Ranzini Paola. Pseudolus de Plaute , Commedia dell'Arte cf. Les Arlequins prennent aussi d'autres noms. I, 2, p. Un fourbe, ou un fou unfurbo, o un matto?
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The role is traditionally believed to have been introduced by Zan Ganassa in the late 16th century,  was definitively popularized by the Italian actor Tristano Martinelli in Paris in —,  and became a stock character after Martinelli's death in The Harlequin is characterized by his chequered costume.
His role is that of a light-hearted, nimble, and astute servant , often acting to thwart the plans of his master, and pursuing his own love interest, Columbina , with wit and resourcefulness, often competing with the sterner and melancholic Pierrot.
He later develops into a prototype of the romantic hero. Harlequin inherits his physical agility and his trickster qualities, as well as his name, from a mischievous " devil " character in medieval passion plays. The Harlequin character first appeared in England early in the 17th century and took centre stage in the derived genre of the Harlequinade , developed in the early 18th century by John Rich.
As developed by Joseph Grimaldi around , Clown became the mischievous and brutish foil for the more sophisticated Harlequin, who became more of a romantic character. The most influential such in Victorian England were William Payne and his sons the Payne Brothers , the latter active during the s and s.
The name Harlequin is taken from that of a mischievous "devil" or "demon" character in popular French passion plays. It originates with an Old French term herlequin , hellequin , first attested in the 11th century, by the chronicler Orderic Vitalis , who recounts a story of a monk who was pursued by a troop of demons when wandering on the coast of Normandy France at night.
The physical appearance of Hellequin offers an explanation for the traditional colours of Harlequin's red-and-black mask. The re-interpretation of the "devil" stock character as a zanni character of the commedia dell'arte took place in the 16th century in France.
Among the earliest depictions of the character are a Flemish painting c. Tristano Martinelli is the first actor definitely known to have used the name 'Harlequin' or 'Arlequin' from French folklore and adapted it for the comic secondo zanni role, and he probably first performed the part in France in or just before and only later did he bring the character to Italy, where he became known as Arlecchino. Martinelli's Harlequin also had a black leather half-mask , a moustache and a pointed beard.
He was very successful, even playing at court and becoming a favourite of Henry IV of France , to whom he addressed insolent monologues Compositions de Rhetorique de Mr. Don Arlequin , The primary aspect of Arlecchino was his physical agility. The character would never perform a simple action when the addition of a cartwheel , somersault, or flip would spice up the movement. By contrast with the 'first zanni' Harlequin takes little or no part in the development of the plot.
He is therefore always on the go, very agile and more acrobatic than any of the other Masks. Early characteristics of Arlecchino paint the character as a second zanni servant from northern Italy with the paradoxical attributes of a dimwitted fool and an intelligent trickster.
One of the major distinctions of commedia dell'arte is the use of regional dialects. Originally speaking in a Bergamo dialect, the character adopted a mixture of French and Italian dialects when the character became more of a fixture in France so as to help the performers connect to the common masses.
Various troupes and actors would alter his behaviour to suit style, personal preferences, or even the particular scenario being performed. He is typically cast as the servant of an innamorato or vecchio much to the detriment of the plans of his master. Arlecchino often had a love interest in the person of Columbina , or in older plays any of the Soubrette roles, and his lust for her was only superseded by his desire for food and fear of his master.
Occasionally, Arlecchino would pursue the innamorata, though rarely with success, as in the Recueil Fossard of the 16th century where he is shown trying to woo Donna Lucia for himself by masquerading as a foreign nobleman. He also is known to try to win any given lady for himself if he chances upon anyone else trying to woo her, by interrupting or ridiculing the new competitor.
His sexual appetite is essentially immediate, and can be applied to any passing woman. Between the 16th and 17th centuries Arlecchino gained some function as a politically aware character.
Trivelino or Trivelin. Name is said to mean "Tatterdemalion. Costume almost identical to Harlequin's, but had a variation of the 17th century where the triangular patches were replaced with moons, stars, circles and triangles. In 18th century France , Trivelino was a distinct character from Harlequin. Truffa, Truffaldin or Truffaldino. Popular characters with Gozzi and Goldoni, but said to be best when used for improvisations.
By the 18th century was a Bergamask caricature. In the seventeenth century, a variety of anonymous engravings show Guazzetto rollicking, similar to Arlechino. He wears a fox's brush, a large three-tiered collarette, wide breeches, and a loose jacket tied tightly by a belt. He also dons a neckerchief dropped over the shoulders like a small cape. Guazzetto's mask is characterized with a hooked nose and a mustache. His bat is shaped like a scimitar-esque sword.
Pedrolino or Pierotto. A servant or valet clad in mostly white, created by Giovanni Pellesini. The Harlequin character came to England early in the 17th century and took center stage in the derived genre of the Harlequinade , developed in the early 18th century by the Lincoln's Fields Theatre's actor-manager John Rich , who played the role under the name of Lun.
Two developments in , both involving Joseph Grimaldi , greatly changed the pantomime characters. Clown's costume was "garishly colourful The production was a hit, and the new costume design was copied by others in London.
Harlequin was modified to become "romantic and mercurial, instead of mischievous", leaving Grimaldi's mischievous and brutish Clown as the "undisputed agent" of chaos, and the foil for the more sophisticated Harlequin, who retained stylized dance poses. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Character from the Commedia dell'arte. For other uses, see Harlequin disambiguation , Arlecchino disambiguation , and Arlequin disambiguation.
Further information: Herla , Erlking , and Alichino devil. Sand , after p. See also Normand R. University Of Chicago Press. Theatre History Studies. These authors speculate that Ganassa may have dropped the role in Spain, since apparently he gained too much weight to perform the required acrobatics. Seconda Edizione. Harlequin in His Element. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Films Songs Other " Evil clown " trope. Category Wiktionary.
Stock characters. Byronic hero Man alone Tragic hero. Gentleman detective Jack Trickster. Harlequin Zanni. Bad boy Gentleman thief Pirate Air pirate Space pirate.
False hero. Double agent Evil twin. Dark Lord Mad scientist Supervillain. Dragon Lady Femme fatale Tsundere. Jungle girl Magical girl. Princesse lointaine Southern belle Valley girl Yamato nadeshiko. Class S Laotong. Columbina Mammy archetype. Girl gamer. Final girl Princess and dragon. Wise old man Elderly martial arts master Magical Negro. Feral child Noble savage Caveman Moleman Mountain man. Seme and uke. Pachuco Black knight. Categories : Commedia dell'arte characters Stupid Zanni class characters Stock characters Fictional tricksters Fictional jesters Clowns Entertainment occupations Commedia dell'arte male characters.
List of clowns. Lovable rogue Gentleman detective Jack Trickster. Antivillains False hero. Harlequin Pierrot.
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