Tartaglia (commedia dell'arte)
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Tartaglia is a dainty character in the Commedia dell'arte. He is farsighted and with a minor stutter (hence his name; cf. Spanish tartamudear), he is usually classed as one of the group of old characters (vecchio) who appears in many scenarios as one of the lovers (innamorati). His social status varies; he is sometimes a bailiff, lawyer, notary or chemist. Dramatist Carlo Gozzi turned him into a statesman, and so he remained thereafter. Tartaglia wears a large felt hat, an enormous cloak, oversized boots, a long sword, a giant moustache and a cardboard nose. He usually represents the lower working class but at times the middle or upper class in the commedia dell'arte. In the opera Le maschere by Mascagni, one of the characters is Tartaglia, a stuttering servant.
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