April 30, 2013

Zani = Z: Blogging from A to Z

Congratulations to all the participants of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge who are finishing out the month today with Z.

I can't wait to visit other blogs today--Z isn't the easiest letter.

My theme this month has been literary devices. I have learned so much! Z was hard, but I found...

A stock character in the commedia dell'arte, the zani was a buffoonish servant, a jester, a butt of jokes, i.e., what twentieth-century entertainment would call a "stooge." The modern English word zany comes from this Italian term. (source)

Most stories benefit from a character who serves as comic relief. Often, we'll explain a great read as, "I laughed, I cried." It's the salty and sweet effect--balancing emotional moments with a good laugh.

The first example that popped in my head... Dory. She helped Marlin find his son, Nemo, but she was also the jester--constantly cracking jokes and being silly. 

In literature, Shakespeare often featured a "buffoonish servant" or jester. For example, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, there is a jester named Puck. He not only provides comic relief but also becomes a pivotal character who affects many others.

In addition to providing comic relief, the "fool" often becomes the main character's conscience. Think Dory again. What a valuable tool.

Can you think of an example of zani?

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog this month. I hope you'll continue to visit. 

Don't forget to visit other Z blogs today--find A to Z participants here.


Arlee Bird said...

I can't really think of a good example off hand. The first one that came to mind was Jimmy Olsen in the old "Superman" TV series. But that's not too good. I drawing a blank for literary characters.

Congratulations on completing the Challenge. Hope you'll join us starting on Friday as we share our Challenge Reflections.

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Jo Michaels said...

I didn't know this literary device existed. A good example I have is the television show host in The Hunger Games trilogy. He's a funny guy in the books and provides the reader with some laughs, but he helps shape the outcome of the story. Great post, Tia! WRITE ON!