Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

Shakespeare's Pantaloon

The Sixth Age of Man

In one of his plays, William Shakespeare depicted the Pantalone character as Pantaloon - in the Sixth Age of Man - as the old guy, full of fears, trying to reach an interior peace.

"And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

William Shakespeare:
“As you Like It “ - act II scene 7

Sir John Gilbert: Pantaloon in a flash of his old age's fears.
He is protecting the girl from the rushing horses (real life?) as he feels everything as dangerous. The fears of old age.
Wood Engraving (1847-1856)
The British Museum courtesy
Thomas Stothard: "The Seven Ages of Man"
from William Shakespeare, “As you Like It"
Book Print Illustration (1799)
The British Museum courtesy

How much of this Pantaloon character was taken from the Venetian Pantalone is not clear, but it matches quite well.

The Pantalone character was already quite known outside Venice at the time, as it had already appeared in a play in 1570 at the Duke of Wittelsbach Court.

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