Il Capitano - Variants - Scaramouche

Scaramuccia (Italian), or Scaramouche (French) ("skirmish") was a reinvention of the character by Tiberio Fiorilli. He is more of a man of action than he is a braggart and is clever, brave, and quick-witted rather than ignorant, cowardly and foolish. He is also a good singer and musician, and is usually depicted with a lute or guitar. Although quite a heartbreaker, he is usually indirectly or unobtrusively helpful to the innamorati.

  • In the Punch and Judy shows, Scaramouche is depicted by a puppet with a detachable head or an extendable neck. The former is for the Capitano incarnation, who seeks to fight all the other characters and the latter is for a singing puppet.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, in the works of Rostand, is the most popular variant on Scaramouche. In the play, the historical figure is portrayed as a violent, easily-angered braggart who is sensitive about slurs on his considerable courage, his rural Gascon heritage, or his ugly face (which is identical to the features of the Scaramouche mask). He nobly helps his friend, a handsome but naïve and foolish youth, woo Roxane whom they both love.
  • An unnamed soldier in a short play by Miguel de Cervantes called The Vigilant Sentinel matched this character to the letter. In the play he waits, bespectacled and wearing ragged clothes, desperately trying to frighten away any rival suitors from the house of the girl he wished to marry.
  • Baron Münchhausen is another take on Scaramouche. He is usually depicted as an elderly man in an anachronistic 18th century uniform, powdered wig with queue, a beak-like and prominent nose, curling moustaches and goatee beard, and glasses. He uses his wits, his amazing luck and superhuman skills, and his gift of blather and blarney to defeat his enemies. He is also unusual in that he is handicapped by infirmities but is superhuman when he compensates for them. Without his glasses, he is blind as a bat; with them, he can see clearer and farther than a man with perfect vision. He has a lame leg, but when he carries his cane, he is capable of running faster and jumping higher and farther than an athlete.

Read more about this topic:  Il Capitano, Variants

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