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Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters

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Emily Gannon

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters

Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters
The Characters
What are "stock characters?"
Characters who are pulled from the "stock room" of characters
Characters who recur across time and genres
Why are we doing a PowerPoint on stock characters anyway?
Stock characters are a type of archetype
In literature, an archetype is a recurring symbol, character type, plot, setting, or theme universally repeated throughout time periods & cultures.
Archetypes play a very important part in myths
We will be reading a myth for our next unit
Insolent (disrespectful in an arrogant way), dumb but shrewd (good at assessing situations & people & using these to his advantage), opportunistic, athletic, acrobatic
Often a servant who tries to please his master & win a maiden
Modern "translation" of the Harlequin: Barney from HIMYM, The Weasley Twins from Harry Potter
Taken from notes written by Dr. Dana Smith of Truman State University
Mischievous, plotting, insinuating (hint at something bad in an indirect way), musician, spontaneous, & inventive
Often a servant but very calculating for his own ends
Modern "translation": Gollum from LoTR, Bugs Bunny
Usually disabled, often violent, few morals, loud, brash (confident in his abilities), mean
Seducer of women
Modern "translation": Buster Bluth from Arrested Development, Dr. House from House
Trustworthy, simple, honest, gentle, loves to cry
Accepts the blame for everything
Modern "translation": Smithers from The Simpsons, Michael Bluth from Arrested Development
Old father
Greedy, conniving, self-important, usually stupid
Likes to control everyone around him
Wants to get more money or win a young maiden
Modern "translation": Darth Vader from Star Wars, Prof. Farnsworth from Futurama
Dull, pedantic (unimaginative), overly proud of his knowledge but actually stupid about life
Often a lawyer, teacher, or philosopher, too (later could be a minister or a puritan)
Modern "translation": "Doc" Brown from Back to the Future, Professor Farnsworth & Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama
A military man, braggart, confident, domineering (pushes people around), loud-mouthed, & insolent
Wants to win the young maiden with boasts
Modern "translation": Zap Branigan from Futurama, Captain Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean
Female lover
The "ingenue" (a pure, virginal, naive woman)
Gallant (brave), well-mannered, coy (shy flirting), quarrelsome
Disdains the advances of men who are not Inamorato
Modern "translation": Nala from Lion King, Arwen from LoTR
Playful, confident, outspoken, often lusty & earthy
Occasionally involved in intrigue to insure the lover's union
Modern "translation": Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds, Robin from HIMYM
A gossip
An old woman
Usually a matchmaker or yenta (Yiddish for an old gossip)
Modern "translation": Mrs. O'Brien from Downton Abbey, matchmaker from Mulan
How do these characters relate to archetypes & streotypes?
Stock characters are a type of archetype
Stereotypes about people are often used by writers to create stock characters
Male lover
In love with the idea of being in love
Usually not a well-developed character
Often the hero of the story
Modern "translation": George Michael from Arrested Development, Aaron from Mean Girls
Full transcript