Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Scaramouche is a historical novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1921 and subsequently adapted into a play by Barbara Field and into feature film versions in 1923 and 1952. It is a romantic adventure and follows the story of a young aristocrat during the French Revolution. His successive endeavors as a lawyer, politician, actor, lover, and buffoon lead his enemies to call him "Scaramouche" (also called Scaramuccia, a roguish character in the commedia dell'arte), but he impresses many with his elegant orations and precision swordsmanship. This delightful classic overflows with memorable escapades. The later film version includes one of the best and one of the longest swashbuckling sword-fighting scenes ever filmed.
The novel has a memorable start: (BOOK I: THE ROBE, CHAPTER I, 'THE REPUBLICAN') "He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony. His very paternity was obscure, although the village of Gavrillac had long since dispelled the cloud of mystery that hung about it."
Scaramouche is the name of a suite for 2 pianos by the French composer Darius Milhaud.
Scaramouche is one of the iconic characters in the Punch and Judy puppet shows (a performative art with roots in commedia dell'arte). In some scenarios, he is the owner of The Dog, another stock character. During performances, Punch frequently strikes Scaramouche, causing his head to come off of his shoulders. Because of this, the term "scaramouche" has become associated with a class of puppets with extendable necks.
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