Six Characters in Search of an Author Essay

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When I’m reading a play I usually either imagine myself acting in it or directing it. When I first started reading this play I definitely imagined myself directing it. It has so much rich imagery and opportunity for metaphorical parallels that it’s one of those plays that you just can’t resist designing in your head. The idea of characters as a reality is something that really struck me as I’ve been studying Michael Chekhov who describes characters as existing on different planes in their own realities. This idea is also one of the main themes of the play. Throughout the play, the Father insists on the reality of the Characters, a reality that, as the stage notes indicate, inheres in their forms and expressions. The Father offers his most explicit meditation on the Character's reality in Act II. Here he bristles at the Actors' use of the word illusion as it relies on its vulgar opposition to reality. He approaches the Manager in a sort of face-off to challenge this opposition, one that underpins his identity. Convinced of his self-identity, the Manager readily responds that he is himself. The Father believes otherwise. While the Character's reality is real, the Actors' is not; while the Character is somebody, man is nobody. Man is nobody because he is subject to time: his reality is fleeting, always ready to reveal itself as illusion, whereas the Character's reality remains fixed for eternity. Put otherwise, time enables an opposition between reality and illusion for man. Over time, man comes to identify realities as illusion, whereas the Character exists in the timeless reality of art. I think the strongest imagery of the play is that of the characters themselves. The Father is a "fattish" man in his fifties with thin, reddish hair, a thick moustache, and piercing, blue oval eyes. He is "alternatively mellifluous and violent." Along with the Step-Daughter, he is

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