Pirandello's theater and the rules of the delusional mind Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Nelson, Scott Ernest
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • The dissertation analyzes how the concept of delusion is used in some of Pirandello's most influential plays. It explores how each character, or group of characters, uses a version of logic in an attempt to create a personal reality in the following plays: Enrico IV, Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore, Così è (se vi pare), Questa sera si recita (a soggetto), and La patente. The dissertation looks at what it means to have an identity and how people form an identity through a process of logical and delusional thought. In Pirandello's plays, each character's effort to create a personal reality is an attempt to establish a place in society and to be accepted by those around him. Many of the Pirandellian characters are not successful because what they see as logic is considered to be delusion by others. The work applies the concepts of Remo Bodei who sees delusional people as still having the ability to use logic and reason, but from a point of view that has been determined to be delusional. Instead of merely labeling his subjects as delusional, Bodei is interested in how they maintain their use of logic. Reality and delusion are not concepts that are limited to the characters in Piradello's plays. When witnessing a play, the spectator must also decide if what he is seeing is fact or fiction. With that in mind, the dissertation also explores the theatrical norms that Pirandello challenges and the active role that the audience plays in a Pirandellian theatrical work.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the department of Romance Languages."
  • Luisetti, Federico
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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