The Theater: Chessboard of Fate

THE RULES OF THE GAME

by LUIGI PIRANDELLO

As Athena sprang full-grown from the brow of Zeus, much of 20th century drama sprang from the mind of Luigi Pirandello. His plays are intellectual position papers outlining the dominant themes of dramatists to come—alienation, absurdity, metaphysical paradox, and an almost eerie psychological portraiture. Since The Rules of the Game is an early Pirandello play, dating from 1919, these themes appear in relatively embryonic form. In some ways, Rules most nearly resembles the young Pirandello's naturalistic short stories, set against the backdrop of his birthplace, Sicily. Like them, it evolves along what might be...

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