Pirandello’s play Six Characters in
Search of an Author is a play that focuses on its own fictional status as a
theatrical pretence. The play was originally written in Italian with three acts
and was published in the year 1921 and Edward Storer later translated it into
English. 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 an author. The sudden
coming of the characters created a great stir among the audience. The actors
include the Father, the Mother, the Son, the step-daughter, the Boy and the
Child. The other characters are Manager, Leading Lady, Leading Man, Prompter. On
the stage a rehearsal of the Pirandello’s Mixing
It Up was going to take place when they came. This drama is a kind of play
inside a play. 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.

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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 upper hand. Their inclination to freedom leads to estrangement and

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. A play inside a play, is to give way to many
illusions through the actions. It aids in the recognition of elements such as
artificiality, absurdity, strangeness. The idea of foregrounding is also
employed in this work. 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 significance to the comprehension 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. As characters they believe that their existence is only for the
sake of the drama and even claim as they are alive characters.

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