Commedia Del'Arte. Character Analysis and Traits of Columbina, Isabella, Arlecchino and Lelio.

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Columbina is the perky maid of the 'Old Man', Pantalone. She is better dressed than the male servants as she is also a lady's maid. She usually wears a knee length dress and an apron. The colouring of her clothes can be different in different acts, depending on her relationships with the characters and the scenario. She can be in a similar scheme to Arlecchino (where she is sometimes known as Arlecchina with similar diamonds and triangles), or if she is assigned to a rival family of Arlecchino's, she can be in that scheme. In cases where she is an independent character, she can be in blacks and whites in the spirit of a French Maid.

Columbina does not usually wear a mask but sometimes wears one covering only her eyes. Her
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The lovers are in love with themselves being in love. They love each other, but are more preoccupied with being seen as lovers. They often feign mild hatred. She is extremely aware of being watched and plays with the audience for sympathy in their plight and ccasionally flirts with spectators.

She is flirtatious, headstrong, has dramatic intensity and feigned madness due to passionate love and can be prudish. She can be hot and cold. i.e. prone to mood swings and is a tease with an independent will.

She is vain, petulant, spoilt, full of doubt and have very little patience. She has a masochistic enjoyment of enforced separation because it enables her to dramatize their situation, lament, moan, send messages, etc. When her and Lelio do meet they are almost always tongue-tied and need interpreters who proceed to misinterpret their statements, either through stupidity (Zanni), malicious desire for revenge (Brighella) or calculated self-interest (Columbina). Isabella's attention span is short like a young child's and her fear that she might be a nobody keeps her hyper-animated.


Arlecchino has an enduring magical power, a testimony perhaps to the mystery of it origin. He is a servant and jester, usually to Pantalone, but also frequently Il'Capitano, or Il' Dottore. He wears a tight-fitting long jacket and trousers, sewn over with random, odd-shapen patches of green, yellow, red and brown

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