Pantalone: With a
hooked nose and an almost witch-like appearance,
Pantalone embodied the spirit of meddlesome evil in the
plays of the Commedia dell' Arte. Pantalone's actions
were not as sinister as his costume. He simply meddled
in the affairs of others, primarily those of Arlecchino
and the maid Colombine, the female character Arlecchino
was usually courting. The old codger would always try to
thwart the romance, a precursor to the eventual plot of
Romeo and Juliet.
Love would eventually triumph to the
immediate chagrin and eventual acceptance of the old
meddler. The foregoing was by no means a script that was
unfailingly adhered to in the harlequinade. Pantalone,
as would the other characters, become involved in a
series of wild scenes which differed from show to show.
However, the eventual result was usually the same.
Harlequin would win, Pantalone would lose. In many ways,
Pantalone was the first classical melodramatic villain.
His character finds a place in clowning with a sneer,
our favorite antagonist deserving boo's and perhaps a