A traditional Russian puppet theatre
character, akin to the English Punch and Judy
. Petrushka is a young peasant man in traditional red breeches and a red pointy cap
, with sharp features and a pointy nose. He is clever
and resourceful, but not powerful, and comes out on top of his opponents in folk tales
with the use of brains rather than brawn.
Petrushka is a tragi-comical figure, an artistic incarnation of the downtrodden Russian peasant. He plays tricks on rich and corrupt character and vies for the love of a beautiful and refined female character in competition with a burly, strong and malicious rival.
In Soviet times the character of Petrushka became entangled in that of Pinoccio (Buratino in Russian) because of the similar way the two were portayed in the adaptation of the novel to Russian audiences.