preview

The Influence of Commedia dell’arte on Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Good Essays
The Influence of Commedia dell’arte on Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Commedia dell’arte had great influence of Shakespeare’s comedy “Much

Ado About Nothing”. This form of theatre shows many comparisons to

the Shakespearian comedy. Commedia dell’arte created elements within a

comedy that became standards across comedic literature. Love,

deception, matters of out witting one another and jealousy are

components that make up the back bone to a comedy. “Shakespeare made

use of many typical elements found in commedia scenarios” (McQuinn,

Anne), creating plots that parallel those of the Italian comedies. The

characters in Commedia dell’arte have somewhat universal traits and

stereotypical characterizations that were able to cross over into

Shakespeare’s Elizabethan period of writing. Although the

Shakespeare’s plays did not take on the exact form of Commedia

dell’arte; many themes, characters, societal and social based plots

blended into “Much Ado About Nothing”.

Commedia dell’arte is the Italian meaning of “comedy of the

professional artists” (Wikipedia). It is a form of improvisational

theatre that follows a “rough storyline, called Canovaccio”

(Wikipedia). This allowed for the actors to express themselves

fully, as there was no written script to follow. Since the actors had

free will over the script “the dialogue and action could easily be

made topical and adjusted to satirize local scandals, current events,

or regional tastes, mixed with ancient jokes and punch lines”

(Wikipedia). Shakespeare bases most of his plays, i...

... middle of paper ...

...y.

Commedia dell’arte created elements within a comedy that became

standards across comedic literature which Shakespeare used to create

the comedy of “Much Ado About Nothing”. Commedia dell’arte creates

stock storylines and characters that were easily adaptable into the

comedy of “Much Ado About Nothing”. Commedia dell’ arte was partly

improvisational theatre which allowed for much creativity and

expression. This had a great influence on the storylines Shakespeare

created within his comedy Much Ado about Nothing, allowing for him to

satirize scandals or events, and mock aristocratic lifestyle. Much

Ado about Nothing was written with influence by Commedia dell’arte; as

comparisons and similarities arise between the two types of theatre

proves that Commedia dell’arte set standards to what is known as a

comedy.
Get Access