La Ruffiana

La Ruffiana (in Italian, pimp or whore) is an older female character of the commedia dell'arte with a shady past or who used to be a prostitute. She is used most often in relationship to the vecchi of which group she is a nominal member. Ruffiana is most often romantically involved with Pantalone, though his love may easily be unrequited if it suits the plot.

Ruffiana can also be used to describe a witch.


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