Commedia dell'Arte Criticism: Influence In Europe - Essay

Kathleen Marguerite Lea (essay date 1934)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Lea, Kathleen Marguerite. “The Commedia dell'Arte and the English Stage.” In Italian Popular Comedy: A Study in the Commedia dell'Arte, 1560-1620, 2 vols., pp. 411-30. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934.

[In the following excerpt, Lea examines English plays that appear to have been directly influenced by the commedia dell'arte and not merely by broader trends in Italian comedy.]

It is hardly to be expected that we should find the precise original of any English play among the miscellanies of the Commedia dell'arte. Putting aside the probabilities that scenari have been lost, and that many Italian plays never attained the permanence of a written record, it...

(The entire section is 7849 words.)

Virginia P. Scott (essay date 1977)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Scott, Virginia P. “The Jeu and the Rôle: Analysis of the Appeals of the Italian Comedy in France in the Time of Arlequin-Dominique.” In Western Popular Theatre, edited by David Mayer and Kenneth Richards, pp. 1-27. London: Methuen, 1977.

[In the following essay, Scott discusses the development of the commedia dell'arte in France, particularly in the late seventeenth century.]

Popular entertainments are generally so classified because of their appeal and availability to a large audience drawn from all classes and conditions of society. However, the assertion that the Italian Comedy in Paris in the last half of the seventeenth century...

(The entire section is 10749 words.)

John Trethewey (essay date 1993)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Trethewey, John. “Stage and Audience in the commedia dell'arte and in Molière's Early Plays.” In Studies in Commedia dell'Arte, edited by David J. George and Christopher J. Gossip, pp. 69-90. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993.

[In the following essay, Trethewey examines the influence of the commedia dell'arte on Molière's comedies.]

The nine early Molière plays I want to discuss here are very varied, comprising the two prose scenarios, La Jalousie du Barbouillé and Le Médecin volant, which are the only remaining complete canevas (out of thirteen for which we have names) associated with Molière and his troupe,...

(The entire section is 9323 words.)

Derek F. Connon (essay date 1993)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Connon, Derek F. “The Servant as Master: Disguise, Role-Reversal, and Social Comment in Three Plays of Marivaux.” In Studies in Commedia dell'Arte, edited by David J. George and Christopher J. Gossip, pp. 121-37. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993.

[In the following essay, Connon contends that Marivaux adapted the commedia dell'arte's use of disguise as a device for social comment in his plays.]

As is pointed out by Norbert Jonard in his study of the commedia dell'arte, disguise is one of the principal devices employed in the scenarios of the form.1 Mel Gordon, in his study of lazzi, draws attention to a more specific...

(The entire section is 7515 words.)

Michael Anderson (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Anderson, Michael. “The Law of Writ and the Liberty.” Theatre Research International 20, no. 3 (1995): 189-99.

[In the following essay, Anderson compares the practices of English and Italian actors to suggest that the similarities are more significant than the differences, arguing that the Italian actors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries used more structure and predetermined scenarios than has generally been believed.]

Our players are not as the players beyond the sea, a sort of squirting baudie Comedians, that have Whores and common Curtizans to playe womens partes, and forbeare no immodest speech, or unchast action that may...

(The entire section is 7758 words.)