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January 29, 2022, 06:52:18 am

Author Topic: pointers for my Cosi essay  (Read 2377 times)  Share 

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pointers for my Cosi essay
« on: January 29, 2013, 09:48:22 pm »
Hey guys! Would you mind reading my essay on Così and giving me some pointers? Much appreciated! The prompt was "The line between reality and illusion is often blurred''.  :D :D

Some say that life is an illusion, and reality is a figment of the imagination. This is definitely possibility, and it is explored intensely in Lewis Nowra’s play Così. In Così, the line between illusion and reality is explored through the ‘insane’ as well as the ‘normal’ characters. In Così it is demonstrated that reality is unique to each individual, and often illusion is used as an escape from the truth and real world.

Ruth is one of the main characters that struggles with the idea of reality and illusion. She struggles with the idea of having fake coffee on the stage in the first scene, or she is fixated on how many steps to take on stage. For the coffee shop scene of Così Fan Tutte, she claims that ‘we need a real cappuccino machine’. It’s quite obvious to the readers that there no need for coffee because it is of utter unimportance as they can accept the temporary theatrical illusion, however Ruth can only  ‘handle something being an illusion or real, but not at the same time’. Ruth’s need to highlight between what is reality and what is an illusion shows her difficulty in being able to show which is which,  and the fact that she asks absurd questions about what is quite obviously an illusion  shows the unreliability of our own perceptions of the real world, and raise questions about what is real and what isn’t.

As a way to escape the real world, residents of the asylum have their own ways of altering reality or constructing new ones that are more bearable. This is explored prominently through Roy. Roy tells Lewis that he wants the opera to be ‘a world that was like my childhood’, but when Roy refuses to do the opera, Lewis discovers that Roy had a hard child hood which involved him ‘being farmed out to foster parents who, realising what a nut case they had on their hands, put him back and quick smart’. Roy created this illusion of ‘tea parties, dances….circus performers’ to cope with the child hold that he had, and somewhere along the line he began to actually believe that his illusion was a reality.

The reason that Lewis is doing a play in the asylum is to ‘bring them [patients] out of their shells. Theatre is, in a sense, the ultimate illusion. It creates characters, places and lives and invites the audience members, as well as cast members to suspend their disbelief and succumb to the illusion. In Così both the cast members and Lewis build an imaginary world. The play allows for the patients to create their own reality, one where they are free to do as they please. The reason that rehearsing a performances makes sense to some of the patients is that they are familiar with alternative realities. The residents all have ways of altering their own realities and constructing more bearable ones, and these strategies tend to reflect the behaviours that have landed them in the institution.

Lewis struggles with the idea of illusion and reality just as much as the residents of the asylum and, much like the residents, he creates his own illusion about Lucy. Even though it is blatantly obvious throughout the play that Nick and Lucy are having an affair behind Lewis’ back, Lewis stubbornly refuses to see it, and instead confides in his perceived notion of Lucy’s fidelity and love. Although the signs of the relationship are there – such as Nick living with Lewis and Lucy and Lucy spending time with Nick even though Lewis says to her ‘you’re seeing a lot of someone you don’t like’, Lewis doesn’t come to terms with the relationship until he is told about it by Lucy, even though it’d likely he knew about it on a subconscious level.

To a certain extent, the line between reality and illusion is sometimes blurred for everybody, whether they’re ‘insane’ or ‘normal’. To some people illusion is their reality and they know nothing different, for some illusion is just a way to escape the truth and hardships of real life, and for some they don’t even realize that they are under the influence of an illusion.


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Re: pointers for my Cosi essay
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 01:49:18 am »
Hey I'm sorry, I missed this until now - would you still like feedback on this?
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