright’s treatment of theater as both illusory and real. For Pirandello, character creation involves a less-than-subtle but endlessly clever interplay among the psychological, the social, and the theatrical, which consistently reiterates the playwright’s preoccupation with the multiple facets of reality...
(The entire section is 2584 words.)
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