chapter  8
The ‘servant of two masters’: Scaramouche, Hamlet and Dom Juan
WithStephen Knapper
Pages 9

In this paper I would like to examine elements of subversion in early modern and modern representations of the mask of Scaramouche. 1 After pointing out a structural analogy in the plot of one film featuring the mask with Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I shall examine the subversive aspects of another with reference to a reading of the early modern Robin Hood. I shall then make a comparison between the carnivalesque aspects of the early modern mask in the plays of Silvio Fiorillo and the discourse of levelling in Hamlet, arguing that the tragedy is pervaded by the spirit of Yorick. I will then briefly consider the career of Tiberio Fiorilli, first looking at how an anecdote told about him fits the subversive jester – Yorick – model, and secondly, upon his relationship with Molière, with a particular focus on the character of Sganarelle and Dom Juan, concluding with an assessment of its influence on a recent Italian avant-garde theatre production.