Commedia dellarte• Commedia dellArte is a form of theater characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century.• It was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios.
Italian theater historians, such as RobertoTessari, Ferdinando Taviani, and LucianoPinto believe commedia developed as aresponse to the political and economiccrisis of the 14th century and, as aconsequence, became the first entirelyprofessional form of theater.
• The performers played on outside, temporary stages, and relied on various props (robbe) in place of extensive scenery.
The better troupes were patronized by nobility, and duringcarnival period might be funded by the various towns or cities, in which they played.
• Extra funds were received by donations (essentially passing the hat) so anyone could view the performance free of charge.• Key to the success of the commedia was the ability of the performers to travel to achieve fame and financial success.
The characters of thecommedia usuallyrepresent fixed [social]types, stock characters,such as foolish old men,devious servants, ormilitary officers full offalse bravado.
Arlecchino is themost popularlyknown of the zannior comic servantcharacters from theItalian Commediadellarte and itsdescendant, theHarlequinade.
Origins• One of the origins postulated for the modern Harlequin is Hellequin, a stock character in French passion plays.• Hellequin, a black-faced emissary of the devil, is said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell.
• illustrations of Arlecchino have only been dated as far back as 1572• some say the name comes from Dantes Inferno, XXI, XXII and XXIII; one of the devils in Hell having the name Alichino.
The Harlequincharacter may havebeen based on orinfluenced by theZanni archetypewho, although aslow thinker, wasacrobatic andnimble.
Harlequins distinctivemotley costume may bea stylized variant ofZannis plain whitegarb, designed toreflect the ad-hocpatching necessary toprevent the garmentsdegradation.
He is typically cast as theservant of an innamoratoor vecchio much to thedetriment of the plans ofhis master.Arlecchino often had alove interest in the personof Colombina, or in olderplays any of the Soubretteroles, and his lust for herwas only superseded byhis desire for food andfear of his master.
Pulcinella is a classicalcharacter thatoriginated in thecommedia dellarte ofthe 17th century andbecame a stockcharacter in Neapolitanpuppetry.
The name• His name, from Italian pulcino (chick), refers to his distinguishing feature: a long beaklike nose.• According to another version, Pulcinella derived from the name of Puccio dAniello, a peasant of Acerra, who was portrayed in a famous picture attributed to Annibale Carracci, and indeed characterized by a long nose.
He’s always dressed in white with a black mask(hence conciliating the opposites of life anddeath)
Pulcinella often carries around macaroni and awooden spoon. His traditional temperament isto be mean, vicious, and crafty and his mainmode of defense is to pretend to be too stupidto know whats going on.
The story• The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence.• It is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio, an animated marionette, and his poor father, a woodcarver named Geppetto.
• The first half was originally a serial between 1881 and 1883, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883.• Pinocchios contains the hard realities of the need for food, shelter, and the basic measures of daily life.• The setting of the story is in fact the very real Tuscan area of Italy as a background.
The storys Italianlanguage is pepperedwith Florentine dialectfeatures, such as theprotagonistsFlorentine name.
Collodi originally had notintended the novel aschildrens literature; theending was unhappy andallegorically dealt withserious themes. In theoriginal, serializedversion, Pinocchio dies agruesome death—hanged for hisinnumerable faults, atthe end of Chapter 15.
At the request of hiseditor, Collodi addedchapters 16–36, in whichthe Fairy with TurquoiseHair rescues Pinocchioand eventuallytransforms him into areal boy, when heacquires a deeperunderstanding of himself,making the story suitablefor children.