This is a study intentionally structured to offer more than one level of interpretation. Primarily it works as an introduction to the major theatrical works by Pirandello addressed to the reader, the student, or the scholar who might want to exploit this volume as a guide towards a deeper understanding of the fundamental themes underlying Pirandello's dramatic masterpieces and besides to grasp the critical, technical and aesthetic issues connected with these works. The scholar who is already familiar with Pirandello's plays will not fail to notice how this study takes into account all those problems connected with these theatrical works which have been at the fore of past and present critical works. Numerous analyses and new interpretative keys are here suggested to aid those interpreters of Pirandello's works towards a better comprehension and consequently a major appreciation of these masterpieces which at times are adapted and modified so shamefully as to vilify their original expressive and artistic thrust. Finally, a great merit of this work is how it underlines the enormous influence exercised by Pirandello and especially by his dramatic works on the culture and literature of the twentieth century, an influence of such force that is by no means exhausted but which seems to hold sway even into the twenty-first century. Umberto Mariani is professor of Italian Literature at Rutgers University in New Jersey (USA). Besides his teaching activities Mariani performs intense research work on Italian and American literature and has numerous publications and translated works from Italian into English. In 1996 he has published for SEI Per un Manzoni piu vero. Since 1980 he acts as co-director of the "The Italian Quarterly" and he is also editor of the review "NEMLA. Italian Studies".