Comedic Timing: The Influence of the Atellanae Fabulae on Commedia Del'Arte
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Atellan Farces of ancient Italy, also known as the Atellanae Fabulae, were short plays characterized by masked stock types in outlandish and humorous situations. The humor was low, bawdy, crude, and all done in commentary on the rough country life outside of Rome proper. Centuries later in Renaissance Italy, Commedia dell’Arte reaches the peak of its success in the sixteenth century. Commedia, likewise, features fixed characters in mask who gallivant around stages throughout Europe, amusing audiences with their exaggerated attributes and stories. Both genres are remarkably similar in style and execution, and yet many modern scholars believe the two are unconnected. Through the examination of literary and visual sources on the plays and a brief look into Structuralism, I seek to prove that Commedia Dell’Arte is indeed a byproduct of the Atellan Farces not only through their obvious similarities, but also through the lens of Structural Anthropology.
Degree ProgramHonors College