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Copy of Cosi by Louis Nowra Lecture

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Leanne Baxter

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Cosi by Louis Nowra Lecture

Cosi Historical Context Vietnam War Social & Political Context Genre Features Themes Cosi fan Tutte 1971
Melbourne
1972 - Withdrawal from Vietnam

War had been raging between communist North Vietnam and democratic South Vietnam since 1959. Australian troops had been sent to serve alongside American forces in 1965, in an effort to help stop the spread of communism. Many of these troops were conscripted, which meant their military service was compulsory.

Opposition to the Vietnam War was high in the early 1970s. Many Australians began to doubt that the war would ever be won and strongly opposed the government's policy of conscription, or compulsory military service. On 8 May 1970, over 200 000 people around Australia gathered in cities to demonstrate against Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Australian soldiers were withdrawn from Vietnam in 1972. In total, around 50 000 Australians had served in the conflict. Around 3000 were wounded and almost 500 were killed Australian perspectives on immigration, war, sexual morality, the role of women and the environment were undergoing radical change. In 1974, the White Australia Policy was scrapped. Throughout the decade, women won the right to equal pay and maternity leave and Indigenous peoples made progress on land rights. In 1972, Australian troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and in 1975, the nation was rocked by the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Powerpoint Synopsis by Louis Nowra

Lived near the Mount Park and Plenty Mental Homes
Played in the institutions grounds
Both grandmothers were patients
Spent a significant time with Psychologists after the head injury
Worked with mental patients in 1970; invited to do a show as a form of therapy – a light humorous play in which plot depends more on situation than character. This tends to describe the action of the play that is the performance of Mozart’s Opera.
-Australian rather than Albanian soldiers
-the music does not come on cue in Act Two Scene Four – a farcical improvisation takes place to solve the problem Farce Irony exists in the parallels between Lewis’ love life ‘off stage’ and his love life ‘on stage’. On stage the infidelity is treated light heartedly – in ‘character’ of Fiordiligi and Ferrando, it is a trick, and the emotional turmoil is portrayed as comedy. In the blurred lines of Cosi, Julie returns to her true lover. Off stage – Lewis is devastated by Lucy’s infidelity. He is moving out of the house, the relationship is over. Irony – is also a source of humour. The are many references to bodily functions and parts – urinating, sexuality, etc. Vulgarity is an expected behaviour in those with no social inhibitions and to a degree accepted part of social relations in a mental institution. Everyone knows everyone else’s business, there is no privacy. The bluntness and inappropriateness of the comments are meant to shock the audience who are ‘outside’ the world of the institution because while we might think such things we would hardly dare to say them out loud. We end up laughing out of embarrassment.
Ironically – Nick is also as vulgar – perhaps contributing to the blurred line between ‘normal’ or ‘sane’ and not. Vulgarity Several conversations taking place at once on stage. – the black out scene – Cherry is looking for Lewis, Zac is molesting Ruth and Julie kisses Lewis. Overlapping Dialogue Good one liners reveal a complex truth about the world. Roy provides the best one liners and this swerves to emphasise his leadership in the group.
Lewis utters a significant one liner at the end of the play – ‘I don’t have a concept, I’m a director.’ One Liners Cherry tells the story of what happened to her so seriously we are all sucked in by her pulling our leg. Underlying this of course is our views of what causes or contributes to mental illness is challenged – even though we laugh. The Joke Uninhibited directness – many characters are painfully direct and abrupt in their dialogue. This is a reflection of their personalities and values. For example Doug’s line ‘Poofter?’ to Lewis. Doug is oblivious to his own sexual hang-ups. Lewis’ nervousness is revealed in response to Doug’s questions.
These uncensored socially inappropriate, impolite lines of dialogue add humour to the play – they do get a laugh. Uninhibited directness in dialogue is a key source of humour. Dialogue Australian dialogue
Crass politically and sexually inappropriate language
Poetic lyrical language of Cosi Fan Tutti (libretto or words of the Opera) Language – is also a source of comedy -the performance of the last scene of Cosi fan tutte depends the comedy of the play to poignancy. While on the positive outcome for the lovers of the opera is exaggerated, and the patients are satisfied with their efforts, the upbeat, optimistic outcome of the impact of doing the play is short lived as Lewis reveals how things had turned out in the following year. There are no magic cures for mental illness and life is more complicated than a night of theatre entertainment Cont… -the play entwines the values of worlds: world of Opera with the world of the mental institution and the outside world of the 1971. – the humorous outcome is the division between these worlds comes from the fact the lines between them are not clear and what is ‘normal’ or ‘sane’ can be questioned Cont… – it is wildly absurd to put a group of mentally ill patients under the direction of a nervous young man with little dramatic experience.
Each of the performers has a different illness, each cannot sing and none speak Italian.
-Cosi is using humour to tell us something important about the world we live in – living dreams (Roy) , understanding love and commitment, developing self-confidence, discovering what is important in life. How ‘normal’ is ‘normal’? Comic in its storyline (Plot) -the comedy is a mask of fun, wit, bravura, but it does not completely seal the other darker world of struggle we must endure in real life.
-Comedy gives us some courage for the journey – some relief from its seriousness Comedy This is a feature of expressionism – (a style of playwriting and stage presentation stressing the emotional content of a play, the subjective reactions of the characters, symbolic or abstract representations of reality, and non naturalistic techniques of scenic design.)
It emphasises the emotional reactions - it intends to underline a key emotional moment – a moment of perception, or awareness (a light bulb moment) – of love, stress, fear, amazement etc. It is a psychological pause. It signifies a quick change of emotional gears.
Each beat is open to its own interpretation. The only awareness an audience has of {a beat} as they watch a performance is an awareness of a heightened or altered response an actor has to something said. A beat Lewis’ final speech has a dramatic function – adds an autobiographical element to the play, reminds the audience of everyone’s life is part of a wider context. In the world of comedy and fun their needs to be an ending – the audience must return to the real world. Fourth Wall Zac provides the distinct contrast between endings – ‘what is going to happen to the couples in the future: a life of torment and adultery’.
Creates ‘metatheater’ – by acting out a character role in the play within the play each character is able to discover and reveal unexpected , unusual, or even unrealised qualities in themselves. This adds interest, expands the action and enables deeper meaningfulness. Ruth is a good example of this as she discovers more confidence in herself through playing Dorabella. Cont… Roy says ‘the theatre is no place for metaphysics’. He means the theatre is no place for examining philosophy, or the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry. – But this appears to be what Cosi does. Ruth – struggling with what is real and what is not puts the drama of philosophical questions right before us.
Themes of opera and Cosi are intertwined – love and fidelity are universal concepts. Play within the play inside the burnt out theatre – this is the physical stage setting for audiences watching the play
Mental Institution or asylum. Interpersonal relationships here are different than those in the outside world. Lewis is a variation to their boring daily routines.
outside in Melbourne 1971, - the year of the action – a time of social change – Vietnam war, conscription and political unrest, Moratoriums, ‘free love’
setting of the opera by Mozart - theme parallels
Lewis’ memory of the events- since at the end we realise the whole play has been a reflection of events that happened to him. He never leaves the stage. The interconnection of settings adds drama Doug’s deliberate antagonising of other’s and his pyromania
Zac – has abrupt entrances and exits
They both have clown-like roles – but Doug is much more menacing. Characters contribute to dramatic effect Louis Nowra Cosi – structures and features This is a feature of expressionism – (a style of playwriting and stage presentation stressing the emotional content of a play, the subjective reactions of the characters, symbolic or abstract representations of reality, and non naturalistic techniques of scenic design.)
It emphasises the emotional reactions - it intends to underline a key emotional moment – a moment of perception, or awareness A beat a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
Irony exists in the parallels between lewis’ love life ‘off stage’ and his love life ‘on stage’. On stage the infidelity is treated light heartedly – in ‘character’ of Fiordiligi and Ferrando, it is a trick, and the emotional turmoil is portrayed as comedy. In the blurred lines of Cosi, Julie returns to her true lover just as in Cosi fan tutte. Off stage – Lewis is devastated by Lucy’s infidelity. He is moving out of the house, the relationship is over. Irony keenly distressing to the feelings: poignant regret. The poignancy of Julie’s death highlights for audiences that recovery from mental illness and addiction is not easy.
keen or strong in mental appeal: a subject of poignant interest. - The play holds poignant interest for audiences.
affecting or moving the emotions: a poignant scene. The play’s ending is poignant Poignant - psychological – tendency to attribute to another person the ideas, feelings, or sentiments that are actually in oneself.

Which character does this? Projection changes or variations or alternating phases that occur in the natural order of things.
Vicissitudes of life - successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years. Vicissitudes the joy of life Joie de vive the content of a text, such as plot, language, or other reference, has its origin or stimulus in another text – ie the intertextuality of Cosi and Cosi fan Tutte Intertextuality the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group. Ideology theatre that comments on itself. Or theatre that is additional to theatre (Play within the play) Metatheatre Anything to do with love such as a play about love is common, trendy, unrealistic, fanciful etc as opposed to the real, significant and important issues of her life such as protesting about the Vietnam War. Lucy suggests Cannot be directly translated but has a number of accepted interpretations
Women behave that way
School for lovers
Women are like that Cosi fan tutte Cosi – Louis Nowra Terms and meanings in a play it is broad humour based on exaggerations such as clowning, coincidences, and improbabilities.
There is farce in the basic plot – mentally ill patients performing an opera they cannot sing, or understand the language of with an inexperienced director Farce Romaniticism - of, pertaining to, or of the nature of romance; characteristic or suggestive of the world of romance: a romantic adventure.
fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.
imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.
characterized by a preoccupation with love or by the idealizing of love or one's beloved.
displaying or expressing love or strong affection.
ardent; passionate; fervent. a delusion of middle class people, idle wishful thinking, or an empty meaningless convention of the middle class.
Romanticism that belongs to a person whose political, economic, and social opinions are believed to be determined mainly by concern for property values and conventional respectability. Bourgeois romanticism ACT I. Naples, late 1700s. Early morning. Don Alfonso, a cynical old bachelor, debates women's constancy with Ferrando and Guglielmo, young officers who insist their sweethearts -- the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi -- are faithful. Alfonso bets that if they give him one day and do everything he asks, he will prove the sisters are like all other women -- fickle.

Fiordiligi and Dorabella are comparing pictures of their boyfriends when Alfonso pays a visit, bringing news that Guglielmo and Ferrando have been ordered away with their regiment. The two men appear, and the sisters, overwhelmed with grief, bid them farewell. Alfonso is delighted with his plot and feels certain of winning his wager.

The chambermaid, Despina, consoles her mistresses and advises them to forget their old lovers with the help of new ones. The girls, scandalized by Despina's depiction of men as swaggering liars, depart. Alfonso convinces Despina to help him introduce new suitors into the sisters' favor, then brings in exotically attired "Albanians" -- Ferrando and Guglielmo in disguise. Fiordiligi and Dorabella don't warm to the newcomers at all, Fiordiligi likening her constancy to a rock in a storm, and they take their leave again. The men, confident of winning their bet, are thrilled, and Ferrando sings amorously of his steadfast sweetheart, but Alfonso reminds him the day is not yet over.

The sisters have retreated to a garden. Alfonso brings in the "Albanians," who claim to have taken poison. The women call Despina, who urges them to care for the men while she fetches a doctor. She returns disguised as the doctor, pretends to draw off the poison with a magnet, then watches with Alfonso as Fiordiligi and Dorabella waver under renewed protestations of love.

ACT II. In the afternoon, Despina urges Fiordiligi and Dorabella to choose their favorite, and each picks the other's suitor, according to Alfonso's plan. After the "Albanians" serenade the sisters, Despina and Alfonso give lessons in courting and leave the young people together. Guglielmo, courting Dorabella, succeeds in replacing her portrait of Ferrando with a new charm. Ferrando has no such luck with Fiordiligi, who still thinks guiltily of Guglielmo. Comparing notes later, Ferrando is furious over Dorabella's betrayal, Guglielmo smug about Fiordiligi's steadfastness. But Alfonso is not finished yet. Under Despina's supervision, Dorabella tries to persuade Fiordiligi to give in, but Fiordiligi decides that she and Dorabella must join their lovers at the front. Ferrando appears, however, and wins her over. Now Guglielmo is furious, but the officers still owe Alfonso time: as night falls he plans a double wedding.

The couples are married by a "notary" -- again Despina in disguise. As they sign the contracts, the women hear a military march that heralds the return of their original suitors. They force the "Albanians" into hiding and try to compose themselves for Ferrando and Guglielmo, who shed their disguises and enter, dressed as soldiers. Confessions are made by the sisters, and forgiveness is begged. Alfonso bids the lovers learn their lesson, and with a hymn to reason and enlightenment, the day comes to a close.


-- courtesy of Opera News – a light humorous play in which plot depends more on situation than character. This tends to describe the action of the play that is the performance of Mozart’s Opera.
-Australian rather than Albanian soldiers
-the music does not come on cue in Act Two Scene Four – a farcical improvisation takes place to solve the problem Farce Irony exists in the parallels between Lewis’ love life ‘off stage’ and his love life ‘on stage’. On stage the infidelity is treated light heartedly – in ‘character’ of Fiordiligi and Ferrando, it is a trick, and the emotional turmoil is portrayed as comedy. In the blurred lines of Cosi, Julie returns to her true lover. Off stage – Lewis is devastated by Lucy’s infidelity. He is moving out of the house, the relationship is over. Irony – is also a source of humour. The are many references to bodily functions and parts – urinating, sexuality, etc. Vulgarity is an expected behaviour in those with no social inhibitions and to a degree accepted part of social relations in a mental institution. Everyone knows everyone else’s business, there is no privacy. The bluntness and inappropriateness of the comments are meant to shock the audience who are ‘outside’ the world of the institution because while we might think such things we would hardly dare to say them out loud. We end up laughing out of embarrassment.
Ironically – Nick is also as vulgar – perhaps contributing to the blurred line between ‘normal’ or ‘sane’ and not. Vulgarity Several conversations taking place at once on stage. – the black out scene – Cherry is looking for Lewis, Zac is molesting Ruth and Julie kisses Lewis. Overlapping Dialogue Cherry tells the story of what happened to her so seriously we are all sucked in by her pulling our leg. Underlying this of course is our views of what causes or contributes to mental illness is challenged – even though we laugh. The Joke Uninhibited directness – many characters are painfully direct and abrupt in their dialogue. This is a reflection of their personalities and values. For example Doug’s line ‘Poofter?’ to Lewis. Doug is oblivious to his own sexual hang-ups. Lewis’ nervousness is revealed in response to Doug’s questions.
These uncensored socially inappropriate, impolite lines of dialogue add humour to the play – they do get a laugh. Uninhibited directness in dialogue is a key source of humour. Dialogue Uniquely Australian vernacular used ‘sheilas’, ‘shacked up’ and ‘drongo’.
Affirmed our cultural credibility.
Crass politically and sexually inappropriate language
Poetic lyrical language of Cosi Fan Tutti (libretto or words of the Opera)
Juxtaposition of Mozart’s ‘fancy language’ with plain speaking – ‘I need a fuck’.
Language tells us a lot about the characters Language – is also a source of comedy – it is wildly absurd to put a group of mentally ill patients under the direction of a nervous young man with little dramatic experience.
Each of the performers has a different illness, each cannot sing and none speak Italian.
-Cosi is using humour to tell us something important about the world we live in – living dreams (Roy) , understanding love and commitment, developing self-confidence, discovering what is important in life. How ‘normal’ is ‘normal’? Comic in its storyline (Plot) -the comedy is a mask of fun, wit, bravura, but it does not completely seal the other darker world of struggle we must endure in real life.
-Comedy gives us some courage for the journey – some relief from its seriousness Comedy Roy says ‘the theatre is no place for metaphysics’. He means the theatre is no place for examining philosophy, or the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry. – But this appears to be what Cosi does. Ruth – struggling with what is real and what is not puts the drama of philosophical questions right before us.
Themes of opera and Cosi are intertwined – love and fidelity are universal concepts. Play within the play Good one liners reveal a complex truth about the world. Roy provides the best one liners and this swerves to emphasise his leadership in the group.
Lewis utters a significant one liner at the end of the play – ‘I don’t have a concept, I’m a director.’ One Liners This is a feature of expressionism – (a style of playwriting and stage presentation stressing the emotional content of a play, the subjective reactions of the characters, symbolic or abstract representations of reality, and non naturalistic techniques of scenic design.)
It emphasises the emotional reactions - it intends to underline a key emotional moment – a moment of perception, or awareness A beat a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
Irony exists in the parallels between lewis’ love life ‘off stage’ and his love life ‘on stage’. On stage the infidelity is treated light heartedly – in ‘character’ of Fiordiligi and Ferrando, it is a trick, and the emotional turmoil is portrayed as comedy. In the blurred lines of Cosi, Julie returns to her true lover just as in Cosi fan tutte. Off stage – Lewis is devastated by Lucy’s infidelity. He is moving out of the house, the relationship is over. Irony keenly distressing to the feelings: poignant regret. The poignancy of Julie’s death highlights for audiences that recovery from mental illness and addiction is not easy.
keen or strong in mental appeal: a subject of poignant interest. - The play holds poignant interest for audiences.
affecting or moving the emotions: a poignant scene. The play’s ending is poignant Poignant - psychological – tendency to attribute to another person the ideas, feelings, or sentiments that are actually in oneself.

Which character does this? Projection changes or variations or alternating phases that occur in the natural order of things.
Vicissitudes of life - successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years. Vicissitudes the joy of life Joie de vive the content of a text, such as plot, language, or other reference, has its origin or stimulus in another text – ie the intertextuality of Cosi and Cosi fan Tutte Intertextuality the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group. Ideology Anything to do with love such as a play about love is common, trendy, unrealistic, fanciful etc as opposed to the real, significant and important issues of her life such as protesting about the Vietnam War. Lucy suggests Romaniticism - of, pertaining to, or of the nature of romance; characteristic or suggestive of the world of romance: a romantic adventure.
fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.
imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.
characterized by a preoccupation with love or by the idealizing of love or one's beloved.
displaying or expressing love or strong affection.
ardent; passionate; fervent. Bourgeois romanticism Cannot be directly translated but has a number of accepted interpretations
Women behave that way
School for lovers
Women are like that Cosi fan tutte Cosi – Louis Nowra Terms and meanings in a play it is broad humour based on exaggerations such as clowning, coincidences, and improbabilities.
There is farce in the basic plot – mentally ill patients performing an opera they cannot sing, or understand the language of with an inexperienced director Farce

Love

Fidelity

Madness

Loyalty

Self Discovery I'm so Excited... Cosi and Views on
Insanity The social and political issues Nowra draws on are central to the meaning/s of the play:
Through these issues he explores ideas about :
Sanity & insanity
War
Love
Fidelity and betrayal
He uses a variety of ‘features and structures’ to convey these (and other) ideas
In ‘Cosi’, Nowra positions us to condemn the values of a society which treats its mentally ill in barbaric condescending ways ...

Mentally ill characters are constructed sympathetically - an implicit condemnation of the society that has labelled and incarcerated them, and subjected them to inhumane treatment. Social issues that concerned Nowra :
Treatment of Mental illness: What are Nowra's ideas about mental illness?
How does he convey them? Mockery of the mentally ill? Social commentary? Affirmation of a common humanity? One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Group therapy session Vincent Van Gogh Artwork by a mental asylum patient... ‘Productive employment’ for the mentally ill Cure or punishment? The effects of intensive shock therapy – Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest” Electro-convulsive therapy These are some of the methods designed to control, restrain or cure the mentally ill How might environments like these affect the inmates? This is part of a 20th Century asylum Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, in mid 1800s, was the first Australian mental institution. Inmates often incarcerated because their behaviour seen to be a threat to society. Symptoms included:
alcoholism and homelessness
protracted sleeplessness
persistent headache
great depression or exaltation of spirits without sufficient cause
By the late 1800s, approximately one in every four hundred Victorian citizens classified as insane. Three important ideas that Nowra aims to convey in ‘Cosi’:

The inhumanity and ineffectiveness of the mental health system in 20th Century Australia.
The insanity of war; the need to condemn war and to protest against Australia’s involvement in Vietnam.

The importance of theatre - as a powerful form of political protest and as a way of enriching people’s lives with ‘art’. Light & dark
Fire & water
Madness & sanity (chaos & order)
Fidelity & betrayal
Reality & illusion
Gravity & triviality

Binary oppositions create hierarchies in which some things are valued more than others. Nowra invokes these oppositions and then undermines them, by blurring boundaries between them... For example, the line between sanity and insanity is blurred by the ‘insane’ or irrational behaviour of ‘sane’ characters (Lewis, Justin) and the ‘normal’ behaviour of inmates such as Julie and Ruth. Character:
(constructed to embody ‘themes’ and ideas about individuals and their relationships and circumstances.)
Setting:
(Historical, cultural, physical... Settings reveal aspects of character or comment on the nature of society)
Structure:
How is the action of the play organised – and what is the significance of this? (The juxtapositions and binary oppositions are part of the structure ... The play within the play is the most striking structural feature. )
Style:
(generic features: stage directions, dialogue, visual and aural aspects of the performance on stage)
Imagery / symbolism:
(objects which carry a deeper significance, or the use of recurring motifs in the play) Ironic juxtapositions in “Cosi.”

The squalor and despair of the asylum and the burnt-out theatre is juxtaposed against the splendour of grand opera.

The betrayals in the opera parallel the betrayals in the play.

The ‘madness’ of the Vietnam war is implicitly compared with the chaos in the asylum

Note the operatic music accompanying the helicopter assault from the clip from Apocalypse Now – and Nowra refers to Wagner’s music in Cosi. Wagner is contrasted with Mozart: contrasts between Zac and Lewis and Roy.

These ironic juxtapositions and parallels show HOW Nowra conveys some of his ideas. Social Issues(continued)
The Vietnam War:

Nowra’s contact with mental illness as the director of a play in an asylum:
“Cosi Fan Tutte” How it feels to the patient Larundel Mental asylum , Victoria; closed in 1990s Underground sewer...? Psycho
Weirdo
Maniac
Moron
Cretin
Nutter Attitudes to mental illness can be seen in the language of ‘otherness’ They belong in the:
Nut house
Loony bin
Funny farm People are labelled as:
Fool
Nitwit
Simpleton
Imbecile
Crackpot
Idiot Their
actions are:
Crazy
Nutty
Insane
Barmy
Mad
Batty Occupational therapy Comedy or Tragedy?

The comedy of tragedy... thank you Mono-cultural
Generally intolerant of difference
Struggling to deal with people suffering mental illnesses
Confused and contradictory
Issues with fidelity
Reactions – the Hippie era (free-love &peace) Learning Intention:
To understand background contextual information for the play Cosi;
To be able to use this background information in your writing; Three important ideas that Nora aims to convey in ‘Cosi’:
The inhumanity and ineffectiveness of the mental health system in 20th Century Australia.
The insanity of war; the need to condemn war and to protest against Australia’s involvement in Vietnam.
The importance of theatre - as a powerful form of political protest and as a way of enriching people’s lives with ‘art’. Society sees the institution and those within it as ‘mad’, while the patients see the outside world as ‘mad’.
We are all part of the same world
Nowra challenges the audience to reconsider their preconceptions of madness and normality. Nowra’s Perspective Social attitudes deny mentally ill patients their humanity, ostracising them into the confines of a separate institution
Lewis initially feels insecure and frightened of the patients, however he comes to understand their stories and accepts them as thoughtful and ‘ordinary’ people
The theatre offers refuge to the patients from the institution but also offers Lewis refuge from the political and radical expectations placed on youth (educated middle-class) in the outside world.
Nowra recognises that the madness of the patients is brought on by the desire to escape reality. The distinction between sanity and insanity is not easily defined.
The patients are aware that they are seen in a negative light. Madness – Differing Perspectives “Mad actors are bad enough, but madmen . . . ” p.1
“A psychopath is too kind a word to describe him” p.9
“Just between you and me, I’ve got a flick knife” p.34
“Julie’s a looney and a junkie” p.76
“You’re screwing a mental patient” p.72 Madness “Drugs make me feel sort of living” p.37
“I can handle something being an illusion or real, but not at the same time” p.26
“I can live with the illusion as long as I know it’s an illusion” p.26
“Only mad people in this day and age would do work about love and infidelity” p.41
“They’re coming to take me away. Ha ha. To the funny farm” p.77 (SARCASM) Madness “I’m not from a ward, I’m the director” p.2
“It’s not divine madness . . . madness is just madness” p.61
“I knew she had gone mad but she was still my grandmother” p.32
“I can’t stand real things – if I could put up with reality, I wouldn’t be in here” p.62
“The drugs are a rocket to the stars”p.32 Madness “You can always find loneliness in a marriage but never solitude” p.19
“I didn’t know he had been released from a closed ward” p.5
“Sometimes a vision is destroyed . . . as far removed from this depressive asylum” p.63
“they are normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts” p.5 Madness “Mozart is about love, not madness” p.59
“Why can’t I ever say no? Just Leave? They’re mad, it’s madness” p.16
“Barricades and bombs? Why not?” p.17
“They want to overthrow the establishment” p.17
“A madman is someone who arrives at a fancy dress party in the Emperor’s New Clothes” p.7
“Not only they are nuts, but they are right-wing nuts” p.47 Madness On MADNESS Cosi Outsiders to the institutions don’t know what it’s really like
Nowra demonstrates society’s view of madness in a stereotypical way – people are uncomfortable/frightened – he challenges this view by presenting the patients as having deep insights and serious thoughts. Madness – Differing Perspectives Doug’s understanding of marriage
Julie’s insights p.36-37 (self-awareness of herself as well as others – Doug, Zac)
Henry Act 1, Scene 4 p.46-49 Doug starts a fire in the toilets
Cherry feeding Lewis
Zac’s overdose on medication
Lewis hitting Nick
Shock therapy treatment
Julie’s haircut experience p.37
Cherry’s Jealousy Madness SYNONYMS
absurd
psychosis
psychotic
obsessive personality
schizophrenic
paranoid
unstable
sensitive issue SYNONYMS
insanity
craziness
extraordinary
lunacy
abnormal
mental
illness
deranged Madness COMMON THEME IN ‘MADNESS’ – Avoiding/Escaping Reality, no support, confined ZAC
Addiction to prescription medication ROY
Delusional, abandonment CHERRY
Violent tendencies, lack of self-esteem RUTH
Obsessive personality, routine, perfection. Physically, mentally, emotionally abused HENRY
Loss of wife, Loss of job, depression JULIE
Drug addiction - heroin, parents admitted her into institution DOUG
Pyromaniac, Burnt mother’s house and cats ASYLUM Madness Quotes about madness
“Mozart is about love, not madness” p.59
“Why can’t I ever say no? Just Leave? They’re mad, it’s madness” p.16
“Barricades and bombs? Why not?” p.17
“They want to overthrow the establishment” p.17
“A madman is someone who arrives at a fancy dress party in the Emperor’s New Clothes” p.7
“Not only they are nuts, but they are right-wing nuts” p.47
“You can always find loneliness in a marriage but never solitude” p.19
“I didn’t know he had been released from a closed ward” p.5
“Sometimes a vision is destroyed . . . as far removed from this depressive asylum” p.63
“they are normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts” p.5
“I’m not from a ward, I’m the director” p.2
“It’s not divine madness . . . madness is just madness” p.61
“I knew she had gone mad but she was still my grandmother” p.32
“I can’t stand real things – if I could put up with reality, I wouldn’t be in here” p.62
“The drugs are a rocket to the stars”p.32
“Drugs make me feel sort of living” p.37
“I can handle something being an illusion or real, but not at the same time” p.26
“I can live with the illusion as long as I know it’s an illusion” p.26
“Only mad people in this day and age would do work about love and infidelity” p.41
“They’re coming to take me away. Ha ha. To the funny farm” p.77 (SARCASM)
“Mad actors are bad enough, but madmen . . . ” p.1
“A psychopath is too kind a word to describe him” p.9
“Just between you and me, I’ve got a flick knife” p.34
“Julie’s a looney and a junkie” p.76
“You’re screwing a mental patient” p.72 Differing Perspectives on Love There is no distinction made between lust and love for many of the ‘self-aware’ characters in the play.
Nowra presents the patients as having a stronger definition of love than the ‘sane’ people.
Nowra challenges the concept of ‘free love’ prominent in the 1970’s.
The patients show a deep capability to love despite being separated from society.
There are prevailing masculine and feminine attitudes towards love.
Love is an indulgence Love “Women are God’s punishment for men playing with themselves”
“Music is what love between humans should be” p.61 Love “Love is hallucinating without drugs”
“It’s about important things – like love and fidelity”
“You have enemies for life, but never lovers” p.61
“Woman’s constancy is like the Arabian Phoenix” p.71
“Love is not so important these days”
“Only mad people in this day and age would do a work about love and infidelity” p.41
“All I wanted was a fuck to calm me down” Cosi on Love Nowra’s perspective on Love Love has many complex layers and is unique and different. Ideas of love are directly shaped by the experiences individuals have of love.
Passionate love is not necessary to be in a relationship
Men often objectify women as a means to satisfy their physical needs.
Lucy and Nick have the luxury of rejecting love because they have lived a highly privileged life
Without love, you run the risk of remaining unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Trust
Loyalty
Jealousy
Commitment
Faithfulness
Attraction
Physical gratification
Convenience
Desire
Need/Want Devotion
Affection
Adoration
Sex
Passion
Romance
Tenderness
Indulgence
Fondness
Fidelity Love Institutionalisation
Isolation
Prison-like
Lonely
Forgotten
Inadequate support structures and expertise
Limited therapy options
Medication
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Normal V abnormal Look at the following images:
Why would these images be disturbing to those who have an association with someone with a mental disability?
Is it sometimes 'socially unacceptable' to have a disability? Explain your answer. List of characters Lewis: 21, has just left university Lucy: 20-23, doing an Ma thesis Nick: 21-24 Mental Patients: -Roy -Henry -Doug -Cherry -Julie -Ruth -Zac
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