Dario Fo Cant Pay Wont Pay & Accidental Death Of A

1021 words - 4 pages

Dario Fo uses situations to create comedy and reveal his political convictions, but the characters he creates can be just as integral to the purpose of the play. This is so for 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist' and 'Trumpets and Raspberries', where the use of the characters of the maniac and Agnelli respectively, the comedy and political undertones are effectively conveyed. Quite a major component of these plays, however does rely on situations and situational comedy for its momentum.In 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist', the maniac is the chief device of farce and satire, and even slapstick. The maniac was created from classical origins from the template of the Jongleur. This character would hide behind the farcical, nonsensical mask of a fool and proceed to make scathing, satirical attacks on authority figures, with this mask as his protection. The projection of the mask makes him a device of comedy, while he is also able to reveal Fo's political convictions.Through the maniac, Fo satirises the police. In the opening scene, the maniac burns papers in a police station which is suggestive of the reputation of the Italian Police for burning files and manipulating or destroying evidence. The combination of farce and satire in this character again reveals a great degree of incompetence in the police structure, and again the manipulation, when he convinces the police to rewrite their statement again. The re-enactment of the events surrounding the anarchist's death brought out huge discrepancies, showing the dishonesty which is present in the system.The system is also revealed to be violent through slapstick, a situational form of comedy which is largely driven on by the maniac. The maniac slaps and kicks the police and has them falling over each other on numerous occasions, and despite being ridiculous, this stage violence echoes the violence inherent in the system. Through the case of the anarchist, the police justify their violent actions by stating that 'its just one of the tricks of the trade we police use to get our prisoner to confess', as though it were acceptable. The maniac then acts as the social voice saying 'that these methods' are cruel and unjust. Through the maniac this form of comedy and political expression is achieved, through a character both of Fo's ambitious are satisfied.Finally in 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist', the maniac, through another situational device, mistaken identity. Fo creates the dramatic irony that he uses to satirise the class system. The dramatic irony comes when the audience knows that the judge to whom the police are cowarring is really the maniac, which creates the humour. Through this mistaken identity, someone, who comes of a class lower than the police officials in both wealth and status is able to adopt a power position on stage and by manipulating and ridiculing his social superior, creates a great shift in the power dynamics of the scene. This shift shows the audience how ludicrous the class system...

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