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The Stock Characters of Commedia Dell'Arte in Modern Enterta
Transcript of The Stock Characters of Commedia Dell'Arte in Modern Enterta
This Elder is know as the bumbling professor. Often he is a blowhard idiot parading around as a well-learned man. Dottore can be a scientist, lawyer, physician, linguist, or any academic type of class. Often he is a father of one of the Innamorati. He leads with his belly into a room and is motivated by food. Is known for being as stingy with money as Pantalone, but because he is broke. His masked is identifiable by the vast forehead and large, bulbous nose
He is the large, bold, and above all, head of the the crafty servants. Brighella is the scheming henchman who only seeks to better himself. He serves as a minor villian to the plot, and usually serves one of the Elders.
He is a master of lies and deciet. Brighella tries to outdo all other servants, when really all he is trying to do is better his own social standing. His mask is identifiable by its hard eyes, large nose, and big cheeks.
What is Commedia Dell'Arte?
Around 1550 a new type of alternative theatre arose in Italy and drew its roots from the classical plays of ancient Greece and Rome. The works of Plautus and Terrence resurged with newfound popularity during the Italian Renaissance.
The Stock Characters of Commedia Dell'Arte
in Modern Entertainment
The Young Lovers
What made Commedia Dell'Arte Different?
Incorporation of Masks
Physically similar to Mime
Improvised stories called "Scenarios"
Use of "Lazzi"
Use of "Grammelot"
Easy to distinguish stock characters
An improvised physical skit or dialogue that happens repeatedly in different scenarios. The circumstances and "words" may change, but the intent remains the same.
A breed of gibberish that all the characters speek.
Used mimicry and mime to convery the intent
of what was being said, so that anyone
from anywhere could understand
the story being told.
The young lovers were "the plot" to most scenarios in
Commedia Dell'Arte. The story revolved around getting
them together against all odds. They were supposed to be beautiful and young looking, dressed in the latest fashion of the time, and unlike most the other characters never wore masks.
Used a fan as a prop
Had very flowy movement based in ballet
Often vain and concerned with looks
Spoke in musical tones
Very sensitive and expressive of love
Used handkerchief or flowers as prop
Wore mascara with the Innamorata
Very heavily made up with multiple beauty marks
Sometimes a young soldier or squire
The Elders in Commedia Dell'Arte existed to prevent the Innamorati from being together. They function as the "obstacle" to be overcome in the plot.
This is the grumpy, horny old man who wants the young Innamorata to himself. He is often miserly, irritable, and obsessed with money. Often Pantalone is represented as a businessman or merchant. He is paranoid in his belief that others are out to steal his fortune, but rarely is it the case. There is usually a cod-piece or phallic device between his legs and his mask is notable for its lined forehead and eyes, and hooked crone-like nose.
A sucessful pantalone
Example Lazzi of Dottore:
Dottore claims to know an ailment of another character. Is obviously wrong.
Accidentally takes own medicine.
Schemes to appear better off than Pantalone
Example Lazzi of Pantalone:
Pantalone is unable to perform a task due to his bent back
Attempts to apear young and firtle, but is impotent.
Farts at inopportune time.
The "Braggart Soldier". He claims to be a war hero or captain in the army. He is incredibly handsome. He is a brave man capable of giving the Innamorata all she deserves in life. He is a sham.
Capitano wears extravagant clothing and loves having the limelight. However when pressed, he is a coward and a liar. Often he functions to be "demasked" by the plot and revealed as he truly is. His intentions are always self focused.
Capitano's mask is marked by its hard eyebrows and long phallic nose.
Bonus Points for his name
Example Lazzi of Capitano:
He gives a very detailed destiption of how he would defeat an enemy, then a very poor why reason he can't do it now.
Introduces himself often and has a unnecessarily long name.
Attempts to stop two other characters from fighting and gets beaten up himself.
Also known as the "Crafty Servants", the Zanni seeked to aid their masters, whomever they may be. They range from resourceful and witty, to completely inept or selfish. The Zanni are the "movers" of the plot, their actions either further the goals of the Innamorati or hinder the Elders (even when trying to help).
Bonus point for the show
Bonus point for her name
Bonus Points for name
Bonus points for her name
Bonus Points for name of her hometown
Bonus points for the name of his monkey
She is the center of the ever-turning wheel. Observant, gossipy, dove-like, and flirty, Columbina is the smartest person in the scenario. She works for Innamorata, and in so works to drive the plot of the scenario to its conclusion; the uniting of the Innamorati.
Often she wore an outfit with a low-cut neckline for obvious sex appeal. She used this appeal to toy her way into social circles of the other characters. Often Columbina's prop is a basket. Her mask, if she wore one, usually only covered her eyes.
Example Lazzi of Columbina:
She uses her knowledge of her master to finish his/her sentences, often to her advantage.
She arrives before her name is called.
When things get crazy, her voice rises above the others to calm the frenzy.
Bonus Points for Name
Example Lazzi of Brighella:
He sells something to another character whch they already own.
He blames anything bad that happens on a different character.
Quickly makes up lies on the spot in any situation.
Bonus Points for his name
He is the fan favorite of Commedia, the bumbling sidekick himself. Arlecchino was often the bumbling servant of one of the elders. When given a task, he is sure to mess it up. If he hatches a plan, it is sure to fail.
Alecchino moves in sommersaults and slides, all while holding a "slapstick" with which he is often on the abusing end of. Very quick physically, but slow mentally. Is often lusting after any female that crosses his path.
He is the original Harlequinn, and his mask is usually marked by a wart, round cheeks, and open eyes.
Example Lazzi of Arlecchino:
Uses other characters for shields regularly. Sticks head through opening in arms or between legs.
Likes to scream when injured, and continue screaming until knocked out or distracted.
Likes to add own thoughts to messages or orders from master
If given a prop, he completely misuses it.