Tag Archives: stock characters


Carnival of Venice

The Carnival celebration in Venice, Italy, is more sophisticated than the flashy celebrations that take place in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. Costumes for the event are often drawn from the stock characters of Italian popular theater from the 16th through 18th centuries—including traditional costumed characters such as La Bautta (the domino) and Il Dottore (the professor or doctor of law). Italian university students pour into Venice as Ash Wednesday draws near. The rhythm of the celebration quickens, evidenced by a number of spectacular costume ballsMore… Discuss


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Harlequinade was a type of theatrical performance popular in 18th-century Britain. It was a slapstick adaptation of the commedia dell’arte, itself a 16th-century Italian comedy tradition featuring stock characters in improvised performances. A typical Harlequinade showcased a series of interwoven scenes culminating in a skit about the clever protagonist Harlequin and his love interest, Columbine. Which Harlequinade character became so popular that he remains instantly recognizable today? More… Discuss