The original, generic name for the stock character Scaramouche in the Commedia dell'Arte, the traditional traveling dramatics of old Italy which followed the tradition of Roman drama.
The defining characteristics of the character are his loud, braggish ways and his harmless, if not cowardly underside. His costume is usually a parody of military apparel, showing him as a peacock of sorts, like the male of most species, flaunting his plumage as a sign of his (lacking) self-confidence.
The character's mask is traditionally one with bold colors and black or dark brown facial features. The eyes are wide to display the character's outward tendencies toward broad physical caricature and machismo. The nose is often phallic to demonstrate the character's need to prove his masculinity. However, as is mentioned elsewhere, the character seldom scores with the ladies.
Instead, he often assists a younger character to find love, but his advices and assistances are more often than not detrimental or incidental to the story of the lovers' passions.
He is often depicted as being frightened of any loud noise and of swords, especially his own.
- Reference: Commedia dell'Arte pages at American University.