Madness, love & transformation

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Madness, love & transformation

Everyone goes mad in their own particular way. Nowra thinks madness is too generalised, and it is based on each individuals past and experiences etc.

At the end of the play, Lewis is no longer afraid of madness. Lewis is thoroughly transformed by the patients. Nowra uses a mixture of laughter and madness, which is a volatile mixture. We usually see madness as dark


and scary, so we can keep it in a corner and ignore it. When he adds humour to it, then we begin to be able to relate to it, they share similar emotions. .fear.

Lewis has to face various hurdles throughout the play. He suffers from a lack of gumption at first. His major hurdle is Henry. Lewis realises that he has got to get Henry to stay. Through rehearsing he is connecting emotionally with the patients.

Every scene is a hurdle. Each time he learns to care about the patients as individuals. He goes on what is called a character arc (complete change). It is a ‘fish out of water’ story. Lewis is thrust into another world to transform him. Often, when someone doesn’t have a family or friends etc, due to a
dysfunctional past etc whatever (in Lewis’ case his relationship with Nick and Lucy is going downhill) he then makes the patients his family, he finds a new sense of reality with them.

Vietnam War is what Lewis believes in at first. But he will agree with anyone at the start, so long as it keeps the peace. Mozart may seem an insignificant detail to the play, but that’s the point. To Lewis, how you can show love for someone becomes more important than politics etc, i.e. it’s the little things that count etc


(Hence Mozart’s music, just a simple beauty).

When Lewis enters the asylum it is like an island (thrust into another world). The patients don’t even know there is a war going on. Lewis is transformed by his experience. How it works is that you stick people on this island, and watch how they change. They are forced to face their demons because they

can’t get off the island.

Cosi character quotes


Memorise quotes for your essay questions. Here are some to get you started.

LEWIS
“I need the money, Lucy” (p 1)
“Do you think we should be doing something like this? ... In these days, you know, the Vietnam war?” (p 9)
“I mean about the theme. Love is not so important these days.” (p 10)
“Why can’t I ever say no? Just leave. They’re mad. It’s madness...”.
‘This is an unusual position for me ... I directed some plays at university ... and, well ... this is my first year out …’.
Julie: ‘They still scare you?’
Lewis: ‘It’s not so bad. My grandmother went mad. I went once to the asylum to see her. In her mind she was living in the year before I was born. She thought I was Eric, my father. And he had just married mum and she was about to have me’.
Julie: Don’t ever tell a psychiatrist that story, they’d have a heart attack on the symbolism of it all’.

‘We’re agreed. We don’t want to see Australian soldiers die in meaningless war.’ (page 48)


‘Mozart. I’m not going to let them down’.
‘There was no next year. This theatre mysteriously burnt down a week after the performance and Doug was the major suspect’. (page 89)

DOUG
Doug: Women like to pretend they don’t play around but they’re just more secretive about it. (p18)
Doug: You can always find loneliness in a marriage, but never solitude.”

Cherry: [to Doug] Go burn a cat.


[she exits]
Lewis: Why are they always saying that?
Doug: That's what I did.
Lewis: Burned a cat?

Doug: No, CATS. See mum had five cats, and me and mum we'd been having some... differences. So one night I rounded 'em up, put 'em in a cage, doused 'em with petrol and put a match to 'em!

[Lewis chuckles, thinking it's a joke. Doug grins and laughs]
Doug: Heh-heh! Funny, eh?
[He sits next to Lewis]
Doug: Then, I opened up the cage door and I let 'em run loose. Welllll, what a racket. They were runnin' round the backyard, burnin' and howlin'.
[He gives a psychotic little laugh]
Doug: No such thing as grace under pressure for a burning cat, lemme tell ya. Then, me mum came outside to see what was happenin'? Darn near freaked out she did. See, I figured I'd wait a couple of hours till the cats were dead and mum was feeling a bit sorry for herself, and I'd go up to the front door and I'd knock on it and I'd say, "Hi, Mum! I'm here to talk about our unresolved conflicts."
Doug: But oh no, One of those FUCKING cats ran into the house; a couple of minutes the whole bloody house was on fire. Within half an hour there was no front door to knock on.
Doug: Yeah, if it wasn't for that damn cat, I wouldn't be in here.


ROY

Roy: We're going to do "Cosi Fan Tutte", the opera.


Doug: What, Little Richard wrote an opera? Tutti Fruiti the opera?
Roy: It's an opera by Mozart, you low life.

'Couldn't direct a nymphomaniac to a stag night.'


'I know you can take criticism Jerry, because you must get a lot of it!'
‘My mother played the music to me over and over. You can count the productions of it on one finger in Australia. Well, none probably. I haven’t seen any. We’ll be making history. Australian history. We’ll bring culture to this place. You know what culture is for most Australians, Jerry? It’s the stuff that grows on stale cheddar’.

‘It’s all in my head. Without this, the world wouldn’t be the same. It would break, like a voice in despair shattering glass. There is the harmony of the spheres and that harmony is Mozart’s music. Cosi Fan Tutte. Without this opera having been composed, there would be just a clanging, banging, a bedlam all around us’.

“It’s never happened to me before.” (p75)
‘Love is what you feel when you don’t have enough emotion left to hate.’ (page 61)
‘A world that was like my childhood: tea parties, dances in our ballroom, circus performers coming to perform just for me’. (page 64)

CHERRY
Cherry: Will outsiders see the show?
Lewis: Don't know.

Cherry: If it's a real large role, I'll invite my dad. He'll be surprised to see me out of water.


[Lewis just looks at her]
Cherry: My dad was a great duck hunter. But we were very poor and couldn't afford a dog, so... He used to get me to point and fetch the ducks.
[pause]
Cherry: Those lakes can get pretty cold when you're swimmin' in 'em with a dead duck in your mouth.
[Lewis gapes]
Cherry: Haa! Just pullin' your leg!
“It was me! It was me!” (p23)
Cherry comments to Julie that Roy is performing a “Do it yourself lobotomy” (p27)

JUSTIN
‘Up to you. A panto? Excerpts from Shakespeare. Whatever you like. The important thing is to keep them interested. To bring them out of their shells. Give them something interesting to do’.
“The experiment is over” (p22)
“Now the position of a social worker in an asylum can be precarious. This does not look good for me or for you, does it?” (p23)
“Sorry is such an easy word to say.” (p23)
“Straight out of university...” (p24)
‘This experiment was to bring them out of their shells, not to allow them to wreak havoc. Now the position of a social worker in an asylum can be precarious. This doesn’t look good for me or for you, does it?’

JULIE

‘Drugs make me feel sort of living ... Especially junk ... Some people can’t imagine life without love, well I can’t imagine life without junk’.

‘What would you do Lewis? Would you hit him? Like Dorabella and Fiordiligi, it’s just easy for a woman to fall in love as it is for a man.’
‘I had to go and see one of the shrinks. They don’t know how to deal with drug users. He called it a ‘crutch’, I said it was a ‘rocket to the stars’. Needless to say we didn’t get on’.

RUTH
‘Learnt my lines. I’m word perfect. Go on, test me...Any place, any time. I know what I’m doing and everyone else. Test me’.

NICK
‘Barricades and bombs? Why not? Australians, especially young Australians of my age, are getting fed up with our society. We want changes and we want them now.’(17)
‘You’ve become a right wing nut, haven’t you? You belong here ... They’re coming to take me away, ha, ha, to the funny farm’.
‘Christ, you’ll never be a director until you can convince them that what you want to do is what they want to do’.
‘It means that these people, even the middle class will be radicalised by seeing how any of us are against them. They’ll know that to be against the Vietnam war is also to be against the old fossilised government we now have’.
‘That’s it, I’m not putting up with this right wing crap ... Not only are they nuts, but they’re right wing nuts’.

LUCY

‘How to understand how capitalism exploits the working class is important. How to stop the war in Vietnam is important. How to make a piece of theatre meaningful and intelligent, like Brecht does, is important. After bread, a shelter, equality, health, procreation, money comes maybe love...Love is an emotional indulgence for the privileged few’.


‘Working with these people has changed you. We used to talk about things. Important things. Now all you can talk about is reactionary drivel like Cosi Fan Tutte’.
‘I have sex with him and sleep with you’

‘I’ve come to pick you up and take you to the Galileo rehearsals’.
‘You sound like someone out of a farce’.
‘Don’t quote that fuckin’ opera at me!’


Idealism versus Conservatism


Cosi marked a turn by Louis Nowra to more personal, autobiographical material, and the turn from the social to the individual is evident in the play itself. Through the use of psychiatric patients in the play, Nowra presents a rebellion against social norms. In terms of the play, however, this entails a rebellion more against “politically correct” attitudes than against conservative notions. This is reinforced by their juxtaposition against Nick and Lucy, Marxists whose concerns with social change and justice are undermined as the play progresses, reinforcing Lewis’s preference for the more “universal”—read, bourgeois individualist—concerns of the opera being presented. The play functions to some extent as a validation of the conservative rejection of socialist ideals.

Cosi tells the story of Lewis, a young university graduate who takes a job working with the patients at a mental institution. They aim to put on the opera Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart. Much of the play’s humour lies in the eccentricities of the various inmates who, Gilbert argues, function along quite conservative lines, presenting “politically incorrect” attitudes without provoking any sense of guilt: “Doug, for instance, can give voice to the aggressive misogyny [. . .] because Doug, like the other inmates, performs the dramatic function of a licensed clown who gives audiences permission to laugh without demanding any corrective action” (“Theatre and Cultural Commerce: Louis Nowra's Cosi” 193). These characters reinforce by their madness acceptable guidelines of behaviour: “On a slightly different level, Cosi’s comedy can also be made to function as part of the required moral instruction since the inmates’ uproarious antics often highlight the boundaries between what is acceptable behaviour and what is not” (197). Despite this caveat, though, the “mad” characters in the play, while not romanticised, are perhaps the most sympathetic characters in that, as Thomson argues “The mental patients are certainly damaged, but they have at least dispensed with hypocrisy” (177).

In contrast to the asylum patients are Lewis’s university friend Nick and his girlfriend Lucy. Both of them are Marxists, and have little time for Lewis’s opera:

“You know, Marx thought Mozart was a reactionary shit” (Cosi 14). Nick and Lucy represent desire for change: “Barricades and bombs. Why not? Australians, especially young Australians of my age are getting fed up with our society. We want changes and we want them now!” (18). They place broader, societal concerns over personal ones:

How to understand how capitalism exploits the working class is important. How to stop the war in Vietnam is important. How to make a piece of theatre meaningful is important. After bread, a shelter, equality, health, procreation, money, comes maybe love. Do you think the starving masses of Africa or a Vietnamese peasant thinks about love? Love is an emotional indulgence for the privileged few. (50)

In contrast, Lewis is cynical about major change, viewing it as contrary to Australian character: “The French always believed their own rhetoric, Australians are suspicious of rhetoric” (50). He becomes increasingly focussed on the more “private” concerns of the opera: “It’s about important things like love and fidelity” (50), concerns whose claims to “universality” are to an extent emphasised in the play by their reflections in Lewis’s own life.

Beyond this reflection, the argument is loaded by Nick’s increasingly obvious insensitivity; he mocks Henry’s father’s war medals callously and is uncaring towards the mental patients on the whole, singing “They’re coming to take me away, ha ha, to the funny farm” (41, 69) at inopportune moments. Lucy’s social responsibility is also undermined by her personal infidelities (63). The result is that, as Jim Davidson writes, “Left-wing language has been reduced to Williamsonian simplistics, while Lewis’s girlfriend scarcely provides a feminist perspective” (49).

The Marxists are revealed to be insensitive and selfish, their postulating, as the right would argue, an ideological “mask”. The rebellion of the seventies is rewritten. In Cosi it is Lewis who is the rebel, shaking off the fashionable beliefs of his companions. And it is his “reality”, not their “ideology” that is ultimately validated: “The cynical and ideologically unsound opera about female infidelity, derided as reactionary and irrelevant by the political activists Nick and Lucy, actually mirrors real life with perfect accuracy” (H. Thomson, 177). It could be argued that at least part of the reason for Cosi’s popularity lies in the fact that it taps into discussions about “ideology” versus “reality”, the political versus the personal, the social versus the universal, and the cynicism towards Marxism and feminism which were increasingly part of the discourse of the right in an increasingly conservative Australian political climate.

Despite some comments on the initial production’s length, critical reception was overwhelmingly positive. Russell Walsh described the play as “characterised by a total lack of either aesthetic or ideological pretension”(43). Alison Cotes wrote that “The audience’s initial politically correct reaction-- ‘Is it proper to laugh at mental illness?’-- is soon shown to be small-minded, because the loonies are the ones with the real insights, and it is they who teach their director Lewis, with his half-baked, fresh-from-university idealism, the value of love”(59). Kate Herbert, similarly, wrote that Lewis chose the inmates over his student friends because “At least they are honest loonies”(43). Amanda Ball similarly endorsed the play’s priorities: “They have a war to stop-- he has a play to perform. It is a tribute to the success of Nowra’s highly personal script that we feel he is the one whose priorities are in order”(60). All of these comments appear to endorse the play’s conservative choice of personal over social values. Helen Thomson and Rosemary Neill were more critical of the play’s subplot, although the former still reviewed the play positively (42; 40). Murray Bramwell was the critic most savage on the play’s politics, writing that

Making the staging of the play in 1970 so significant that Lewis has to choose between directing the production or joining the National Vietnam Moratorium march creates what is known in show business as a false dichotomy. I have no trouble believing that Nowra’s student chum was an unpleasant shit but to make him the identikit radical-- directing Brecht, caddishly seducing Lewis’s girlfriend, deriding the gentle humanism of the theatre project-- is reductionist and gratuitous. This is not a benign view of the past, it is a falsification. (“Noises Off” 46)

Cosi aptly demonstrates the growing cynicism toward social change and an outward-looking rather than inward-looking compassion. The play undercuts the arguments of the play’s socialist-leaning characters by presenting them as unsympathetic in comparison to Lewis and the “politically incorrect” inmates, and reinforces the more private, self-centric values of the opera, such as “love” and “fidelity” as more genuine and “real” than “ideological” social concerns.
 
From: Facing Reality: Idealism versus Conservatism in Australian Theatre and Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. PhD Dissertation Ben Payne, BA (Hons).

Cosi mid-range essay


The following student example is a mid-range response from the 2010 Assessment Report.

‘Cosi is more than an entertaining comedy. It reveals the sadness of the lives of the characters.’

Discuss.

Throught 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 ‘sane’ 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 vibrently 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 truely is as we learn that the stories were all lies and what Roy never new 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 trouble gasping the concept of illusion as it isn’t something that she is able to control. During the scene in Cosi where the power goes out Ruth tells the story of her abusive ex-love who would lock her in the cupboard for extended periods of time. This story reveals Ruth’s sadness and the cause for her disorder as the aroma of not being in control of her life and being helpless against her ex-lover has scared her into having an obsession for control in her life. From this point within the play the audience feels sympathy for Ruth as they understand her sadness.

Along with the patients of the asylum we also come to realize the sadness with the life of the protagonist Lewis Riley. We first encounter Lewis as a university drop-out who takes the directing job at the asylum. Lewis ‘lacks direction…in life and only takes the job’ for the money. During the scene where Lewis’ friend Nick comes to help direct is where the audience truely comes to realise the sadness with Lewis’ life as the audience realises that Lewis’ beliefs and values are not genuine and derive from his dependence on his girlfriend Lucy and Nick. We see his political views, views on love and fidelity and what’s important in life are

just mimicking Nick and Lucy’s, which shows the sadness of Lewis’ lack of self and dependence on others. Lewis does redeem himself by the end of the play by finding happiness that he lacked before and finding his identity.

Cosi is more than a comedy. It draws the audience in as they become immersed in the lives of the cast. The revelation of the sadness felt by the characters helps to deepen our connection as we relate to them and see them as imperfect humans life ourselves.



Assessor comments

•A competent essay which provides an accurate response to the topic, dealing in a sometimes superficial way with its main concerns.

• The piece is organised around a discussion of the sadness felt by some of the characters: an approach which is appropriate, but which also results in a somewhat narrow selection of evidence from the play.

• The student shows adequate knowledge of the text through some pertinent description of key events and some close referencing via quotes.

• The student’s expression is generally fluent, although it is marked by slips in spelling and punctuation.

Cosi Revision Quiz

SECTION ONE: WHO SAID THAT?

1. Love is what you feel when you don’t have enough emotion left to hate.

2. The most important thing is to feel you are in control, but still at the same time listening. Are you listening, do you feel you are in control?

3. Barricades and bombs? Why not? Australians, especially young Australians of my age, are getting fed up with our society. We want changes and we want them now!

4. They are normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts.

5. Yes, the more real it is, the more real it is.

6. This Cosi condones the cccorruption of innocence. Women are told to be tramps. Free love. Women are not to be trusted.

7. Couldn’t direct traffic down a one way street.

8. Eat! Get some flesh on your bones.

9. You’re not deaf are you? The last thing we want is a deaf director. So what district? Suburb? Locale?

10. Women are God’s punishment for men playing with themselves.

11. I had to go and see one of the shrinks. They don’t know how to deal with drug users. He called it a ‘crutch’, I said it was a ‘rocket to the stars’. Needless to say, we didn’t get on.

12. I have sex with him and sleep with you.

13. I dropped a ciggie down the toilet.

14. Marvellous. Just marvellous, Lewis….And the cast! Didn’t think it was possible. Came right out of their shells. They blossomed. Blossomed!

15. Its about important things – like love and fidelity.

16. Without this, the world wouldn’t be the same. It would break, like a voice in despair shattering glass.


SECTION TWO: KNOW YOUR FACTS

1. Which character was tied up and locked in a cupboard by her ex-boyfriend?

2. Where is the play set? Be specific, and explain the symbolic significance of the setting.

3. Which opera is performed by the cast, and who is it by?

4. Why is Doug institutionalized?

5. Describe Henry’s view of his parents and what they were like.

6. Describe Nick and his relationship to both Lucy and Lewis.

7. List as many different view of love as you can – think of the views of various characters.

8. Who changes the most in the play? Give reasons for your answer.

9. Give a brief summary of the plot of the opera.

10. Lewis tells us the fate of the characters in the play. List as many as you can remember.

Cosi Love Essay


“Love is not so important nowadays.”

‘Cosi is a play about the importance of love and fidelity regardless of time and place.’ Do you agree?




To get you started

Circle the key words – write definitions (dictionary) or synonyms (Thesaurus) for these words.

Make the prompt as simple as possible, what am I being asked to agree/disagree with?

Draw a continuum, put agree at one end, disagree at the other. Mark in each character on the continuum. Now mark in your view on the continuum.


Introduction- There are four things that should occur in your introduction, they are

• Mention the text/author or a character (You are actually familiar with the text)

• Reword the statement/question , use alternate words for a concept or use an aspect of a concept e.g. Love, you might use ‘trust’ as this is an aspect of love.

• Show your point of view clearly. (How much you agree/disagree.)

• Signpost aspects of the topic that you will discuss in the following paragraphs.

(These four things don’t have to happen in this order.)


Possible introduction:

Lewis’s uncertain assertion about the importance of love early in the play Cosi, does not completely convince himself, nor the audience. We see Lewis’s loyalty and commitment tested in the rapidly changing society of 1970s Australia, and this theme is played out with its misunderstandings, pain and humour in 18th century Naples. Lewis comes to understand the value of honesty and warmth in his growing attachment to his cast and realises his values aren’t shared by Lucy and Nick.

Following paragraphs. Look back at your notes, which quotes draw attention to the issues being referred to in the statement.? How might you include some of these quotes? Which characters will you discuss?

Your paragraphs must contain the following, you may tinker with the style, but these elements must occur in the paragraph.

Topic sentence – a statement that indicates what the paragraph is about.

Expansion or Explanation of the topic sentence (more information)

Evidence- a quote or incident from the text that backs up what you said in the topic sentence.

Link- Link what you have said to the statement/question or link the sentence to what you are going to talk about in the next paragraph.

This will be referred to as the TEEL structure.

In this type of writing, a paragraph should never have less than four sentences. It may have more than four sentences, but it should never have less.

Possible topic sentences- (They don’t link at all. Use as many or few as necessary. Don’t use any if you wish.)

Fidelety, or loyalty to a person or cause, takes many forms in Cosi.

Love is fine for those who find it, but food in your belly and a roof over your head are of far more immediate importance.

Once Guglielmo and Ferrando take on the challenge of examining virtue, the seeds of mistrust are sown.

Henry ferociously guards his father’s memory, while calling into question the values of his ‘temptress’ wife.

Nick is single minded in his desire to ‘radicalise’ the middle classes of Australia.

Although events occur in different times and places, the human need to love and be loved is unchanging.

Love is the cream on the cake, but not a necessity for survival.

Women and men have been unfaithful to each other since time began and this is not likely to change.

Posted by Ms. Ep at 9:30 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Essay questions


Essay questions for you to practice over the revision period

HOW THE AUTHOR CONSTRUCTS MEANING QUESTIONS

1. ‘The play within the play enables the audience to gain a deeper insight into the plight of the characters.’ To what extent do you agree?


2. ‘Nowra uses comedy to challenge our perceptions about mental illness and what it means to be “normal”.’ Discuss

3. Cosi is a play within a play. How does Nowra use this theatrical device to explore his major themes?

4. How does Nowra use theatrical conventions to explore the ideas of reality and illusion?

CHARACTER QUESTIONS

1. “The patients are merely foils to the character of Lewis – it is his transformation that is the focus of the drama.” Discuss this point of view with reference to scenes and lines from the play.


2. How is the character of Lewis central to Cosi?

3. ‘While Lewis may be the play’s protagonist Roy is undoubtedly its star.’ Discuss.

4. ‘We admire Lewis for the moral stance he takes.’ To what extent do you agree?

5. “Working with these people has changed you.” (Lucy)

Lewis is not the same man as he was the beginning of the play. Discuss.

6. ‘Lewis’ involvement in the play transforms him to a remarkable extent.’ Discuss.

USING A CHARACTER TO ILLUSTRATE A THEME

1. ‘Cosi confirms Justin’s inadvertent insight that these are ‘normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts’.’ Do you agree?

2. ‘The depiction of the politically committed characters in Cosi represents a distorted view of the student movement.’ Do you agree?

3. ‘The characters in Cosi suggest that we are all longing for purpose and intimacy in our lives.’ Discuss.

4. ‘The characters in Cosi are simply “normal people who have done extraordinary things.” To what extent do you agree?

5. Both the characters from the “normal world” and the characters from the asylum are driven by the human need for art. Discuss.

6. What is most extraordinary about the characters in the play is their everyday ordinariness. Discuss.

7. Cosi succeeds because we see the characters as people first and patients second. Discuss.

8. ‘Lewis benefits more from the production of Cosi Fan Tutte than the patients he has been hired to direct.’ Do you agree?


DEMONSTRATING AN UNDERSTANDING OF A KEY THEME/IDEA/VALUE

1. ‘Nowra challenges his audience with their own attitudes to madness and addiction.’ Discuss.


2. ‘Cosi demonstrates that most of our attitudes to mental illness are based in  ignorance.’ Do you agree?

3. ‘Nowra challenges his audience with their own stereotypes about madness and addiction.’ Discuss.

4. ‘Amidst the frivolity of Cosi’s comic episodes is a sombre examination of our treatment of mental illness.’ Discuss.

5. Cosi shows us that ‘fairytale endings’ do not reflect real life. How does Nowra’s play show us the complexity of people’s existence?

6. ‘Cosi shows that the desire for art flourishes in the most unlikely of environments.’ Discuss.

7. ‘Nowra examines how political commitment without human empathy is a hollow project.’ Discuss.

8. ‘Creative fulfilment and the richness of an imaginative life are the most effective forms of therapy.’ Do you agree?

9. Cosi shows us that the theatre has the power to transform lives. To what extent do you agree?

10. Cosi Fan Tutti is essentially a misogynistic opera and this is reflected in the depiction of the women in the play. To what extent do you agree?

11. ‘Cosi presents us with the consequences of ‘unresolved conflicts’. Discuss.

12. ‘This play condemns love as “an emotional indulgence for the privileged few.” Discuss.

13. Louis Nowra’s play Cosi questions the authenticity of love’ Discuss

14. ‘Nowra shows that it is the confinement inherent in institutional life that exacerbates the conditions of patients.’ Discuss.

15. Cosi shows us that there is as much madness in the outside world as there is within a mental institution. Discuss.

16. “Love is not so important nowadays.”

17. ‘Cosi is a play about the importance of love and fidelity regardless of time and place.’ Do you agree?
18. “I can live with illusion as long as I know it’s illusion, but this coffee is not real, is it?”
Cosi challenges us to question what is real and what is illusion.’ Discuss.

19. Cosi is a reminder of how vulnerable people are. To what extent do you agree?




20. Cosi demonstrates that only those who are prepared to take risks who achieve success. Discuss


:)


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