‘Cosi is more than an entertaining comedy. It reveals the sadness of the lives of the characters.’ Discuss.
Through the play Cosi the audience witnesses the lives of mentally ill people unfold before them. Louis Nowra has used black comedy within Cosi to allow the audience to abandon their pre-conceptions of ‘mad’ people and to see the characters not for their illness but for their personality. Because of this the audience is able to relate to each character and their situation and realise the underlying sadness of the patients lives. We are confronted by their pasts as we come to realise the causes for their illnesses; like with Roy as we learn of his childhood, abandoned by his mother and growing up in orphanages.
Cosi also reveals the sadness within the lives of those who society considers ‘sain’ as the audience is treated to the life of the protagonist Lewis Riley and the struggles and dependence he faces. The truth of Roy’s life is one of the most shocking revelations to the audience as he often puts on a outgoing happy façade. With his vibrantly outgoing personality Roy becomes one of the central figures of the play. He influences Lewis into directing the Italian opera ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and captivates Lewis with tales of music and performance from his childhood. This illusion that Roy casts over Lewis, and the audience alike, is seen for what it truly is as we learn that the stories were all lies and what Roy never knew his mother.
‘I had a dream, Jerry.’ This quote from Roy reveals Roy’s sadness as audience has an epiphany that Roy’s tales of music and performance, along with his desire to performer ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’, are his way of trying to escape the sadness of his life spent unloved within orphanages and the asylum. We witness similar sadness in the life of one of the other patients, Ruth. The audience first sees Ruth as being obsessive compulsive with a need for control over her life. Ruth’s behaviour is very methodical and she finds...