Following is a list of the original Italian characters, with other English or French names, or descendant characters (in parentheses), and the towns/regions to which they are eventually associated:
Arlecchino (Harlequin), is Pantalone`s servant. He is extremely poor. The famous Harlequin costume, with its lozenge pattern of red, green, and blue diamonds, is a stylised representation of clothes that are so old and patched as to have lost their original colour and material. If he were a character of today, he would be on minimum benefit/wage (frauding of course!), or in the US, working three jobs. He is a peasant with no instruction (he can`t read or write), who has left his native Bergamo to seek his fortune in the city of Venice, as it grows rich from its commerce with the orient. This often causes amusement, as no-one can understand his dialect. He is an acrobat and a clown, he carries a baton which he sometimes
uses to bash other characters, leading to the modern term slapstick. Harlequin is not really a villain; he just tries to get by. There are three types of Harlequin mask, the cat, the pig and the monkey (some say the bull too). The lozenge costume has given its name to the fashion motif, the mask to a shape for eyeglass frames: see Harlequin.
Brighella (Figaro, Molière`s Scapin), Bergamo, a money-grubbing villain, a partner of Arlecchino. He is a self made man, who has become comfortably off by starting his own business, despite humble beginnings. He is often the proprietor of the local tavern. He is a ladies` man, who has a lot of success with them. If he were a character of today, he would own a flashy car and have lots of flashy clothes and jewelry. He`s a typical Latin macho man, with all the charm that involves, and all the drawbacks.
Columbina (Colombina, the Servant, Columbine, Harlequine, Pierrette), Venice, maidservant to the Innamorata and lover of Arlecchino, usually involved
in intrigue. She is rather intelligent.
Il Capitano (the Captain), boastful he-man soldier, but a coward underneath
Dottore (usually called Dottore Balanzone or Dottore Graziano, the Doctor), Bologna, The Doctor is the local aristocrat, who went all the way to Bologna to read for his degree. He is extremely rich, with "old" money. He adores food and good wines, thus he is a little round...
Gianduia, Turin, a well-mannered Piedmontese peasant.
Innamorata (the Lover), the leading woman, who wore no mask (see innamorati)
Innamorato (the Lover), the leading man, who wore no mask (see innamorati)-his partner is also called a lover.
Isabella (Lucinda, Cornelia, Silvia, Rosaura), Pantalone`s daughter. She is very headstrong, flirtatious, sensuous, and articulate. Men are constantly falling hopelessly in love with her. She loves to tease and test the men. Her father always tries to control her life by arranging meetings and agreements with inappropriat
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