Skip to content

Markus Kupferblum

Harvard University, "Die Verwandlungen des Pierrot", Arthur Schnitzler and the Commedia dell'Arte

Time: 6 December 2023, 15h

Venue: Theater Dance Media, Farkas Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Arthur Schnitzler refers to the Commedia tradition from his remote point of view which was very fashionable in this time. Pierrot, who was not very meaningful in times when people paid after the show, became the big star on indoor stages, where people had to pay in advance. Being the silent, wild, erotic, ambiguous character he became THE symbol of of the idealised Commedia dell’Arte at the turn of the century, as for Wedekind, Rilke, Nabokov, Watteau, Giraud, and so many more.

In his play "Die Verwandlungen des Pierrot" Schnitzler describes the tragedy that occurs when people agree to marry for social reasons, even though their passion burns for someone else. In the end, there are only losers. Two couples who lack love and a clown who is left lonely. Only the parents are happy.