Carnivalesque motives in the theatre of Enrico Cavacchioli

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 4 January 2011

Preliminary communication

Antonela Pivac ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia 
Marijana Alujević Jukić ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia

pages 111-121

04_08_Pivac_Alujevic_Jukic PDF


Enrico Cavacchioli, once a renowned journalist, poet and playwright, is barely mentioned in contemporary anthologies or critical surveys. Once a highly respected representative of the Futurist movement, along with being one of the most prominent representatives of the Grotesque theatre, he is now almost completely neglected by critics. Cavacchioli’s theatre brims with symbols and it offers ingenious theatrical solutions and responses to the incompetence heroes have in coping with an inconstant reality. Cavacchioli’s masks are merely the expressions of the author’s sarcasm in relation to life in general and theatre as its projection. The carnival and masks provide cover for all types of behavior of the protagonists. It appears much easier, therefore, to analyze the individual and collective tragedy of the protagonists, prevented by the society to act or behave at will, within a carnivalesque environment. Cavacchioli’s masks, therefore, offer a wide range of sarcastic and realistically direct images of life, a sensation of diversity and impulsivity, and above all, of freedom. Cavacchioli’s theatre is primarily characterized by a strong sensation of anarchism, offering unexpected solutions to the dramatic conflicts in a wide set of topics, in particular in relation to the perception of a deformed reality. Cavacchioli leaves the impression of a curious author who wants to be omnipresent, yet absent; of an author who wants to participate, yet be discretely left aside; of an author whose theatre is original and innovative; and finally, of an author who undoubtedly contributed to the development of a new concept of theatre between the two World Wars.


Cavacchioli; Futurism; Grotesque theatre; carnival; masks; sarcasm; theatre