Letter to the Editor| Volume 28, e16-e17, March 2016

Does acromegaly suffice to explain the origin of Pulcinella? A novel interpretation

Published:November 06, 2015DOI:
      Pulcinella, mainly known in the English-speaking world as Mr Punch (Fig. 1), is a character from the Italian Commedia dell'Arte, whose origins can be traced back to protagonists of Roman Atellan comedy (e.g. Maccus or Bucco), whose grotesque appearances closely resemble the 16th century Neapolitan mask. The character as we know him originated in Naples, most likely representing a lazy, angry opportunist who is easily beaten, plausibly as the comic personification of folk unleashing their basic instincts. No doubt, the mask that we see nowadays was first brought onto the stage by the actor Silvio Fiorillo (1560 ca–1632 ca) in the second half of the 16th century AD, with certain changes in his costume introduced later by the actor Antonio Petito (1822–1876) [ ].
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Fig. 1Polichinelle (French for Pulcinella or Punch) showing a double hump.
      From Wikipedia: (accessed 14/09/2015). Image in the public domain uploaded by AndreasPraefcke.


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