Cosi Essay

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Cosi is a play set in Melbourne during the early 1970s. The play is about a young university student, Lewis, who is given the task of directing a play in a mental hospital. Luis Nowra, the writer of the play, uses many dramatic techniques including setting, humour language, meta-theatre, symbolism and more to help engage the audience into the world of the play while conveying many meaningful themes. These themes include the treatment of the mentally ill, and attitudes towards love and fidelity during the time of the Vietnam War era. The mentally ill during this period were considered to be insane, ignored and not accepted as ???normal??™. The setting is an important technique in conveying ideas and themes within the play. The 1970s was a time of student activism against the Vietnam War, including opposition of conscription, rejection of traditional values of love and fidelity. The main theme used in the play is fidelity and infidelity. Meta-theatre is used as the patients perform the play Cosi Fan Tutte which translates to ???woman are like that??™. Mozart himself believed that men should accept women as unfaithful and disloyal in relationships. This idea is explored through Lewis and Lucy??™s relationship. While Lucy is sleeping with Lewis, she is ???having sex??™ with his supposed best friend Nick. When Lewis discovers this, she claims that it was ???just sex??™ and that it isn??™t a big deal. When Lewis confronts Lucy about the matter, she waves it aside claiming that, ???it??™s not as if we??™re married???. This revelation does indeed prove that Cosi Fan Tutte is correct in saying that, ???woman??™s constancy is like the Arabian phoenix. Everyone swears it exists, but no one has seen it.??™ The phoenix is an effective symbol in capturing the attitudes of fidelity and woman. It is beautiful and can entice men such as Apollo himself, reflective of women??™s power to attract men; however its rarity is linked with the disloyal demonstrations of women. The idea of fidelity is relevant to the setting as the 70s were a period of experimentation and ???free love??™. Normal notions of faithfulness and fidelity are rejected as irrelevant to society anymore. An equally important theme within the play is Sanity and insanity. The 70s were a time of mistreatment of the mentally ill, who were deemed insane.

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