related topics
{film, series, show}
{black, white, people}
{language, word, form}
{son, year, death}
{woman, child, man}

Zanni The Zanni are a character type of Commedia Dell’ Arte best known as tricksters. The Zanni comes from the countryside. The Zanni is known to be a “dispossessed immigrant worker”.[1] Throughout time, the Zanni grew to be a popular figure who were first seen in commedia as early as the fourteenth century.[2]


The Origin of the Name

The name Zanni can refer to one person or many people. One origin theory is that “The name Zanni was given to the two masks from Bergamo, Harlequin and Brighella, because they were, according to Quadrio, descendants of the snannio of the Atellana".[3] Zanni can be shortened to Zan if used to provide further identification of an individual. For example, Zan Ganasso in Italian Comedy is a name given to any character in commedia who not only does not have a name, but also doesn’t spark an interest in the reader to find out more about him.[4]


The performance of a commedia actor, relies on the acting itself. A scenario should be able to be done in different ways and come off to the audience as a different play each time they see it. The actors who play Zanni have to be clever and it is predetermined that they are equal in talent. This is said to be because an actor’s success relies primarily on his partner in the dialogue. If an actor has to act with someone who does not reply to him at the right moment or interrupts him in the wrong place, the actor’s “discourse falters and the liveliness of his wit is extinguished”.[5]

Costume and Mask

The Zanni’s costume usually consists of white baggy clothing.[6] The Zanni are also known to sport a peaked hat and a wooden sword.[7] The Zanni at first wore a full faced carnival mask, but because of the need for dialogue between Pantalone and the Zanni, the bottom of the mask was hinged and eventually cut away altogether. The longer the nose of the Zanni, the more stupid he is said to be.[8]

Full article ▸

related documents
List of comic creators
A.D. Police
Nothing But a Man
Buzzkill (TV series)
The Story of Louis Pasteur
Five Star Final
The Silent Gondoliers
William Abbot
Masaki Kobayashi
John Caine
David Janssen
Carolyn Beug
Gilbert Arthur à Beckett
Delilah and the Space Rigger
Phil Austin
Misfit (short story)
Love Affair (1939 film)
The Anome
Christopher Moore (author)
The Learning Tree
Sunrise (company)
Citizens United
Emmanuelle Seigner
"—We Also Walk Dogs"
You have two cows
Nancy A. Collins
Father Ted Crilly
Carlo Collodi