Fidelity & infidelity
According to Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, the issue of fidelity is depicted to be an ideal that is never achieved. Since ‘women are like that’ – the interpretation of ‘così fan tutte', Mozart encouraged the belief that men should simply accept women are indeed disloyal in relationships. Nowra illustrates this same idea about women and infidelity through Lewis and Lucy’s relationship. While Lucy is ‘sleeping’ with Lewis, she is also triflingly ‘having sex’ with Nick. When Lewis discovers Lucy’s betrayal, she waves aside his shock, defending that ‘it is not as if we’re married.’ The revelation does indeed prove that Così Fan Tutte is correct in stating that, ‘woman’s constancy is like the Arabian Phoenix. Everyone swears it exists, but no one has seen it.’
Although the women in both Così Fan Tutte and Così are shown to be unfaithful, so are the men. While the men in Così Fan Tutte do not actively participate in adultery, they do fabricate their departure to the war and also disguise themselves as ‘Albanians.’ Their deception is also a betrayal to their wives. Meanwhile, Don Alfonso manipulates everyone. As seen in Così, Lewis is unfaithful to Lucy as he kisses Julie during rehearsals. Julie later reveals that she has a girlfriend who she would prefer to be with, confirming that both men and women are unfaithful in relationships.
Sanity & insanity
The line between sanity and insanity is explored through the juxtaposition of the patients and society. In the 1970s, those who behaved abnormally were declared to be ‘insane’ and placed in mental institutions that were shunned by society. As we now know with scientific developments, these environments often failed to assist their patients. The use of electric shock therapy for example, frequently lead to severe, long term negative effects upon patients.
While the patients were viewed as ‘madmen’ from outsiders, Lewis soon discovers...