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Cosi - The Idiotic and the Braindead

            Cosi is a play that not only had slapstick comical humor but it had the characters represent a microcosm of the issues present at the time. We saw Cosi at Curtin University this expanded our understanding of the play. The play Cosi is about a group of mental patients who long to create Mozart's play Cosi Fan Tutte this plot is intertwined with irony and humor. Values and attitudes of the author, Louis Nowra, were expressed in the underlying themes and issues. The characterization clearly conveyed the themes and issues while non-verbal aspects such as costumes and settings in the play created a surreal dream world that allowed us to fall into the trance that they created as it would be easier to relate to the themes and issues.
             Characterization in the play allowed us to effortlessly analyze the themes and issues present. The character Nick does not have a big part of the play although it does allow Louis Nowra to present several issues in the society. Nick is cynical; he is incapable of sympathy. He is so cynical in fact that the suffering of others is nothing but a cheap source of entertainment, possibly a sign of sadistic behavior. On page 77 he starts singing to the mental patients, "They"re coming to take me away ha, ha, to the funny farm." His animosity seems condescending to Lewis who proceeds to punch him to the ground. This represents the Xenophobia in the society at the time. The lack of empathy that Nick displayed towards the mental patients is reminiscent of the racist look of the "blacks" at that time. There are no references to groups that promote radicalism against discrimination to their people such as the group "The Black Panthers." .
             Another character in this satirical play is Doug. He has a problem of pyromania, because of his character flaw he is probably the most dangerous and antagonizing character in this plot. The issues present in the character are one of two, homophobia and the American Government napalming innocent Vietnamese.

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