Crispin

Definition

Theater

  • In French comedy, a clever unscrupulous valet. The part derivedultimately from the character of Scaramuccia in the commediadell'arte, who became Scaramouche in the French theater. PaulScarron introduced Crispin in his play L'écolier de Salamanque(1654) while Jean-Francois Regnard made him the main figure in hisworks. In the 1650s the part was played by Raymond Poisson (1630 - 90)of the Hôtel de Bourgogne; his characterization retainedsome features of the traditional braggart soldier but added a newcomic shrewdness. His son, Paul Poisson (1658 - 1735), completedthe transformation of Crispin into a quick-witted rogue.
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