Sicilian puppet theater

(3123 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The Sicilian Opera dei pupi is a form of prose theater that dramatizes primarily chivalric narratives using large wooden puppets with full armor, swords, and shields. The puppets weigh an average of twenty-two pounds in the Palermo tradition and sixty-five pounds in the Catanese tradition, and they are manipulated from above by means of iron rods. These characteristics distinguish the Opera dei pupi from other forms of teatro di figura traditionally practiced in Italy, such as the marionette, light-weight puppets supported by strings, and the burattini, or hand-puppets, both of which present varied, primarily comic, stories outside the context of chivalry.

Puppet theater can be found throughout t…

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Cavallo, Jo Ann. "Sicilian puppet theater". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2012
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]