Metatheatre and Identity: An Examination of Luigi Pirandello’s Plays
Keywords:Pirandello, Metatheatre, Identity, Relativity, Futurism, Verismo
AbstractThe article at hand examines two major aesthetic and thematic aspects that dominate the plays of the groundbreaking Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello: metatheatre and identity. More specifically, the study selects a series of well-known and obscure dramas written by Pirandello from 1917 to 1936 in order to illuminate the historiographical, autobiographical and ideological connotations that inform the plays and extend the pre-existing hermeneutics by using suitable tools such as the lens of trans-theatre. As I argue in the article, the vibrant and experimental theatre-within-theatre trilogy of Pirandello that celebrates the power of theatre while bearing a pessimistic approach towards life receives a rather subversive endnote through his last, unfinished, play. At the same time, the crisis of identity and the dominance of madness rise both in his established and less performed plays and often intersects with his interest for the metatheatrical mechanisms. As a result, metatheatre and identity, interpreted in revised ways, are crucially intertwined. The article also includes an extended overview of Luigi Pirandello’s international bibliography
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