What does Lazzi?

What does Lazzi?

Lazzi is an improvised comic dialogue or action commonly used in the Commedia dell’arte. Most English-speaking troupes use the Italian plural “lazzi” as the singular and “lazzis” for the plural. During improvised performances a lazzi may be used to fill time or to ensure a certain frequency of laughs in a show.

How would you describe Zanni?

Zanni were valet buffoons, clowns, and knavish jacks-of-all-trades. All possessed common sense, intelligence, pride, and a love of practical jokes and intrigue. They were, however, often quarrelsome, cowardly, envious, spiteful, vindictive, and treacherous.

What are the 3 types of characters in commedia?

Commedia characters are fixed types who fall into one of three categories:

  • The Servants (eg: Arlecchino or Columbina)
  • The Masters (eg: Pantalone)
  • The Lovers (eg: Isabella and Flavio )

What are the four major character types in commedia dell arte?

Commedia dell’arte has four stock character groups: Zanni: servants, clowns; characters such as Arlecchino (also known as Harlequin), Brighella, Scapino, Pulcinella and Pedrolino….Characters.

Character(s) Arlecchino
Masks Yes
Status Servant (sometimes to two masters)
Costume Colorful tight-fitting jacket and trousers

How do you pronounce Lazzi?


  1. IPA: /ˈlat.t͡si/, (traditional) /ˈlad.d͡zi/
  2. Rhymes: -attsi, (traditional) -addzi.
  3. Hyphenation: làz‧zi.

Is a Harlequin A Zanni?

In the early years of the commedia (mid-16th century), the Harlequin was a zanni (a wily and covetous comic servant), and he was cowardly, superstitious, and plagued by a continual lack of money and food. By the early 17th century, Harlequin had become a faithful valet, patient, credulous, and amorous.

Is Tartaglia A Zanni?

Some characters in Commedia that are derived from Zanni are Arlecchino (Harlequin), Brighella, Scapino, Mescolino and Mezzettino, Scaramuccia (aka Scaramouche), Pulcinella, Pedrolino, Giangurgolo, Tartaglia, Trappolino, and Burratino.

What types of characters were used in commedia dell’arte quizlet?

Terms in this set (12)

  • Pantalone (The Old Man)
  • Il Dottore (The Doctor)
  • Il Capitano (The Captain)
  • Harlequin/Arrlechino (tricky fool)
  • Colombina (clever servant)
  • Brighella (the tough servant)

What are the major defining characteristics of commedia dell arte?

The commedia dell’arte was a form of popular theatre that emphasized ensemble acting; its improvisations were set in a firm framework of masks and stock situations, and its plots were frequently borrowed from the classical literary tradition of the commedia erudita, or literary drama.

What is an example of Commedia lazzi?

Classic Commedia Lazzi. Startled, Arlecchino, holding a full glass of wine, executes a complete backward somersault without spilling the wine. A Zanni, with either his hands bound or holding plates of food, slaps another character in the face with his foot. Arlecchino and Pedrolino meet each other face-to-face and are armed to the teeth.

Where do these commedia dell’arte lazzi come from?

These are commedia dell’arte lazzi collected from various sources. Several come from Mel Gordon’s lovely book of Lazzi, which can be bought here. Running-Around-The-Balcony Lazzo

Why do actors use lazzi?

Traditionally the writers and actors in a troupe would have lazzi memorized so that they could insert them where needed. This trick kept up in theater into the motion picture era, and some film and TV writers still use stock jokes to enhance their work.

How did Italy’s commedia dell’arte influence Shakespeare?

While the direct influence of Italy’s Commedia dell’arte on the England’s Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre is subject to much debate, verbal and visual lazzi were present in the plays of William Shakespeare.