Thursday, December 12, 2019

Commedia dellarte Essay Example For Students

Commedia dellarte Essay Commedia dellarte is a truly popular form of theatre of the people, by the people, for the people. Discuss this statement with specific examples of Commedia dellarte scenarios, stock characters, performance features and circumstances. Commedia dellarte 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 form had. It was mainly concerned with examining the human condition via satire. Therfore, the canovaccios were filled with driving themes such as food, drink, sex, love, money and vengence. The artists created the scenarios to fit into the peoples living conditions as a safety valve. The costumes varied from loose to tight fitting garments and contrasted with the color of the characters mask. Their costumes would often reflect the characters social status, emotional state and motives. Commedia actors would train only to perform one character, and usually from an early age. The actors would often be from father to son, a parent teaching their child of only his character, and the child would train to be the same character as his father. The performances were mostly improvised and comedy-based. Influenced by the audience, some characters, would always attempt to make the audience laugh, not overly dissimilar to clowns. Other characters would bring comedy to the performance simply in their seriousness, in such a contrast to the clown characters; the serious characters would make the audience laugh through their motives, whilst clown characters would make the audience laugh through their misfortune. These clown characters included lazzi, who had no other purpose than comic relief. The lazzi’s movements were extremely exaggerated and often had a catchphrase; some troops used over one hundred lazzi’s over the course of their work. There were many different types of lazzi including acrobatic, violent, language, food, prop, sex, class rebellion, stage, stupidity, life, transformation, trickery and plot development. Stock characters were well-developed, easily recognisable characters; they were present in almost every Commedia performance and remained the same consistently from troupe to troupe. The stock characters were masked, and had extravagant costumes reflecting the character. Zanni were the servants in Commedia, serving the masters who were stock characters, they also served mostly as comic relief and the audience would laugh and their misfortunes. The zanni were treated poorly by their masters, providing the audience with someone to feel sorry for, but still laugh at, and perhaps if the actor was good, the audience would feel guilty for laughing. Bibliography: Brief History on Commedia dellarte. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from Commedia Dellarte. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from Commedia Stock Characters. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from Commedia Stock Characters Arlechinno. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from IntoTheMask Theatre. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from Lazzi La Commedia dellArte. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from

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