Hanswurst

Definition

Theater

  • A stock comic character in 18th-century Viennese theater. Hanswurst'scoarse mannerisms derived from the Zanni of the commediadell'arte and from the clown Pickelhering, the fool Jan Bouschet,and other characters of the English Comedians.

    A later version was originated by the actor-manager JosephStranitzky (1676 - 1726), who changed Hanswurst from a simplepeasant to a sly knave. The character became even more sophisticatedwhen played by Stranitzky's successor, the actor Gottfried Prehauser(1699 - 1769), and eventually appeared in all sorts of genres,disrupting the plot with improvisations. Hanswurst was subsequently transformed by Joseph Kurz (1715 - 84) into the character of Bernadon.

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