Entertainment / Literature / Commedia Dellarte: A genre of Italian farce from the sixteenth-century characterized by stock characters, stock situations, and spontaneous dialogue. Typically, the plot is an intrigue plot and it involves a soubrette who aids two young lovers in foiling the rigid constraints of their parents. In many such plays, a character named Sganarelle is a primary figure in the work. Often there is a zani, or foolish-servant, who provides physical comedy in contrast to the anguish of the young lovers. In the end, the couple achieves a happy marriage. Commedia dell'arte may have influenced Shakespeare's comedies, such as The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Moliere's plays, such as l'amour Medecin, commonly translated into English as Love is the Doctor.