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illustration Pirandellian



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Proper name, 20th century


Describing drama in which actors become inseparable and indistinct from the characters that they play.


Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the works of Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936), Italian dramatist and poet.

Examples of Pirandellian in a sentence

"The experimental play mixed fiction and reality in a truly Pirandellian manner."

"Not all audiences respond favorably to the Pirandellian move of merging characters with the real-life identities of the actors who play them."

About Pirandellian

“Pirandellian” is based on the proper name of Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello, plus the suffix “–ian.”

Did you Know?

“Pirandellian” is a word based on Italian playwright and author Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936), best known for writing challenging plays that were the foundation for a movement called the Theater of the Absurd. Plays by Pirandello (who won the 1934 Nobel Prize in literature) drew attention to the relationship between the characters and the actors who played them. In these plays, actors often portrayed characters that partly included the identities of the actors themselves. As a result, “Pirandellian” became a term to describe the dramatic merging of actors and their characters, such as when actor and writer Larry David plays a fictional character named “Larry David” on the hit show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

illustration Pirandellian

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