Mistero Buffo Essay

584 Words3 Pages
Much of the Italian social life and artistic culture can be characterized by spectacle. Spectacle exists in many different forms, from large scale operas, to comedies and dramas, television shows, and even political debates. Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo, specifically his story, Birth of the Peasant,portrays an authenticity of Italian spectacle in a new, modern context. The attainment of a spectacle is relative to the medium in which it is demonstrated, however in an overarching way, spectacle helps a work achieve significance and impact on its viewers. The inspiration for Fo’s series of plays entitled, Mistero Buffo, was the Italian passion plays and medieval storytellers, the giullare. In a brief historical overview of the giullare, these people can be thought of as thirteenth and fourteenth century Italian jesters. Fo was inspired by them because they were among the first to assist the lower classes in obtaining a voice. This inspiration is prevalent in Fo’s Mistero…show more content…
Fo’s performance of Mistero Buffo is reminiscent of stand-up comedy; it’s just Fo standing on a stage talking to an audience. Fo’s heightened facial expressions and emotive body movements enable him to tell stories without a common language. In fact, Fo speaks in a language he popularized called grammelot, which forces both him and the audience to obtain greater meaning from his actions, body shape, tone of voice, and facial expressions, than from his words. Fo continues to engage the audience by playing every single character in the stories, which quickly becomes comic when he attempts to portray the thoughts of a crowd. Fo works similarly to actors of commedia dell’arte, in that he writes a script for himself but allows a level of improvisation to seep through, giving him the creativity to respond to audience

    More about Mistero Buffo Essay

      Open Document