Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance

Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance

by Laura Giannetti
     
 

At the turn of the sixteenth century, Italian playwrights rediscovered and recast an old art form — the ancient Latin comedy — to create witty, ribald, and intricately plotted plays that delighted Renaissance audiences with their clever reversals of gender and class roles. Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance brings together the best of these works

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Overview

At the turn of the sixteenth century, Italian playwrights rediscovered and recast an old art form — the ancient Latin comedy — to create witty, ribald, and intricately plotted plays that delighted Renaissance audiences with their clever reversals of gender and class roles. Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance brings together the best of these works in lively new translations by Laura Giannetti and Guido Ruggiero, who also place the comedies in their cultural and social context. Presenting a fresh perspective on the Italian Renaissance, these deft translations allow modern readers to experience the original artistry and carnivalesque humor of these delightfully profane and irreverent literary classics.

Contents: The Comedy of Calandro by Bernardo Dovizi de Bibbiena; The Mandrake Root by Niccolò Machiavelli; The Master of the Horse by Pietro Aretino; The Deceived by the Academy of the Intronati of Siena; and A Venetian Comedy (anonymous)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801872570
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2003
Pages:
321
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Albert Russell Ascoli

The five plays chosen for this volume represent some of the finest, and most influential, works from the first wave of the classicizing revival of comic theater in 16th-century Italy, which would then make itself felt throughout Europe: in the England of Shakespeare and the Spain of Lope. They stand among the extraordinary accomplishments of the 'High Italian Renaissance,' comparable to the art of Michelangelo and Raphael, the political and historical thought of Machiavelli and Guicciardini, the courtly dialogue of Castiglione, the romance-epic of Ariosto, and so on. The combined skills of Giannetti and Ruggiero, a talented literary scholar and a leading cultural historian, have blended perfectly in producing lucid, appealing translations that both respect the artistry of the texts—especially their wickedly carnivalesque humor—and reveal their dual function of reproducing and travestying fundamental aspects of the 'social world' of early modern Italy. Readers will find the long introduction especially illuminating about the ways in which Machiavelli, Bibbiena, Aretino, and the others transform the classical models of Plautus and Terence as they superimpose upon them the political preoccupations, normative family relations, sexual practices, and gender and age roles of their own brilliant and traumatic epoch.

Albert Russell Ascoli, Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

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Meet the Author

Laura Giannetti, formerly a professor of Italian literature and history at the Instituto Magistrale "Duca degli Abruzzi" in Treviso, teaches Italian language and literature at the University of Miami. Guido Ruggiero is chair of the department of history at the University of Miami. His books include The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime, and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice and Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and Power at the End of the Renaissance.

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