Class belonging is one of the key constituents of identity in a society shaped by hierarchical power relations as a measure of individual worth and status. 1 Even when class is not prominent as an issue in the plays, as it very often is, characters invariably size each other up in class terms. Together with gender, age and familial role, class is a vital constituent of individual identity as well as identification in the public, social interaction fundamental to Goldoni's dramatic world. The issue of class recurs throughout this study, with the exploration of identity in relation to fashion, and the assumption of cross-class disguise both within and outside a carnival context, focal points in chapter five. This chapter is devoted to class as fundamental to Goldoni's gender portrayal, in terms of relations both between the genders and within each gender, with the theatrical aspects of class representation in Goldoni's plays a primary consideration. Class often cuts across gender (with mistresses, for instance, exerting power over male servants). In other cases, traditional gender relations are reinforced by class belonging as upper-class male characters sexually exploit lower-class female characters made vulnerable not only by their poverty, but also, in the case of domestic servants, by their accessibility indoors.