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Commedia dell’ Arte 1500’s Italy. The origins of comic archetypes ( or…where you got all the the ideas you have about comedy). What is the Commedia?. Commedia may have evolved out of Ancient Roman Comedy.

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commedia dell arte 1500 s italy

Commedia dell’ Arte 1500’s Italy

The origins of comic archetypes

( or…where you got all the the ideas you have about comedy)

what is the commedia
What is the Commedia?
  • Commedia may have evolved out of Ancient Roman Comedy.
  • Commedia is fast, physical comedy that is performed in the streets of towns, courtyards of inns, and in homes of the wealthy.
who were the actors
Who were the actors?
  • Professional companies of 7 men and 3 women.
  • First women actors to play women’s roles.
  • Actors needed to be able to:
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Do improvisational acting.
  • Fight
  • Do acrobatics
what did the performances look like
What did the performances look like?
  • Shows were improvisational in the streets.
  • Actors used a highly physical style of comedy - (think Jim Carey in his early films)
  • Plots resembled TV sitcoms of today.
  • Acting Companies would use the same characters ( stock) in every play.
  • Actors would specialize in one character and play if for the length of their career.
the comic archetypes
The Comic Archetypes
  • #1 The Innocents ( straight characters)
  • #2 The Trickster (a servant characters)
  • #3 The Fool ( a servant characters)
  • #4 The Know-It-All ( a master character)
  • #5 The Scrooge ( a master character)
  • #6 The Braggart ( a master character)
comic stock character archetype 1
Comic Stock Character- Archetype #1

The Innocent ( Straight Characters)

Also known as the Innamorati ( lovers)

  • Often at the center of the plot, the protagonist.
  • Not aware of the true nature of the world
  • Naïve and/or sentimental
  • Innocence comes from a lack of knowledge or experience, not from a lack of intelligence.
  • Idealistic and good natured.
  • Often dependant on parents or guardians.
the innocents
The Innocents

The Lovers

innocents you might recognize
Innocents you might recognize:
  • Often at the center of the plot, the protagonist.
  • Not aware of the true nature of the world
  • Naïve and/or sentimental
  • Innocence comes from a lack of knowledge or experience, not from a lack of intelligence.
  • Idealistic and good natured.
  • Often dependant on parents or guardians.
comic stock character archetype 2
Comic Stock Character – Archetype #2

Columbina

The Trickster ( A Servant)

  • Helps or hinders the innocent
  • Makes thing happen, a catalyst for action
  • Willing to bend society’s rules
  • Clever, witty, and/or unscrupulous
  • Takes advantage of situations
  • Schemes or plots.
tricksters you might recognize
Tricksters you might recognize:
  • Helps or hinders the innocent
  • Makes thing happen, a catalyst for action
  • Willing to bend society’s rules
  • Clever, witty, and/or unscrupulous
  • Takes advantage of situations
  • Schemes or plots.
comic stock character archetype 3
Comic Stock Character – Archetype #3

Pierrot

The Fool ( A Servant)

  • Often a helper or sidekick
  • May solve problems by dumb luck
  • Exaggerated version of the Innocents
  • Unpredictable, with a distorted conception of reality.

Harlequin/Arlecchino

fools you might recognize
Fools you might recognize:
  • Often a helper or sidekick
  • May solve problems by dumb luck
  • Exaggerated version of the Innocents
  • Unpredictable, with a distorted conception of reality.
comic stock character archetype 4
Comic Stock Character – Archetype #4

The Know-It-All ( A Master)

  • Shows off supposed knowledge
  • Tries to act and sound as important as possible
  • Assumes to know everything about everything
  • Can be pompous and/or condescending.

Il Dottore

know it alls you might recognize
Know-It-Alls you might recognize:
  • Shows off supposed knowledge
  • Tries to act and sound as important as possible
  • Assumes to know everything about everything
  • Can be pompous and/or condescending.
comic stock character archetype 5
Comic Stock Character – Archetype #5
  • The Scrooge ( A Master)
  • Often the antagonist
  • Usually an authority figure
  • Miserly with money, possessions, and/or emotions
  • Often mean-spirited, cranky, or ill-tempered.

Pantalone

scrooges you might recognize
Scrooges you might recognize:
  • Often the antagonist
  • Usually an authority figure
  • Miserly with money, possessions, and/or emotions
  • Often mean-spirited, cranky, or ill-tempered
comic stock character archetype 6
Comic Stock Character – Archetype #6
  • The Braggart ( A Master)
  • Assumes the ability to do anything.
  • Believes that he is strong and handsome.
  • A show off.
  • Given to loud and empty boasting.
  • A cowardly bully.

Il Capitano

braggarts you might recognize
Braggarts you might recognize:
  • Assumes the ability to do anything.
  • Believes that he is strong and handsome.
  • A show off.
  • Given to loud and empty boasting.
  • A cowardly bully.