Every show needs a good love story right? Commedia thought so too.
The archetype of the lovers was established early on in the commedia tradition. The aristocracy of the Italian Renaissance courts amused themselves with a form they called commedia erudita. As the professional improvised comedy looked to extend its range it seemed to have borrowed the Lovers from the amateur form.
1. In Italian, the Lovers are called innamorati. It just sounds lovely doesn’t it?
2. They teeter as they walk and lack firm contact with the ground. Remember the expression “love gives you wings”? You can see it in action as the lovers sway to and fro, high on the aphrodisiac that is each others’ love.
Francesco and Isabella, Lincoln Center Production of The Glorious Ones
3. In commedia, the lovers exist very much in their own world- and in their own world within that world. Self-obsessed and very selfish, they are more interested in what they are saying themselves and how it sounds than in what the beloved is saying. They are primarily in love with themselves, secondarily in love with love, and only consequentially in love with the beloved (Rudlin).
Luckily they make it out better than most of the other stock characters. There is no viciousness in them and they serve as a symbol of potential happiness.
4. Sometimes when situations become too much for them, they deflate totally. This emotional defeat would reflect in their physical stance – it would appear as though their heavy hearts were pulling them down.
5. The lovers were always extremely aware of being watched and played with the audience for sympathy in their plight. Also, they would occasionally flirt with spectators! Those vain ones…
The Glorious Ones’s “Lovers” are the characters of Isabella and Francesco. They are young, beautiful, talented, ambitious…and moon over each other like nobody’s business. That’s amore, kids.
Image Sources: 1, 2, 3