A study is following a development of theatrical texts inspired by the tradition of 'commedie dell'arte'. It observes advancing of a character of Pantalone, Harlequin and partially also a female votary from 'commedie dell'arte' and their gradual change in comedies of Carlo Goldoni. Carlo Goldoni allegorically reduces the meaning of a mask and reveals human traits hidden in the character behind it. With Carlo Goldoni these characters obtained a human dimension, had a psychological development. Humour changed from rough and vulgar into a wittier form. Contemporary evaluations are reconstructed - based on criticism of Francesco De Sanctis and Benedetto Croce. Aspects of 'commedie dell'arte' overcome further development, and as a tradition are found present in Luigi Pirandello dramas. A critic Adriano Tilgher distinguishes four types of situation masks in Pirandello's characters. Pirandello moved the meaning of thus understood mask, and made out of mask knots round which the plot is rippled. Also specific Italian humour is subject to development of 'commedie dell'arte' namely from vulgar almost pornographic, to witty humour and irony of Luigi Pirandello. The study is trying to prove that presence of humour in Italian comedy and even in drama in not incidental, but creates an integral component of Italian tradition of theatrical texts.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.