The Obscured Lines
In the play “ The Real Inspector Hound”, Tom Stoppard blends the fabric of three separate realities into an obscure yet seamless flow of events. Stoppard uses the invisible “fourth wall” as a barrier between the realities of the actors and the critics, which is broken from time to time confusing the once adamantine rules of reality. In this paper I am going to demonstrate how Stoppard blurs the lines between reality and illusion.
The first reality that is established in the play is that of the audience who purchased tickets to see the actual play. Immediately upon their arrival the audience is perplexed by the oddity before them, “The first thing is that the audience appear to be confronted by their own reflection in a huge mirror, Impossible” (Tom Stoppard, 1326). They are considered to be actuality for they are truly there watching the play inside a play and do not coexist on the same plane as the critics and actors who make up their own realities. Though they are there of themselves and as themselves they are drawn into the illusion that is helped created by the giant mirror, that allows them to slip out of actuality and get lost in the fantasy of the play completely trusting in its set state of fiction.
The second reality is that of the critics; Moon, Birdboot, Puckeridge, and Higgs. They are separated in between the realities of the audience who are actual yet nonexistent, and the reality of the play that is being performed. Though they are separated by only seats from the actual audience, the critics are separated from the actors by only the invisible fourth wall that defines the boundaries of each reality respectively. Even in the early scenes of the play Stoppard blends the dialogue of the second and third reality creating slight confusion but for the time the hold their respective paths. Simon is an actor who is stating lines while Moon and Birdboot talk in their seats, “Simon: Hello? Moon: I wonder if it’s...