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

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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.

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