A Critical View Of Zastrozzi

  • Category: Theater
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A Critical View of Zastrozzi

        After watching the play Zastrozzi I decided that it was very well prepared. The actors did
an excellent job as well as all of the unseen workers. The play had a very clear beginning and end
but the middle seemed a little vague to me. There were so many things going on that the middle
was hard for me to tell apart from the rest of the play's body. I was, however, able to find the six
different elements that make a play. To me, the plot seemed to be Zastrozzi's quest to capture
Verezzi and in this way he was able to keep himself preoccupied. There were six characters in
this play; however, Zastrozzi seemed to be the one who pushed the theme. I say this because to
me, the theme of the play is that people have to have something to preoccupy themselves, and
Zastrozzi seemed to be the one who was most affected by this. The language, music, and the
spectacle are all visual or audible parts of the play which affect the way the audience sees the play,
and in the play Zastrozzi they allowed the audience to use their imagination more freely than they
would be able to without these elements.

        While critiquing this play the first thing that I must ask is what was the playwright trying
to say with it. After watching the play I concluded that the playwright was trying to say that
people need something to preoccupy themselves in order to maintain their sanity. This was shown
through Zastrozzi and Verezzi. Zastrozzi used his quest to catch and kill Verezzi as the one thing
that kept him preoccupied. He had chased after Verezzi for three years before he finally caught
up with him; however, after he caught up with and captured Verezzi he realized, that if he killed
Verezzi, that he would have nothing to keep him from going insane from his nightmares.

He therefor allowed Verezzi to escape and gave him a certain number of days to run so that it
would be harder to find him and he would therefor be preoccupied for a longer time. Verezzi;
however, had nothing to preoccupy himself with. All he ever did was wonder from place to place
and imagine that he people or followers who were coming to him for guidance. Verezzi would
have been dead much earlier because he lived in his own little insane world where no one wanted
to hurt or kill him, but the only thing that kept him alive and out of Zastrozzi's reach was his
friend Victor. Victor is another example of someone who was preoccupied in this play because he
was always trying to keep his promise to Verezzi's father by keeping him on the run and out of
Zastrozzi's reach.

        The second thing that I must ask is how well did the playwright express or say that people
need to be preoccupied. I believe that the playwright said this very well. As I watched this play, I
learned that Zastrozzi was the master thief of Europe and during this time he looted homes, killed,
and robbed many people. This had kept Zastrozzi preoccupied for many years until Verezzi and
his father killed Zastrozzi's mother. After this happened Zastrozzi ended his terrorism of Europe
and began a quest to capture and kill Verezzi as punishment for the death of his mother. This new
quest of Zastrozzi took him on a three chase which became his new preoccupation. During this
time Zastrozzi chased Verezzi from one town to the next and he killed all of the artists that he
came into contact with because he said that they did not tell the truth. He said that they painted
their version of the truth wether it was correct or not and presented it to the public as if it were
the real truth, so in a way this was a preoccupation that he fulfilled as he traveled through towns
on his quest for Verezzi. After he caught Verezzi in the end he realized that if he killed Verezzi

he would no longer have anything to keep him preoccupied and he would then fall victim to his
nightmares. He therefor allowed Verezzi to escape him so that he could remain preoccupied for a
longer time.

        Victor was another person who seemed to be preoccupied throughout the play because he
had to keep Verezzi out of Zastrozzi's reach. He had originally been preoccupied by being a
preacher. He had been a preacher for an unknown number of years and finally ended this
preoccupation when Verezzi's dying father made him promise to keep Verezzi safe because
Verezzi and his father had killed Zastrozz's mother and Verezzi's father knew that Zastrozzi was
seeking revenge. Victor was able to keep his promise to Verezzi's father for three years and after
the three years Zastrozzi finally caught up with them. Victor did not allow Zastrozzi to get to
Verezzi easily because he had broken his oath to God and he wanted to try to keep his promise to
Verezzi's father. Therefor, he first tried to reason with Zastrozzi by telling him that Verezzi was
insane and that he did not need to kill him because he could no longer harm anyone else.
Zastrozzi; however, did not buy into this so he sent Matilda to kill Verezzi and he sent Bernardo
to kill Victor. They both failed and Zastrozzi decided that he must take care of Verezzi himself.
He went to an abandoned prison to think and at this point he was again confronted by Victor.
Here Victor challenged Zastrozzi to a sword fight in a final effort to keep his promise to Verezzi's
father. This is where Victor's preoccupation ended because during the fight Zastrozzi killed him
and he was therefor no longer able to protect Verezzi and he no longer had a need to be

        The third and final thing I must ask is was the fact that people have a need to be
preoccupied worth saying. In my opinion it was because as I watched the play I saw all of the
ways, long and short term, that the characters kept themselves preoccupied. I also began to think
about and realize all of the ways that I try to keep myself preoccupied on a day to day basis. Two
things that I use to preoccupy myself on a day to day basis are school and work, but when I am
not doing any of those I usually just sit around until I nearly go crazy trying to find something to
do or actually find something to do. I also thought about how we, as human beings, try to have
something to keep ourselves preoccupied from one day to the next, or perhaps we may make
plans for something in the future which will preoccupy us when that time comes. An example of
making future plans may be planning a trip somewhere or planning an activity or event to attend.
I realized that if we do not have something to keep us preoccupied we either become lazy and
wither away to nothing or we go completely insane trying to find something to preoccupy us.
There are those of us who are just like Zastrozzi and we are continually preoccupied or we nearly
complete something that has preoccupied us for a very long time and we do not complete it
because we want to be preoccupied. Then there are those of us who are like Verezzi and have
nothing that we can preoccupy ourselves with or nothing that we want to preoccupy ourselves
with and we go insane from a lack of preoccupation.

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