Sicilian puppet theater

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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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 Sicilian puppet theater from other forms of

teatro di figura

traditionally practiced in Italy, such as the


, light-weight puppets supported by strings, and the


, or hand-puppets, both of which present varied, primarily comic, stories outside the context of chivalry.

Puppet theater can be found throughout the world from Northern Europe to Indonesia and is attested to in Sicily since the fourth

3179 words

Citation: Cavallo, Jo Ann. "Sicilian puppet theater". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2012; last revised 11 November 2018. [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

17676 Sicilian puppet theater 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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