Perceiving Reality Through Art Essay

1295 words - 6 pages

All forms of art contain lies in some manner or another. This is so because humans often only regard their reality as the truth and all other realities as lies. Many refer to art as a reflection of life, while the counterclaim that life reflects art receives equal support. In either case, one of the aspects is “true”, while the other is “a lie”. This is such because the piece that is a reflection of the other is the one that is a lie; if art is reflecting life, and then art is a lie about life, whereas if life is reflecting art, then life is a lie about art. To exemplify this concept, it is easiest to consider a mirror. If I was to stand in front of a mirror, I know I am real thanks to sense ...view middle of the document...

While on stage, the actors are essentially lying. This is so because they are for the length of the performance being someone that we assume they are not and never have been or will be. Most common types of theatre practiced for all of recorded history include actors taking on the role of a fictitious character and learning lines that the author of the play wrote, who the actor had no part in composing, but only in delivering. For this reason, not only is the character portrayal a lie, such as physical characteristics and name, but also the emotion and thoughts of the character as expressed through spoken word are lies. If the actor has influence upon the composing of the script of a play and the designing of a character that they are going to portray, then the theatrical piece is not as much of a lie because the emotion of the actor personally will cause subjectivity in the play. It is nearly impossible in human nature to restrict and inhibit emotions from influencing thought, and therefore, a character created by, scripted by, and portrayed by an actor, will likely resemble the actor himself.
In general, theatre is a lie to the audience, because each actor is only seen onstage playing a role for a short period and then may never revisit it again in the future. However, the lie for the actor of the role they are portraying slowly becomes truth. Through the repetitive rehearsal process, the actor eases into a role, and turns this lie into the truth for the time of rehearsal and performance of the play. In this manner, the lie of theatre does not necessarily bring the performer closer to the truth, but instead substitutes its own truth temporarily for an actor. The best actors usually “get in character,” or uphold the lie for the entire period of rehearsal, even while not on stage, and often “get in character” to practice lines on their own, when not associated with the a theater at all, during their free time. Most actors relinquish this temporary truth after the stint of a show is over, although some have problems with letting go of the theatrical lie to return to their own truth, as Heath Ledger apparently had, leading to his suicide.
Throughout all of high school, I have been an active member of my school’s theatre department, participating in many school productions of plays of various genres. In each of the plays that I have acted in, I have gradually increased my superficial importance, progressing from being an extra as a freshman to having a leading role as a senior. Through each of the very diverse characters I have portrayed, I have learned something different about myself. This is possible because I am a...

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