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Close Study of Text

A way to structure your responses in Module B: Close Study of Text, with focus on Cosi.
by

Troy Martin

on 9 August 2010

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Transcript of Close Study of Text

Cosi detailed analysis how the ideas, forms and language of a text interact within the text and may affect those responding to it. characteristics of the text, considering how these shape meaning distinctive qualities. Composition focuses on meaning shaped in and through the text The same qualities we find in narratives – films or novels or poetry or lyrics or in a photo essay- can be the same qualities we aim for in our own writing. Stories are about humans, unique to our species and play an important part in ‘education’. Our lives gives us insight into our world, expanding our place in it and into different people within our world. Narrative is the one thing that connects all cultures and all humans. Drama has been written to be performed; the drama/play script is an aural and visual text that is constructed to touch on all human senses. The play script is written to be performed, a multi-sensory experience for the audience and the actors. The written text of a play script includes all dialogue, stage directions and sound effects. The script has been adapted and interpreted by various directors. Based upon the original play script, directors, costume and stage designers and actors have added their own touches to the play. This heavily reflects the importance of context on the narrative, the time and place of production adds to the value of a text, The first production was written and directed by Louis Nowra. The Characters: Their motives: ‘I need the money…The motives of each of the characters evolve throughout the play… Interestingly, the motives that underpin the characters of Lewis and Nick are clever contrasts between two well educated young men. The men are indicative of the society and cultural expectations of the time. The lasting quality of all dramas and essentially all narratives are how the depictions reach into the society of the time. Further, while all literature allows insights into a time and place, it is how Nowra captures the political and social turmoil of the early 1970’s that allows the audience a foot hold into that time, giving the audience fresh perspective of the historical and cultural impacts of the anti-Vietnam war protests. The fracture of Lewis’ and Nick’s relationship is a prime example of the fractures in the social fabric of Australia.
Love and all its problems: The traditional literary/popular culture love triangle is represented in Nowra’s play. This dramatic and narrative technique enables Nowra to examine love, loyalty, fidelity and the importance of friendship as opposed to lust. The love triangle between Lucy, Lewis and Nick is further complicated by the evolving connection between the director Lewis and Julie:
‘I think I feel for you’
Also, the place of the production, Cosi Fan Tutte, illustrates many of Nowra’s concerns about the traditional role of men and women:
Julie: My love, if this true
Ruth: I will compensate your heart with love and with fidelity.
Mozart’s Opera, full of passion and bravado, is a product of the romantic period of European classical music, however, it is being produced by a cast and crew considered ‘mad’, reflecting upon the passion, individual choice and progressive thoughts that ran through Australia in the 1970’s. To bring to the fore the character of Lewis is to also consider the playwright. Louis Nowra has stated the semi-autobiographical nature of Lewis. Nowra often visited his grandmother in a Melbourne asylum. The 1970s saw Nowra’s grandmother institutionalised due to dementia. She had no choice in the matter, much like the central characters of Cosi. The shaping of Nowra by his experiences is deeply connected to Lewis’ alteration in motives and attitudes. Nowra: ‘a decade going mad’. ‘I don’t want to see worlds that similar to my own.
I want a different world.’ – Louis Nowra ‘I didn’t want to be an Australian playwright.
I wanted to be a world playwright.’ – Louis Nowra Techniques Humour - satire, irony, slap stick, black humour
Specific examples

Characterisation - contrast between Nick and Lewis, Lucy and Julie

Intertextuality - play within a play, Mozart with an Australian play

Slang v Opera

Lewis closing monologue

Diegetic sound - the war protests over the radio

Semi-autobiographical features - Louis is Lewis Messages Love and all its problems

The importance of music

The place of identity

Institutionalisation

Full transcript