The Comedies of Machiavelli by Niccolò Machiavelli

By Niccolò Machiavelli

Although higher identified this present day as a political theorist than as a dramatist, Machiavelli secured his popularity as a massive within the historical past of Italian comedy greater than fifty years sooner than Shakespeare's comedies extremely joyful English-speaking audiences. This bilingual variation contains all 3 examples of Machiavelli's comedic paintings: gleaming translations of his farcical masterpiece, The Mandrake; of his model of Terence's the girl From Andros; and of his Plautus-inspired Clizia--works whose style afforded Machiavelli a different motor vehicle not just for wonderful audiences yet for interpreting advantage amid the twists and turns of fortune.

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The Comedies of Machiavelli

Notwithstanding larger recognized at the present time as a political theorist than as a dramatist, Machiavelli secured his reputation as a massive within the historical past of Italian comedy greater than fifty years sooner than Shakespeare's comedies extremely joyful English-speaking audiences. This bilingual variation comprises all 3 examples of Machiavelli's comedic artwork: glowing translations of his farcical masterpiece, The Mandrake; of his model of Terence's the girl From Andros; and of his Plautus-inspired Clizia--works whose style afforded Machiavelli a distinct automobile not just for unique audiences yet for studying advantage amid the twists and turns of fortune.

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Questo mi piaceva, e ciascuno per una bocca mi diceva ogni bene, e lodava la mia buona fortuna, che avevo cosi fatto figliuolo. Che bisognano pib parole? Cremete, spinto da questa buona fama, venne spontaneamente a trovarmi, e offer! dare a1 mio figliuolo una unica sua figliuola con una gran dote. Piacquemi, promissigli, e questo dl 6 deputato a Ie nozze. SOSI A : Che manca, dunque, perch6 Ie non sono vere? S I M O : Tu lo intenderai. Quasi in quegli di che queste cose seguirono, questa Criside vicina si mori.

What is apparent is the dramatist's ultimate frustration at never being able to be sure of controlling the audience's responses. It shines through this transparent invitation to do our own delving, even though we may unearth the wrong material-or even reject the invitation. Despite the early stage history of the play, most audiences have refused to enter into any kind of give and take with Clizia. Perhaps Machiavelli knew that it was less polished than The Mandrake and tried to compensate for his lack of success by passing the responsibility for interpreting the play onto the audience during the last few minutes.

His turning to a form that could subsume nature and antiquity tacitly implies that such works as The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and The Florentine Histories could not. Thus his letter to Vettori justifies the practice of comedy as a means to achieve this goal. Let us go and do likewise. James B. Atkinson TRANSLATOR'S N O T E O N THE WOMAN FROM ANDROS Translating a translation poses special problems for the scholar. To whom is the second translator primarily responsible-to the original author or to the first translator?

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