‘Cosi’ written by Louis Nowra is a play that, explores the themes of love and fidelity, illusion and Delusion and identity and madness all explored through the events of the main character Lewis and the mental patients he works with. Lewis initially directs the play ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ for the money but finds himself gaining more than just money as the play concludes. Throughout the play Lewis is able to grow and learn as a person through the play.
This includes Lewis gaining new views on love and fidelity, His growth in confidence throughout the play, all while he gains a new positive respect and view on the mentally ill. Initially in the play Lewis’s feelings and attitude towards the mentally ill are highly negative but as he begins to work with them through directing the play he begins to see them without his previous mindset.
“just leave” he says to himself on context of directing the “nuts” However Lewis progresses he starts to see them as normal humans, this is confirmed when near the end Act 1 where Nick says “they’re nuts” and Lewis defends the patients. Initially Lewis believes that the patients are dangerous and if they forgot to take their medication they could “go berserk” however as the play progresses Lewis’ views are shown to change the more time he spends rehearsing with the patients.
This indicates his change in character and his dedication to helping those that he once viewed very negatively. By the conclusion of the play it is evident that Lewis has gained knowledge and new outlooks in regards towards the mentally ill and through the directing of the play Lewis was able to break past the stereotypical opinions and realize “They are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts. ” The most important of all themes shown through ‘Cosi’ is definitely Love and Fidelity.
Lewis begins the play with really no opinion towards love and fidelity other than what he had heard from Lucy, but as the play continues and advances towards the conclusion of the play Lewis learns and forms is own opinion that love and fidelity is actually important in any day and age. When Lewis is first asked about fidelity by one of the patients he responds with “Love is not so important nowadays” this is shows that he doesn’t really seem to have too strong opinion on the matter, and that it is of very low importance as well as he is following social norm and mainly influenced by the opinion of Lucy that fidelity is old fashioned.
However, through great amounts of work with the patients and exposure to their thoughts and views on fidelity creates great insight for Lewis. Lewis gradually gains a new perspective on fidelity, which is greatly influenced by Henry when he says “My mother only loved my father, no one else. He died in Korea and she loved no one else but him. ” Showing that even during war times people still can find time for love and that it is not just “an emotional indulgence for the privileged few” this also inspires Lewis to end his relationship with Lucy when he states “without love the word wouldn’t mean much.
” Lewis begins the play with a very shy and introvert personality, presenting that he is lacking self-confidence. These characteristics are straight away evident within the opening scene of the play, when the play describes Lewis as “fumbling in the darkness”. This is suggesting that Lewis is has no great strive to do things in life and lacks motivation.
This is also extremely obvious to the reader when Lewis at the beginning of the play when he suggests “we could do the Exception and the Rule” but then is bullied by the other patients particurly Roy into changing the play the patients will perform to ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’, however as the play progresses the patients begin to get on Lewis’ nerves, teaching him to take control of situations gain confidence in himself not only to direct but to have his own. Nowra shows this in the very last line of the play where he states to himself “time to turn out the lights” and the theatre goes black.