Kathleen Marguerite Lea (essay date 1934)
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...
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