Beyond Commedia dell'Arte: two masterpieces by Carlo Goldoni

Course Dates: 08/07/23
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Commedia dell’Arte originated in Italy in the 16th century, establishing a lasting legacy on many playwrights. Carlo Goldoni, a sharp observer of Venetian society, took this tradition and moved it forward, paving the way for Italian theatre. Discover more about Goldoni's characters, themes and how he staged the plays. We will also read from two of Carlo Goldoni’s most famous works: Servant of Two Masters and The Mistress of the Inn.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

Course Code: HLT140

Sat, day, 08 Jul - 08 Jul '23

Duration: 1 session

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What is the course about?

Commedia dell'Arte, and its improvised plays, created some of the most iconic "types" or "masks" that inspired writers such as Molière and Shakespeare. Carlo Goldoni adopted the content of Commedia dell'Arte and gave its characters depth and turned them into representations of the humanity of his day. He also infused his plays with a sense of optimism that continues to delight audiences with their wit and resourcefulness.

What will we cover?

We will look at the structure of Commedia dell'Arte, its types and how the plays were staged. We will then see how Goldoni enhanced this tradition and, to illustrate this, we will read some extracts from two of his most memorable plays.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- identify some key features of Commedia dell'Arte
- give some information on how Carlo Goldoni built on this tradition
- name some of the characteristics and traits of Goldoni's characters.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and does not require any knowledge of Italian or previous readings about Goldoni. A good grasp of English is necessary to make the most of the session. It is not necessary to have read the texts, but those who wish, can find the editions we will be using in class below.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The session will consist of a mixture of lecture, reading of the text, discussion and group work.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Handouts will be provided by the tutor. The extracts from the plays will be taken from the following editions:The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, translated by Stephen Mulrine (Nick Herne Books 2012), ISBN 978-1848421936 (available also as e-book); The Mistress of the Inn: A Comedy, translated by K. De Fabris (2014) ISBN 978-1502854971. Both texts are available from Amazon UK.
Bring writing material if you wish to take notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

For other literature courses please look under History, Culture and Writing/Literature at

Francesco Bucciol

Francesco has taught Italian language classes and literature at City Lit since 2014. He also works as Head of the Classics Department. After graduating with honours in Modern Languages and Literatures (English, German and Serbo-Croat), he moved to London and started teaching Italian at various adult education colleges, which gave him the opportunity to share his interest in Italian language, culture and traditions to a diverse range of students. During this time, he also acquired experience in curriculum management. Francesco currently prepares students for Italian exams. His passion includes philology, Dante, early Italian literature and the history of Italy (primarily the Northeast, where he grew up and was educated).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.