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Italian Renaissance Essay Thesis

The Renaissance in Italy (and Europe)
Socio-Political Shifts
• More centralized power
• Rise of merchant class
• Cultural / Artistic / Literary Developments
• Humanism
• More secular influence in the visual arts
• New techniques and materials: oil paints; perspective
• Printing Press
• Science / Technology
• Earth revolves around sun (controversy!)
• Telescopes
• Exploration and Colonization
Types of Performance
Drama: Comedy and Tragedy
• Intermezzi
• Pastorals
• Opera
• Commedia dell’arte (we’ll come back to this one!)
Changes in Architecture, Design, &
Technology
Proscenium Arch
• Audience Seating
• Opera Houses: Pit, Boxes Galleries
• Perspective
• Sebastiano Serlio (1475-1554)
• Three basic settings
• Angled wings
• + backdrop or shutters
• Raked stage
Design and Technology
Changing Scenery
• Periaktoi
• Nicola Sabbattini
• Shift to flat wings
• Groove System
• Giacomo Torelli:
• Pole-and-Chariot
• Special Effects
• Lighting
Dramatic Criticism
Neoclassical Ideals
• Goals of Drama:
• “to teach, move, and
delight” (Scaliger)
• to “please the
ignorant multitude”
(Castelvetro)
• Verisimilitude
• Reality
• Morality
• Universality
• Decorum
• Unities
• Time
• Place
• Action
• Genre Rules
AND NOW . . . COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE!
Commedia dell’arte = “play of professional artists”
• As opposed to commedia erudita (learned comedy)
• Beginnings – mid 16th Century
• Influences / Origins: Atellan Farce? Byzantine Mimes? Italian Farce?
Improv on written comedies?
• Popular Performance
• By 1600, popular across Europe
• Traveling Troupes of 10-12 players
• Variety of playing spaces – large rooms, outdoor stages, indoor court
stages . . .
• Key elements:
• Improvisation
• Stock Characters
CONVENTIONS
Masks (and masks)
• Props
• Scenarios
• Improvisation in Practice
• Actors stick to a type
• Companies play together long-term
• Set bits / repertoire for each Mask
• Burle (character interactions)
• Battute (dialogue / repartee
between characters)
• Concetti (stock speeches)
• Lazzi (physical comedy bits)
Innamorati (Lovers)
Usually 4 per scenario (2 pairs)
• Essential to the plot (although kind of at the
mercy of it)
• Language: Tuscan; flowery, musical, softspoken
• Unmasked (heavy makeup)
• Fashionable costumes
• Props: Handkerchief, posy, fan (for women)
• Stance / Movement: “lack full contact with the
earth”; feet = ballet positions; they “teeter”;
exaggerated parody of upper-class movement
styles
Zanni
Servant roles
• Their (often unsuccessful) plots keep the action
moving
• Language: Bergamese dialect
• Mask
• Costume: baggy white clothes
• Stance / Movement: Low center of gravity; “arched back, knees
bent and apart and his feet splayed . . .”; movements are
exaggerated and the head and body work independently
• Other Characteristics: ALWAYS hungry. Ignorant. Emotional.
• Female zanni: higher status, unmasked, rational; Tuscan dialect
ZANNI: ARLECCHINO (HARLEQUIN)
Becomes more prominent over time
• Mask: small eyes, wart on forehead
• Costume:
• black wrap around the face / over his head
• Patchwork pattern on long jacket and trousers.
Belt. Flat black shoes.
• Props: slapstick
• Stance / Movement: mix of low and raised; more
“balletic” version of general Zanni walks; mask
leads, body follows; very physically quick
• Extreme – emotions, ideas, movements, etc.
Schemer (gets better at it over time)
ZANNI: PEDROLINO
• Mask: white face
• Costume: baggy, white, pointed
white hat
• Stance / Movement: minimal
knee movement; elbows bent /
hands up; moves in straight lines
• Other characteristics: always
tired / falling asleep; honest and
conscientious
CHARACTERS: PANTALONE AND DOTTORE
The Old Men
• Il Dottore
• Parody of a scholar; large; often a father;
speaks a mix of Bolognese, Italian, and
Latin; tends to monologue
• Mask: nose and forehead; Cheeks
sometimes painted red
• Costume: black academic robes
• Props: White handkerchief
• Pantalone:
• Venetian; highest status; father; miser.
Obstacle to the lovers. Greedy and
lecherous.
• Mask: long, hooked nose; bushy
eyebrows; pointed beard
• Costume: tight pants, short jacket,
skullcap (red); black cloak; yellow slippers
• Props: Chain and medallion; dagger
CHARACTERS: IL CAPITANO
• Poking fun at soldiers / military (especially Spanish)
• “self-appointed” / imposter
• Miles Gloriosus rides again!
• Language: Neapolitan or Calebrese
• Mask: phallic nose
• Costume: changes over time to make fun of current military dress
• Props: long sword…
• Stance / Movement: takes up as much space as possible – feet
spread, chest out; walk – step off on ball of foot, land heels first
OR toes down first — back straight, long strides; big, extravagant
gestures
• Special subtype: Il Cavaliere
• Unmasked, real soldier, wannabe lothario

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Italian Renaissance Essay Thesis
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The Renaissance in Italy (and Europe)
Socio-Political Shifts • More centralized power • Rise of merchant class • Cultural / Artistic / Literary Developments • Humanism • More secular influence in the visual arts • New techniques and materials: oil paints; perspective • Printing Press • Science / Technology • Earth revolve
2017-09-06 05:32:48
Italian Renaissance Essay Thesis
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