buffoonery, clowning, japery, frivolity, harlequinade, prank(noun)
acting like a clown or buffoon
A pantomime-like comedy featuring the harlequin or clown.
Any comical or fantastical procedure or playfulness.
Origin: From arlequinade.
a play or part of play in which the harlequin is conspicuous; the part of a harlequin
Origin: [F. arleguinade.]
Harlequinade is a British comic theatrical genre, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "that part of a pantomime in which the harlequin and clown play the principal parts". It developed in England between the 17th and mid-19th centuries. It was originally a slapstick adaptation or variant of the Commedia dell'arte, which originated in Italy and reached its apogee there in the 16th and 17th centuries. The story of the Harlequinade revolves around a comic incident in the lives of its five main characters: Harlequin, who loves Columbine; Columbine's greedy father Pantaloon, who tries to separate the lovers in league with the mischievous Clown; and the servant, Pierrot, usually involving chaotic chase scenes with a policeman. Originally a mime act with music and stylised dance, the harlequinade later employed some dialogue, but it remained primarily a visual spectacle. Early in its development, it achieved great popularity as the comic closing part of a longer evening of entertainment, following a more serious presentation with operatic and balletic elements. An often elaborate magical "transformation scene", presided over by a fairy, connected the unrelated stories, changing the first part of the pantomime, and its characters, into the harlequinade. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the harlequinade became the larger part of the entertainment, and the transformation scene was presented with increasingly spectacular stage effects. The harlequinade lost popularity towards the end of the 19th century and disappeared altogether in the 1930s, although Christmas pantomimes continue to be presented in Britain without the harlequinade.
The numerical value of Harlequinade in Chaldean Numerology is: 3
The numerical value of Harlequinade in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7
Images & Illustrations of Harlequinade
Find a translation for the Harlequinade definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these Harlequinade definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"Harlequinade." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 29 May 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/Harlequinade>.