Commedia dell'arte Essay

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Commedia dell'arte Commedia dell'arte is a truly popular form of theatre - of the people, by the people, for the people. Discuss this statement with specific examples of Commedia dell'arte scenarios, stock characters, performance features and circumstances. Commedia dell'arte is definitely an artform centred on people and their world. Although its origins are hazy due to the illiteracy of its first performers and audience, it is believed to have stemmed from the carnivals in Italy during the sixteenth century. Here it rose from the people from folk theatre, which used masks and music, and from the charlatans using pretence as a means of earning money. The scenarios involved in Commedia arose from the thematic concerns the…show more content…
Such characters as these were created because the audience could relate to them and laugh. As the people changed, so too did stock characters. More were added into the list of masks, and elements such as costume changed to suit the society the play was directed at. Performance features of the performances were directed straight to the people. The amount of credit the audience gave the actors, determined the energy of the charcters. For example, if a crowd cheered Arlecchinos antics on, he would play this up by continuing it for a longer period of time. Such was the improvising nature of commedia conventions. Many stock characters would directly address the audience, which would allow further interest to evolve in the people watching. Isabella would flirt with the audience, Ill Dottore would address them with "expert" knowledge on anything, and fool them with tautologies, "he who is always wrong, is less right than anyone else". Ill Capitano would address them directly in an attempt to gain praise from them. Other characters, such as Pedrolino, would play on the audience for sympathy. The degree of response by the people watching towards the masks indicated the action the troupe would continue to further their scenarios. The masks themselves often reflected the Italian people, Their warts, apart from hiding imperfections in the leather, alluded to the boils on the malnourished poor of Itlay. In similar ways, the
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