Pirandello’s play Six Characters in Search
of an Author is a play that focus on its own fictional status as a
theatrical pretence. The play was originally written in Italian language with
three acts and was published in the year 1921. This drama is an absurdist
metatheatrical one. With the creation of this play, Pirandello as a playwright
had taken away the traditional methods of theatrical performances.
play represents the arrival of six characters in search of their author comes
from ‘nowhere’. The sudden coming of the characters created a great stir among
the audience. The troupe of characters include the Father, the Mother, the Son,
the step-daughter, the Boy and the Child. On the stage a rehearsal of the
Pirandello’s Mixing It Up was going
to take place when they came. The characters referred their drama as something
cannot be enacted on the conventional theatre. Analyzing the dialogues of the
characters we can understand that their main concern is theatre and
acknowledging the theatrical situation. This often reveals the metadramatic exploration
of the nature of the theatre.
association between the author (creator) and the characters (created) is
clearly portrayed in this play. The six characters were abandoned by their
creator, at this point they felt disappointed. However, they go in search of
another author who will be able to accomplish their wishes. This situation
throws light into the relation between creator and the created. Moreover, the
authorial betrayal does not make them as victims since they can be realized by
an another author. As far as Pirandello is concerned, the actors need to be
recognized by their author. Hence he allowed one of his characters to say that
one must have luck to be born as a character in a play. Regarding the earlier
characters of other plays their roles are passive, give way to the author. They
believed that whatever the author has done will be in favour of the plot and
them. In this drama, the manager agreed to stage the characters’ drama and was
supposed to put the props. The stepdaughter criticized the manager for standing
in favour of the author.
most modern contexts, characters are in want of recognition and they show their
responses too. They are also ready to point out their objection against
authorial domination. Their inclination to freedom leads to estrangement and alienation.
a way the play is self-reflexive as it openly showcases the processes behind
the artful composition. The concept of ‘absurdity’ in the drama made it to
stand by its own. The manager in the play divides the drama into acts to the
stepdaughter and the Father. The discussion on theatre and theatrical aspects
is a better way to enact the lived emotions of the characters which adds to the
credo of the play. So it is said to be a ‘meta-theatre’.
play at large focuses on the absurdity and many aspects of life. Meaningless actions
and irrational dialogues makes no importance to the understanding of the
viewers, however theater of absurdity is full of that. The titular characters
in the play have no names and they are addressed according to their positions
in the family. They believe that their existence is only for the sake of the
drama and even claim as they are alive characters.
Characters in Search of an Author, By Luigi
Pirandello,1921; English version by Edward Storer,1922.