In this section I will research where and when the ‘Punch and Judy’ show began. What is the ‘Punch and Judy’ show? Who was the creator? What came before that may have influence the arrival of Punch and Judy? How were they made?
Let’s start with defining each of these words;
the : an adjective, the definite article, used before somebody or something that has already been mentioned or identified, or something that is understood by both the speaker and hearer, as distinct from “a” or “an”
a character from traditional children’s puppet shows. He is a red-cheeked, hook-nosed clown who behaves in a quarrelsome or aggressive manner.
See also Punchinello
punch 2 n
1. a tool used to make holes in something
2. a tool that is hit to stamp a design on something or to cut something to a particular shape
3. the die or solid part of a punch, containing the stamping or cutting tool
4. a tool used to knock a bolt or rivet out of a hole
1. to make a hole in something using a punch
2. to stamp or cut something using a punch
a drink made with a mixture of fruit juice and often spices and wine or liquor
punch card or punched card n
a card with patterns of holes punched in it, used to store information in early computers and telex machines
the wife of Punch in a traditional Punch-and-Judy puppet show
and : a conjunction used to indicate an additional thing, situation, or fact. “And” in this case links words and phrases of the same grammatical value. conj
a word used in computer technology to link two or more items that must occur together
1. vti to cause or allow something to come into view
2. vti to be visible or allow something to be seen easily
3. vti to put on an exhibition or performance or to present something for the public to see
4. vti to present something for sale to the public
5. vt to guide or accompany somebody
6. vt to call somebody’s attention to something
7. vt to make somebody’s or something’s fundamental qualities or characteristics evident
8. vt to explain, demonstrate, or prove something in a logical way
9. vt to give a demonstration of something in order to teach others
10. vt to register information
11. vt to display a personal feeling or attitude
12. vi to have a particular appearance when being viewed
13. vi to put in an appearance at a place (informal)
14. vi to finish at least third in a race, especially a horse race or a dog race
15. vt to allege or plead something in a legal document
1. an expression or demonstration of something
2. a public entertainment such as a theater performance, movie, or radio or television program
3. an exhibition, for example, of art, flowers, animals, or an industry’s products
4. U.K. See fair
5. an appearance given, either as an outward display of an emotion or trait, or as a demonstration of falseness and pretense
6. an undertaking or task, especially one of some size and complexity (informal)
7. an extravagant or impressive display
8. a display or exhibition designed to evoke laughter or ridicule
9. a third place finish in a race, especially a horse race or a dog race
10. Australia, New Zealand, U.S. a chance or opportunity (informal)
11. a trace of something indicating its presence, for example, oil in the ground
12. a bloody mucous discharge indicating the onset of labor in childbirth
What is the ‘Punch and Judy’ show?
‘Punch and Judy’ is an English puppet show featuring Punch and Judy, a quarrelsome couple, together with a large number of other characters that join in the fun. It is a live comedy performed by a puppeteer from booth for children. This is performed at fairs, parties and on the beach. The children are intended to interact by shouting out various phrases through out the show.
When was the birth of the ‘Punch and Judy’ show?
Mr Punch’s birthday is considered to be on May 6, 1662 when Samuel Pepys wrote about the performance of ‘Punch and Judy’ in his diary. This is the earliest written description the show in England.
In these diary extracts, Pepys, an English naval administrator, describes the first English performance of Punch. This was performed by an Italian puppeteer, Pietro Gimonde operating as "Signor Bologna",
"...an Italian puppet play, that is within the rails there, which is very pretty, the best that I ever saw, and great resort of gallants." (Pepys, Samuel)
In his diary Pepys also says that he saw this performance at St. Paul's Church in London's Covent Garden.
Pepys went return to the shows many times and continued to be amused by this new entertainment. Pepys saw one of the first performances that were done in within a tent. The performance was done with a marionette and not a puppet glove, what they all gradually came to be.
However, many different claims have been made to when and where exactly the ‘Punch and Judy’ show came from and when exactly.
(insert pic p11 World of Puppets)
There are examples of puppet theatres being used back in the 14th century as illustrated above.
Puppetry has been around for hundreds of years including
The story has been handed down generation by generation so there is no one author. It has developed over the years with a variety of people involved in its creation.
One theory is that 'Punch and Judy' can be traced from the 16th century to Italian commedia dell'arte. Commedia dell'atre was improvised theatre that began in the 15th century. It remained popular up until the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte is italian for play of professional artists. Some are still performed today. Anyone was free to watch the performances and were all completely free. They were all outside with just a few props, which were usually masks and costumes. The actors consisted of seven men and three women always.
(insert images here that shows similarities betweent he two)
Pulcinella is a character from commedia dell’atre. He is a character that inspires the creation of Punch. Although Pulcinella differs in appearance , he is dressed in white and wears a black mask, they have many similarities Just like Punch, Pulcinella had extremely long nose, which resembles a beak.
‘Pulcinella’ was then adapted to the English tongue to give the name ‘Punch’. Pulcinella later became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry aslo.
I decided to investigate the roots and meaning of the name ‘Pulcinella’. I found that it had derived from the word "Pulliciniello" which has derived from the Latin ‘pullus gallinaceus’, which means beak. Furthermore it is related to the Italian pulcino or chick. Therefore, one could say that the name ‘Punch’ derives from the description of his nose as a beak of a bird.
Magnin compares Punch to King Henry VIII, not particularly in appearance but in character. Both are stubborn and brutal. They like to get what they want and are determined and ruthless in getting it.
Punch was also thought to represent The Lord of Misrule, in Scotland was known as the Abbot of Unreason of the 16th century. He was generally a peasant or put in charge of Christmas revelries, which included wild partying and drunkenness. This was in the pagan tradition of Saturnalia.
Furthermore, Punch is thought to be a represent the mythological figures, “Tricksters”. In the study of folklore and religion a ‘Trickster’ is essentially a good spirited human or anthropomorphic animal who disobeys the rules of normal behaviour, is mischievous and performs pranks. This is perhaps why we find it hard to hate Punch as we know that deep down he has a heart and he seems unaware how his behaviour and actions really affect others.
Punch is known throughout the world, here are the names for Punch by different nationalities
France Polchinella or Le Guignol
Dutch Jan Klaassen
Germany Hans Wurst (John Sausage)
(Pictures of people from nationality and their version of Punch)