The Harlequin or Arlecchino – His Origins and Character

The Harlequin, also called Arlecchino, and its many different types together with: Harleqino, Harlechino, Harlequinus, Arlechino, Arlechin, and Arlequi, is a personality from the Zanni household, of Masquerade Masks out of the Italian Comedy – The Commedia Dell’ Arte. Zanni signify the decrease class, normally holding positions of servitude.

The Harlequin is without doubt one of the youngest characters of the comedy and probably the most in style via time. The origins of the Harlequin’s title, just isn’t definitive. Nonetheless the title Harlequin is taken into account to be from French origins, with the title being traced again to earlier than 1100 in France, the Italian Arlecchino being traced again to 1593.

The Harlequin performs the function of a devoted valet; he’s additionally the clown, the acrobat, the comedian aid. Enter the Harlequin on stage and enter moments of absurdity and laughter. He’s a numbskull who has flashes of brilliance, which he shows in wit and appeal in addition to in scheming, to fulfill his personal grasping tendencies.

In his function of messenger for his grasp and within the pursuit of a reasonably girl or in fulfilling his personal greed, he will get into all method of conditions and strife. Harlequin is a chameleon, completely satisfied to decorate up in costume and faux to be a soldier, a trinket vendor, or put on a costume as a lady to get what he desires. He’s absent minded, to the purpose that he may very well be in search of the chair he’s sitting on, and never know it’s there. His consideration may be attracted and captured, as simply as a baby’s, so what he may need being doing – working an errand for his grasp – is totally forgotten on the sight of a reasonably girl, gold or meals. He doesn’t contemplate attainable implications or outcomes of his actions, demonstrating ignorance and naiveté. In nice distinction to his minds capability, Harlequin’s physique is agile, nimble, and filled with vitality and bounce, performing somersaults, handstands, cartwheels and all method of acrobatics, constantly within the air, in motion.

The harlequin’s costume initially was lined in patches of various colors, the colors at all times darker than the background cloth. This developed in to the costume seen in additional fashionable instances of diamonds of blue, purple and inexperienced organized in a checker board kind sample joined by braid of yellow or gold, crafted into a good becoming jacket and trousers. He hangs from his belt, which sits low on his hips, a pockets and bat/slapstick, which he’s by no means with out. Upon his head he wears a gentle cap which has connected to it an animal tail of rabbit, hare or fox, or a tuft of feathers as ornament.

Harlequin’s masks consists of a black half-mask and a black chin-piece. The masks brow is strongly lined with wrinkles, accentuating a barely quizzical arch to the attention brows. The attention holes are organized in such away as to convey and expression of astonishment, sensuality and craftiness. There’s a tumor like development billowing out underneath one eye together with a wart. The eyebrows and beard are bushy consisting of stiff bristles. This ensemble of traits portrays one thing savage and fiendish, with cat like qualities. The masks is such that it opens many potentialities to character and motion.

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