The Old Men
The Old Men in a Commedia scenario most often than not play the father to one of the Lovers, or is vying for the amorous affections of the female Lover. Here we have Pantalone and Dottore.
Top of the pecking order. Pantalone is money: he controls all the finance available with the world of commedia dell'arte and therefore his orders have, ultimately, to be obeyed. He is the employer, giving orders to his servants, and the father, dictating to his children, controlling the social structure which obtains before the events of the scenario take place. He has only two characteristics: avarice and trouble with his prostate gland. Pantalone operates on the assumption that everything can be bought and sold, and this turns out to be true, with the exception of loyalty (and love). But he also loves money for it's own sake and will therefore only part with it when there is no other option. When things don't go his way he quickly slips into emotional extremes, particularly enraged petty tyranny. He has a long memory and never forgets or forgives the slightest past transgression. Pantalone is action, not words- in contrast with Il Dottore. (Rudlin 92,94) In Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters, Pantalone is the father of the Lover Clarice, and in Gozzi's The King Stag he is the daughter of Anglea, who ends up marrying King Deramo at the end of the play.
He is a bachelor or a widower. When he does marry he is immediately cuckolded. Often father to one of the Lovers. From Bologna, home city of Italy's oldest University, not that he ever went to it. Speciallises in everything, and can talk a load of old boloney about it. He is belly, not intellect- centered. Il Dottore is inclined, like Pantalone, to be stingy, but in his case it is because he doesn't have any money. (Rudlin, 99,101) There is not a example of Dottore in Gozzi's The King Stag, but he does play an very important part in Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters. Il Dottore is the father of Silvio, who is the intended husband of Clarice, Pantalone's daughter.