Harlequin on wires


Senior Member
Hi everyone
What is your interpretation for "as if Harlequin himself on wires" in the following context from "Puss-in-Boots" by Angela Carter.
Daring alone will carry the day and, though the first storey's graced with a hefty caryatid whose bulbous loincloth and tremendous pects facilitate the first ascent, the Doric column on her head proves a horse of a different colour, I can tell you. Had I not seen my precious Tabby crouched in the gutter above me keening encouragement, I, even I, might never have braved that flying, upward leap that brought me, as if Harlequin himself on wires, in one bound to her window-sill.
I know the character but I don't know what's meant by him on wires.
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the theatre, flying and jumping are effected by suspending the actor on wires.


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    Senior Member
    English - US
    Harlequin is a character from commedia del arte. These characters often appear in puppet shows so a marionette of Harlequin could be made to fly by the puppeteer pulling its wires.