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Trivelino (or Trivelin) is a zanni character of the commedia dell'arte .

Trivelino is similar to Arlecchino, like him, he represents a stupid servant or valet. [1] Trivelino is also similar to Scapin, Brighella, or Mezzetin.[ citation needed ]

This character was introduced in France by Domenico Locatelli in the third quarter of the 17th century. Pierre de Marivaux later used him in several of his comedies including Arlequin poli par l'amour , L'Île des esclaves and La Double Inconstance .

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Zanni character from the Italian puppet theatre

Zanni, Zani or Zane is a character type of Commedia dell'arte best known as an astute servant and a trickster. The Zanni comes from the countryside and is known to be a "dispossessed immigrant worker". Through time, the Zanni grew to be a popular figure who was first seen in commedia as early as the 14th century. The English word zany derives from this persona.

Brighella character from the theatre style Commedia dellarte

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Columbina stock character in the Commedia dellArte

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La Ruffiana is an older female character of the Commedia dell'Arte with a shady past or who used to be a prostitute. She is used most often in relationship to the vecchi of which group she is a nominal member. Ruffiana is most often romantically involved with Pantalone, though his love may easily be unrequited if it suits the plot. She is generally described as being talkative/gossipy, sneaky, and mischievous, but deep down is actually kind. She has been described as an "outsider" that always mixes things up and causes trouble for the rest of the characters. "Her quips reek of garlic"


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Il Capitano

Il Capitano is one of the four stock characters of Commedia dell'arte. He most likely was never a "Captain" but rather appropriated the name for himself.

Harlequinade British comic theatrical genre

Harlequinade is a British comic theatrical genre, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "that part of a pantomime in which the harlequin and clown play the principal parts". It developed in England between the 17th and mid-19th centuries. It was originally a slapstick adaptation or variant of the Commedia dell'arte, which originated in Italy and reached its apogee there in the 16th and 17th centuries. The story of the Harlequinade revolves around a comic incident in the lives of its five main characters: Harlequin, who loves Columbine; Columbine's greedy and foolish father Pantaloon, who tries to separate the lovers in league with the mischievous Clown; and the servant, Pierrot, usually involving chaotic chase scenes with a bumbling policeman.

Il Dottore

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Pulcinella is a classical character that originated in commedia dell'arte of the 17th century and became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. Pulcinella's versatility in status and attitude has captivated audiences worldwide and kept the character popular in countless forms since his introduction to commedia dell'arte by Silvio Fiorillo in 1620.

Grammelot is an imitation of language used in satirical theatre, an ad hoc gibberish that uses prosody along with macaronic and onomatopoeic elements to convey emotional and other meaning, and used in association with mime and mimicry. The satirical use of such a format may date back to the 16th century commedia dell'arte; the group of cognate terms appears to belong to the 20th century.

<i>The Servant of Two Masters</i> 1746 play by Carlo Goldoni

The Servant of Two Masters is a comedy by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni written in 1746. Goldoni originally wrote the play at the request of actor Antonio Sacco, one of the great Truffaldinos in history. His earliest drafts had large sections that were reserved for improvisation, but he revised it in 1753 in the version that exists today. The play draws on the tradition of the earlier Italian commedia dell'arte.


Pedrolino is a primo zanni, or comic servant, of the Commedia dell'Arte; the name is a hypocorism of Pedro (Peter), via the suffix -lino. The character made its first appearance in the last quarter of the 16th century, apparently as the invention of the actor with whom the role was to be long identified, Giovanni Pellesini. Contemporary illustrations suggest that his white blouse and trousers constituted "a variant of the typical zanni suit", and his Bergamasque dialect marked him as a member of the "low" rustic class. But if his costume and social station were without distinction, his dramatic role was certainly not: as a multifaceted "first" zanni, his character was—and still is—rich in comic incongruities.

Alazṓn is one of three stock characters in comedy of the theatre of ancient Greece. He is the opponent of the eirôn. The alazṓn is an impostor that sees himself as greater than he actually is. The senex iratus and the miles gloriosus are two types of alazṓn.

Burattino Commedia dellarte character

Burattino, also Burrattino or Burratino, is a minor commedia dell'arte character of the zanni class.

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<i>Commedia dellarte</i> Theatre characterized by masked “types”

Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italy, that was popular in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte was formerly called Italian comedy in English and is also known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, and commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Commedia is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both scripted and improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia dell'arte are the lazzi. A lazzo is a joke or "something foolish or witty", usually well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia dell'arte is pantomime, which is mostly used by the character Arlecchino (Harlequin).

Antonio Fava Italian actor and writer

Antonio Fava is an actor, comedian, author, director, musician, mask maker and Internationally renowned Maestro of Commedia dell'arte who lives in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Commedia dell'arte masks are one of the most integral aspects of each stock character. Each mask design is paired with a specific character based on its appearance and tradition. Masks were originally all made of leather, but now more commonly made of neoprene. The Commedia masks must show emotion and intelligence as they are covering the face which is the main place emotion can be seen on someone. Masks should be an extension of an actor and their costume, hair and accessories. A mask creates a completely different face for the person that is wearing it. Mask, in Commedia dell'arte speaks of the types of characters that each represents and includes all of the characters including the lovers. It is almost as speaking to the character rather than the masks, saying that they are a type that is unchanged.


  1. Common Commedia dell'Arte Characters