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

analytical Essay
850 words
850 words
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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...

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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.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the influence of commedia dell’arte on much ado about nothing by william shakespeare.
  • Compares commedia dell'arte to the shakespearian comedy. love, deception, matters of out witting one another, and jealousy are components that make up the backbone of a comedy
  • Analyzes how the characters in commedia dell'arte have universal traits and stereotypical characterizations that cross over into shakespeare's elizabethan period of writing.
  • Explains that commedia dell'arte is a form of improvisational theatre that follows an "rough storyline, called canovaccio" and allows actors to express themselves fully.
  • Explains that shakespeare bases most of his plays, including "much ado about nothing", on the mockery and lifestyle of the aristocrats.
  • Explains that the art of commedia allowed shakespeare to create stories which reflected societal views of the aristocrats.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's "much ado about nothing" and "comedy" found the depth within their performances to cover both the genres of comedy and tragedy.
  • Analyzes how about nothing could end up as a potential tragedy with the unjust and false accusations of hero, but instead of having an tragic ending, hero will "die to live" as for her innocence will be proven.
  • Analyzes how commedia dell'arte's play on wits results in comic relief in much ado about nothing.
  • Explains that there were many generalizations and characterizations based on the commedia dell'arte.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's characters have personality comparisons like the young pair of lovers, hero and claudio, who resembled the characters of inamorata and inamorato.
  • Analyzes how beatrice and benedict take resemblance to columbina and harlequin. both of these characters play on their words to display great wit, and add great comedy to the play.
  • Analyzes how harlequin resembles benedict's character in the sense that his love is for columbina and that he as well is a funny, outgoing witted character. other characters take resemblance to the actors of commedia dell'arte.
  • Explains that shakespeare was influenced by commedia dell'arte stock characters, creating his own characters with similar traits and stereotypical generalizations of society.
  • Analyzes how commedia dell'arte created stock storylines and characters that were easily adaptable into the comedy of "much ado about nothing." it was partly improvisational theatre which allowed for creativity and expression.
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