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January 29, 2022, 06:04:18 am

Author Topic: Cosi essay critique :)  (Read 2925 times)  Share 

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sahil26

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Cosi essay critique :)
« on: September 22, 2012, 12:10:52 am »
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Can someone please critique and give me some advice?
Thanks guys :)

Prompt : Nowra shares more than just humour in Cosi.


Louis Nowra’s play is more than an entertaining comedy as it explores the sad truths of mental illness. By using a play within a play with Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tute, Nowra portrays characters that for a brief while are able to escape the loneliness of the asylum. With Roy’s vision and the inept direction of Lewis’ their production is a success. However, Lewis’ last monologue reveals that behind the illusion, there is reality. The patients in the asylum, especially Henry and Ruth, are able to blossom as a result of the play. However, their eventual ending illustrates how the cruel the truth of the lives of the patients is.

Nowra cleverly indulges the audience in a play that involves characters that exaggerate human feelings in a comedic sense and make the audience laugh. Whilst the characters of Lucy and Nick are unengaging and boring, Nowra uses Roy’s blunt opinion of Lewis to bring humour into the play. Roy continuously mocks Lewis’ direction and is completely dominant over his character. Doug is also vivid and intimidating and his direct expression of his sexual desires “Want a root... nice bum too.” provides a lighter perception of his character. Cherry’s jealousy and her strange form of affection towards Lewis also brings absurdity and entertainment. However, Nowra carefully incorporates a message in the play and illustrates how behind the comedic facades, mental patients are suffers of negligence and ignorance.

The theatre is a “burnt” out wreck at the start of the play and symbolizes the lives of the patients in the asylum. They are pushed aside by society when they are unable to take care of themselves. Roy is also a character who is very lonely, vulnerable and neglected. It is revealed to us towards the end of the play that Roy is in fact an orphan and has been rejected by people all his life. Whilst his parents abandon him, his inmates inside the asylum lodge petitions to move him from ward to ward. His character is exposed and we understand how deeply insecure he actually is when he suffers from stage fright. This explains his love for the opera as he manages to create a world in which he finds love and acceptance in “the music of the spheres”. His highly delusional thoughts and unrealistic ideas demonstrate that Roy has to find happiness in his illusionary visions. Through Roy’s story, Nowra illustrates how our society is devoid of love towards suffers of mental patients. He implies that mental patients are often left to take care of themselves and lack love and empathy from others.

Ruth’s character is overly obsessive and somewhat irritating in the play. However, it is explained by her that she is in fact a victim of sexual abuse. Her boyfriend had taken advantage of her attempts to be the perfect partner and used her to satisfy his sexual demands. In Ruth’s case, her naïve and vulnerable nature was sadly exploited and used. Nowra labels our society as shallow and insensitive when it comes to mental illnesses.  Furthermore, Julie reveals how she had been abandoned by her parents due to the fact that she was a stain on the family. Her description of her addiction for drugs “Like lying in a warm, cloudy river…I can’t imagine life without junk” reveals that she finds junk as a way to escape the sadness of reality. Nowra depicts that anything unusual such as Julie’s drug addiction patronizes society and causes them to admit mentally capable people such as Julie in a mental asylum. He conveys that society is ignorant towards indifference of any kind.

Despite the problems and issues Lewis and the patients face, they are able to create a magnificent play at the end. Lewis’ direction not only transforms his character but also allows Henry and Ruth to come “out of their shells”. However, Lewis’ soliloquy exposes the cruel truth. While the patients are able to escape the real world and indulge in the illusion of Cosi Fan Tute, as soon as play finishes, they find that they are unable to cope with the world. Julie and Henry die, and Lewis never receives a letter from Cherry. Roy still is unable to find a place he can belong to even after the play. He is moved from ward to ward by his inmates. Lewis breaking the fourth wall illustrates that Cosi and Cosi Fan Tutte was just in fact an illusion. Nowra conveys that the world of imagination has to come to an end at some point and reality must be faced. The soliloquy at the end truly reveals the world of the patients and the treatment of mental patients in our society.

Nowra’s Cosi is an intriguing comedy which explores our society’s treatment of mental patients. As Roy’s weaknesses surface, we see the grief and sorrow hidden in the humour of Cosi. The cruel treatment of Ruth uncovers the flaws in the protection of mentally ill people in the society. The patients are able to escape reality and find happiness in the illusion on Cosi Fan Tutte. However, the illusion is short lived as the brief joy they experience ends as soon as the play does. Nowra’ through Cosi, wants the audience to understand the burden on mental patients and shares the tormenting nature of abandonment through Cosi.

Also.. i understand that my teacher has said that i really need to add some colour to the essay at important lines i.e. Intro line... topic sentence... blah blah.. some advice on how to get better at that?

Thanks again :)
2011 : Electrotechnology 40

2012 Aim : English 35, Methods 40+, Chemistry 40, Physics 45+, Specialist 30, Punjabi 35+

Atar Aim : 90+

Quoting - The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Felicity Wishes

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Re: Cosi essay critique :)
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 05:19:29 pm »
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I'm not much of a critic but I'll just say some things. :)
Firstly, *Tutte.
Secondly, I really like how you have approached this topic sentence. A key thing with a statement like this is to address the WHOLE sentence, which you have done well. Another thing you've done well is address Nowra's contention - good work.
In my opinion, the Ruth/Julie paragraph is weak, not much depth.

Personally, I think there are other things you can explore with this prompt, like how Cosi explores the nature of love and how Cosi questions the effectiveness of treatment in asylums... but I don't feel this is necessary.

Good work!
Psychology and psychophysiology (Swinburne)

sahil26

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Re: Cosi essay critique :)
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 11:34:37 pm »
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Personally, I think there are other things you can explore with this prompt, like how Cosi explores the nature of love and how Cosi questions the effectiveness of treatment in asylums... but I don't feel this is necessary.

Good work!

I suppose i could've explored other themes in the essay but my main focus was to talk about the concept of illusion and reality. I can't remember the actual prompt to be honest but i think it was hinting towards that.

Thanks though :)
2011 : Electrotechnology 40

2012 Aim : English 35, Methods 40+, Chemistry 40, Physics 45+, Specialist 30, Punjabi 35+

Atar Aim : 90+

Quoting - The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Felicity Wishes

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Re: Cosi essay critique :)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 02:51:07 pm »
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Personally, I think there are other things you can explore with this prompt, like how Cosi explores the nature of love and how Cosi questions the effectiveness of treatment in asylums... but I don't feel this is necessary.

Good work!

I suppose i could've explored other themes in the essay but my main focus was to talk about the concept of illusion and reality. I can't remember the actual prompt to be honest but i think it was hinting towards that.

Thanks though :)

The prompt doesn't really hint towards it (or anything) but it fits well anyway.
Psychology and psychophysiology (Swinburne)