Character : According to circumstances, in turn father, husband, widower or bachelor, this old Venetian merchant is as rich as he is miserly, a true skinflint. He is as faudulent in business as he is stern with his servants. When not worried about money, Pantalone has but one thing in mind: finding a beautiful and very young girl to marry since he still sees himself as handsome and frisky. Useless to say, none of these beauties is interested in him as a husband. This character his very important in the Commedia dell’arte. Without him there can be no comedy because each one of his weaknesses allows the other characters to prey on him, particularly his servants who always attempt to steal from him in retaliation for his stinginess. He will usually have one or two daughters (Isabelle, Rosaure, Camille or Smeraldine) whom he finds difficult to marry off. They, in turn, are well served in their disobedience by smart and bold maidservants.
Costume and Mask : The raspy voiced, Pantalone is an old, skinny hunched-over character. He wears long, red stockings, which he wore in his young days, but which are now too large for his frail legs. He shows a voluminous fly to attract attention to his manhood which, everyone around him agrees, is very much part of his past. He also dons soft slippers or Turkish sandals, a narrow red waistcoat with large buttons and a red cloak or, as pertinent to the development of his character, a black suit covered with a rich black cassock. His head covering is a Greek bonnet without edges; a purse hangs from his belt.
His mask will be in pale tones (beige, pale brown or whitish) with a long, crooked and often warty nose. Pantalone shows a fine gray moustache and from his bony chin protrudes a goatee.