How is Six Characters in Search of an Author an example of metatheater, and what are its metatheatrical aspects?

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The term "metatheater" refers to drama which is self-referential and makes references to its own theatricality. In other words, in "realistic" theater, actors on stage pretend to be the characters in the play and do not "break the fourth wall" by referring to the fact that they are actually actors or talking directly to the audience. Instead, they act as though they are simply people living in a world with a transparent "fourth wall" through which the audience can view them. Metatheater in the western tradition begins with the "parabasis" of Greek comedy, in which an actor addresses the audience asking for the audience to vote in favor of the play winning a prize at a festival. Since antiquity, comedy has tended to retain a metatheatric component, with actors making asides that directly address the audience for humorous effect.

The plot of Pirandello's play is metatheatric in that it is entirely about how plays are made, written, and rehearsed. The "characters" are constantly talking...

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