Commodifying Passions: Gender and Consumerism in Commedia all’italiana
Comedy as a genre has long been linked to sex and materialism. This can be traced back to Aristotle’s ascription to comedy of everyday concerns in lower social groups, going on to find expression in Italian commedia dell’arte and Renaissance theatre’s earthy focus on goods, sexuality and the business of marriage in an era of nascent capitalism. On a continuing trajectory through Goldoni’s eighteenth-century bourgeois comedies of socio-sexual manners, fashion as sex and status symbol, and marriage brokerage, to the adoption of comedy by cinema from its beginnings, sexual and material desires have inevitably been twinned.
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