Six Characters in Search of an Author Essay

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In this excerpt, Bassnet provides an overview of the play.

This is the play that established Pirandello's international reputation as a playwright. Already well-known in Italy as a prose writer, critic, and poet, he had begun to write for the theatre shortly before World War I, increasing his output rapidly after 1918. Six Characters caused a scandal when it first appeared, and the first night ended with a riot, due to the taboo subject-matter of the play: incestuous desire.

Six Characters is the first of three plays known as the "theatre-in-the-theatre" biology, because the action involves the attempted staging of a play within another play. A rehearsal of a Pirandello play is supposedly taking place in an Italian theatre, but is interrupted by the arrival of six people, who claim to be characters looking for a playwright to tell their story. That story then gradually unfolds, told principally by...

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This section contains 822 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Six Characters in Search of an Author Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Six Characters in Search of an Author from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.