By Susan Bassnett-McGuire (auth.)
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Extra resources for Luigi Pirandello
Moreover, Acts land 11 are made up of aseries of scenes involving two or three characters at a time. Instead of continuous action, what we 48 The Theatre-in-the-Theatre Plays see is a sequence of separate sections welded together, giving an alm ost cinematic effect and speeding up the overall pace. In this way the structure reflects the leit-motif of the play: the fragmentary nature of life itself and man's vain search for some kind of fixed point of reference. The plot line of the two acts is typical of Pirandello in its ironic twists and turns.
The crises of the Delia Morello plot occur because of the confusion caused when characters try to reach each other 51 Luigi Pirandello through speech and fail, speech being a way of trying to establish order out of the confusion of half-formed thoughts. ' With words man tries to shape his unshapable thoughts and control the world in which he moves, but the unforeseen - the moment of passion, the interruption of the play - can always destroy his carefully built illusion of security. The keywords of the play are three verbs: pensare (10 1hink), sapere (to know) and dire (10 say), all of which are part of the process of confession.
When Madame Pace appears, the stage directions show the terror of the Actors and Director at the 'witchcraft' that has brought about her sudden arrival. The Actors then protest, saying that some kind of trick must have been played on them. They are incapable of seeing her entry in stage terms and therefore are terrified by wh at appears to be an illogieal occurrence of life. The Actors, watching the scene, believe that they are watching a rehearsal, so they study the Characters with the intention of later repeating what they have seen.
Luigi Pirandello by Susan Bassnett-McGuire (auth.)