By Oksana Pavlov

Italian Renaissance
Late 1300s to about the 1600s
Period of great cultural change and
Transition between Medieval and Early
Modern Europe
Rekindled interest in Greek and Roman

Two form of comedy in Italy: Commedia erudite  Learned comedy  Private performances Commedia dell’ Arte  Popular comedy  Professional and open to the public .

Commedia dell'arte "comedy of professional artists" "comedy of humors" Improvised Comedy 1550 .1700 most popular between 1575 and 1650 .

Contents of Commedia dell’ Arte Improvisation Masked fools Acrobatic tricks Intrigue plots Satire Music .

Its beginnings: ?? Before 16th century not much is known Fragments from letters and diaries indicate its existence before the 16th century First mentioned in history in the 1560s Two playwrights of Roman comedies are credited for influencing Commedia dell’ Arte: Titus Maccius Plautus: 254 BC – 184BC Publius Terentius Afer (Terence): --159 BC .

Place & Performance  Drum announces the actors’ arrival to a city  Performances held almost anywhere:  In town squares or at courts  Indoors or outdoors  On improvised stages or in permanent theaters Traveling troupe’s makeshift stage .

Themes Adultery Jealousy Old age Love .

details differed at every performance .Scripts Rough storyline: summarization of the situations. complications and the outcome Also called scenario or canvas Actors perform spontaneously by improvising their dialogues Thus.

Actors The heart of Commedia dell’ arte and the only essential element Usually 10-12 actors per troupe 7-8 male. thus each actor must be quick and witty to respond appropriately . 3-4 female One actor rarely played more than one character Performances were spontaneous.

masks or props such as slapstick  Divided into 3 categories:  Lovers (Innamorati)  Masters  Servants (Zanni) .Stock Characters  The same characters appeared in every play  The most essential part of Commedia  Identified by their costumes.

play an instrument or recite poetry  Lust.Lovers (Innamorati)  Most realistic roles  Young and handsome  Did not wear masks  Dressed in latest fashions  Were children of the masters  Come in obvious pairs  Masculine and feminine versions of the same name  I.e. and little sense were usually their characteristics Ottavio . romance. vanity. Flavio and Flavia or Ottavio and Ottavia  Dressed in similar colors  Often required to sing.

Masters  Pantalone  Elderly Venetian merchant and the father of one of the lovers  Obsessed with money  Mean and miserable  Costume: tight-fitting red vest. a black ankle-length coat. and a scraggly gray beard . a soft. brimless cap. red breeches and stockings. soft slippers. a brown mask with a large hooked nose.

Masters  Dottore  Pantalone’s friend or rival  Possessed a high profession such as lawyer or doctor  Loved to show off his “supposed wisdom” through his speeches in Latin  In reality. was gullible and easily tricked  Dressed in academic cap and gown of the time .

sword. but over time transformed into braggart and coward  Boasted of his prowess in love and war  Costume: a cape. and feathered headdress  Typically an unwelcome  suitor to one of the young women .Masters  Capitano  Originally was a lover.

or Flautino  Pulcinello .Servants (Zanni) 2-4 per troupe—at least one clever and one stupid Most prominent are:  Fantesca (female maid)  La Ruffiana  Cantarina and Ballerina  Arlecchino (Harlequin)  Male servant. usually went by the name Brighella. Mezzetino. Scapino.

but for the most part their job was to sing. either the mother or a village gossiper  Whore  Shady  Cantarina and Ballerina often took part in the comedy. and ready for intrigue  Had her own affair while assisting the mistress with hers  La Ruffiana  An old woman. witty. or play music.Servants  Fantesca (female maid)  Normally young. dance. .

he soon became the most popular  Was both cunning and stupid. a stunning acrobat and dancer  Could usually be found in the middle of any intrigue  Illiterate. and a slapstick . green. a rakish hat above a black mask. but pretends to read  Costume: evolved from a suit with irregularly placed multicolored patches into one with a diamond-shaped red. and blue pattern.Servants  Arlecchino (Harlequin)  Also known as: Truffaldino and Trivellino  Originally of minor importance.

seductive. intrigue. or Flautino  Harlequin’s partner  Thrives on double dealings. and often cruel  Costume: mask with a hooked nose and moustache. and foul play  Cynical liar and a thief—would do anything for money  Sleazy. and often cruel  Witty. usually went by the name Brighella. a jacket and trousers ornamented with a green braid . Scapino.Servants  Another male servant. Mezzetino. libidinous.

a humped back. and wore a pointed cap  Cruel bachelor who chased pretty girls  Ancestor of the English puppet Punch .Servants  Pulcinello  A Neopolitan  Had various functions  Servant  Host of an inn  Merchant  Had a huge hooked nose.

Lazzi Stage business Humorous interjections which had nothing to do with the play itself such as: Humorous remarks Acrobatics Juggling Wrestling .

Lazzi Each actor has a notebook filled with well-rehearsed comic action such as: Sententious remarks Figures of speech Love discourses Rebukes .

Lazzi Used to: Fill up time Occasionally amuse the audience Create a change of pace .

Lazzi Different forms of Lazzi: Lazzo of… Fear Weeping and laughing Knocking at the door Fight .

it became popular in other European countries Moliere—French playwright during 17th century Punch and Judy show Shakespeare’s plays such as “The Tempest” The silent treatment of mime Beaumarchais’ Le Barbier de Seville  Innamorati of the Count and Rosine  The zanni Brighella is Figaro .Influence of Commedia dell’ Arte         By 1600s.

Robert J. • Chaffee. The Essential Theatre.html • • • •   Commedia dell’>   Claudon. 2003.davidclaudon. David.commediadell-arte. A Thumbnail History of Commedia Dell’ Arte. Marvin T. < http://www. http://www. Brockett. New York: Benjamin Blom. Judith. • • . and Oscar G. 2000. Italian Comedy in the 20 Sep. Judith Chaffee’s Commedia Website. Winifred. 2006. United Kingdom: Thomson Wadsworth.wikipedia. 15 Oct.References • Ball. Wikipedia. The Commedia Dell’ Arte. /Commedia_dell%27arte • •   Herrick. Inc. 1964. 1966. http://en. London: University of Illinois Press.

End of Show! Thank you for your attention .