The principle of unity in four cinquecento comedies

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1 University of Iowa Iowa Research Online Theses and Dissertations 1972 The principle of unity in four cinquecento comedies Roy Ira Glassberg University of Iowa Posted with permission from the author. This dissertation is available at Iowa Research Online: Recommended Citation Glassberg, Roy Ira. "The principle of unity in four cinquecento comedies." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory Commons

2 THE PRINCIPLE OP UNITY IN POUR CINQUECENTO COMEDIES by Roy Ira Glassberg A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art in the Graduate College of The University of Iowa December, 1972 Thesis supervisor: Associate Professor David M. Knauf

3 Graduate College The University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL PH.D. THESIS This is to certify that the Ph.D. thesis of Roy Ira Glassberg has been approved by the Examining Committe for the thesis requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art at the December, 1972 graduation. Thesis committee: Thesis sun e rv i sor t. * Member' Member Member Member

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to offer my special thanks to David Knauf for his aid, encouragement, and critical advice. I would also like to thank Samuel Becker, Merle Brown, Donald Bryant, and David Schaal for their many constructive suggestions. Finally, I am indebted to Judith Briggs, J. J. Murphy, Edward Small and Ruth Small for their friendship and editorial assistance. ii

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER Page I INTRODUCTION... 1 Methodology and Assumptions... 3 Texts and Sources... 7 N o t e s... 9 II THE INTENDED EFFECT OF LA MANDRAGOLA.. 10 Mandragola1s Representation The Plot A Theory of Mandragola*s Purpose Virtu and Fortuna N o t e s III THE ENDING OF BILORA N o t e s IV LOVE AND FORTUNE IN LA CALANDRIA Love Fortune Notes V APPEARANCE AND REALITY IN IL CANDELAIO. 137 The Triple Plot A Comparison of II candelaio1s Plot and Representation II candelaio^ Unifying Principle II candelaio!s Didactic Purpose N o t e s...1b0 iii

6 VI CONCLUSION Notes BIBLIOGRAPHY iv

7 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION

8 2 This study treats four sixteenth-century Italian comedies: Niccolo Machiavelli*s La mandragola (c. 1518), Angelo Beolco s Bilora (c. 1527), Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena s La Calandria (1513), and Giordano Bruno s II candelaio (1582). Specifically, the dissertation seeks to discover the principle of unity intrinsic to each work and to determine how the various elements of each combine to produce an artistic whole. In my estimation, the plays selected both merit and require critical attention. Each remains an effective theatre piece capable of appealing to modern audiences. The comedies are bawdy, droll, and crisply paced. They reflect a cynicism toward established institutions which is at once shrewd and devastating. The church, the courts, the police, the medical and mercantile professions are all seared with caustic irony. At the same time, each of the works benefits from some remarkable craftsmanship, as shall be demonstrated in later chapters. In short, I believe that each of the works is particularly suited to contemporary tastes.

9 3 But if the plays are to be effectively staged or intelligently read, for that matter their design, the scheme of organization which informs the whole, must be apprehended. Thus I regard these works as deserving of critical attention. In addition to meriting this attention, the plays are also in need of it. Each of the works selected seems to display an apparent flaw, a deviation from its evident structure. In Mandragola. for example, a line of action is initiated and then aborted: the climax of the plot, that toward which all else has been directed, is not represented. Bilora s protagonist u n d erg o es a startling and quite puzzling behavioral change. La Calandria displays certain problems with its denouement. And II candelaio fails to enact much of its plot. In the chapters which follow, I shall attempt to explicate these difficulties and to come to terms with them via my inquiry into unity. Methodology and Assumptions I should like to introduce my discussion of procedure with some remarks by Northrop Frye. According to Frye:

10 4 The primary understanding of any work of literature has to he based on an assumption of its unity. However mistaken such an assumption may eventually prove to be, nothing can be done unless we start with it as a heuristic principle. Further, every effort should be directed toward understanding the whole of what we read, as though it were all on the same level of achievement. We often use such phrases as "see what the author is trying to do," and the like; these of course are inaccurate, but they do express something of an ideal or perfect product. We should hold to this conception as long as possible, in defiance of everything our taste tells us, even if the work we are studying is as obviously uneven as The Revolt of Islam or Oliver Twist. The critic may meet something that puzzles him, like, say, Mercutio s speech on Queen Mab in Romeo and Juliet, and feel it does not fit. This means either that Shakespeare was a slapdash dramatist or that the critic*s conception of the play is inadequate. The odds in favor of the latter conclusion are overwhelming: consequently he would do well to try to arrive at some understanding of the relevance of the puzzling episode. Even if the best he can do for the time being is a far-fetched or obviously rationalized explanation, that is still his sanest and soundest procedure.! If I can summarize the main thrust of Frye*s argument, the critic is advised to approach his object bearing the assumption of its unity and to maintain that assumption until proven untenable this despite the fact that certain "puzzling episodes" may be present which, in Frye*s words, do not seem "to fit." While I have no desire to obfuscate Frye s rather straightforward advice, I would like to suggest the presence therein of an implied dialectic. As thesis,

11 5 we can posit (through inference) an initial or prior sense of the work s order which allows us to recognize those puzzling episodes which refuse to fit, that from which they stand at variance. have the "puzzlers" themselves. On the other hand, we Now when Frye speaks of the assumption of unity, he seems to imply (at least in my view) the likelihood of a greater, synthetic unity, a vision of the work as a whole which can incorporate both our original sense of order as well as the puzzling episodes antithetic to it. If this is so, then it becomes the critic s duty to locate the special point of view which makes that vision possible. Relating Frye s approach to my own, I attempt with each play to oppose its apparent structure against some discrepancy within that structure. In the case of La mandragola and II candelaio. for example, I employ a method suggested by Elder Olson which allows me to discriminate certain deviations from each comedy s plot. In the Bilora chapter, I use two conceptions of dramatic form, derived from R.G. Colling- wood and Kenneth Burke respectively, to demonstrate that a discrepancy exists between the main character s stock behavioral pattern and his final action. Like-

12 6 wise, I try to show how ha Calandria s denouement is at variance with Donatus four parts of comedy, the play s evident structure. In each case, I attempt to find a principle of organization which can overreach both the apparent structure and the elements which deviate from it, thus allowing us to view the work as a unified whole, as the work of art rather than the work of error, as it were. To view this procedure from another more colloquial point of view, I should like to twist an analogy by suggesting that my approach is the opposite of Prince Charming s in the Cinderella story. As we remember, the Prince was left with a highly particularized slipper, one that would fit the contours of but one individual foot. Instead of a slipper, I have in each of these plays a highly particularized foot, so to speak, one well-shaped and uniform for the most part, but bearing some unusual bumps and warts as well. The problem then becomes a case of finding the right slipper, one that will fit comfortably over the whole of the foot with a minimum of stress.

13 7 Texts and Sources My command of Italian is not such as to allow for a series of original translations. English versions of each play were used and these were checked against the Italian for accuracy. In the Mandragola chapter, I employed J.R. Hale*s translation crosschecked against those of Gilbert and Bentley. The Ridolfi edition of the original was referred to for verification. Babette and Glenn Hughes* translation of Bilora was used in conjunction with the 1584 edition of Beolco^s works. For the La Calandria chapter, I employed Oliver Evens* translation, referring back to Carlo Teoli*s Italian text for confirmation. Finally, I relied upon J.R. Hale once again for his version of II candelaio. corroborating it with Vincenzo Sampanato*s critical edition of the original. The reader wishing publication data may refer to the bibliography which follows this study. Before closing, I should like to single out several secondary sources as being of particular value. Bernard Weinberg*s monumental History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance was most helpful in clarifying the concepts of admiratio

14 8 p and la maraveglia^ Marvin Herrick1s studies of sixteenth-century comedy and dramatic theory were invaluable as background materials.^ Samuel C. Chew's The Pilgrimage of Life served as an excellent source 4 of information on Renaissance literary themes. am particularly indebted to Douglass Radcliff-Umstead's The Birth of Modern Comedy in Renaissance Italy for its insightful essays on La mandragola and La Calan- 5 dria. Radcliff-Umstead's understanding of these works is in many ways similar to mine he identifies Love, for example, as a major theme in the Dovizi play but misses its connection with Fortune. Finally, I am appreciative of Leonardo Olschki's Machiavelli the Scientist for its clear explication of virtu and fortuna.^ I

15 9 Notes ^Northrop Frye, "Literary Criticism, in The Aims of Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures, ed«james Thorpe (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1963), pp p Bernard Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance (2 vols.; Chicago: tfniverslty of Chicago tress, 1961). ^Marvin T. Herrick, Italian Comedy in the Renaissance (Urbana, Illinois: tfniverslty of Illinois ress, 1966) and Comic Theory in the Sixteenth Century (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois tress, 1950), ^Samuel C. Chew, The Pilgrimage of Life (New Haven: Yale University Press', l 62). ^Douglas Radcliff-Umstead, The Birth of Modern Comedy in Renaissance Italy (Chicago: 'Dftie University of (Chicago tress, l96^j. Leonardo Olschki, Machiavelli the Scientist Berkeley, California: Gillick Press',' 1^45/.

16 10 CHAPTER II THE INTENDED EFFECT OF LA MANDRAGOLA

17 11 David Knauf has suggested that critical attempts to determine the intended effect of Mandragola (upon its original audience) have been seriously impeded by an imperfect knowledge of those Florentine conventions, expectations, attitudes, and the like to which the playwright might have been appealing.^" Knauf*s assumption is that Machiavelli, like so many of the erudita writers following Aristo, sought to affect his audience through a skillful and imaginative manipulation of commonly held attitudes which the viewer could be expected to carry with him into the theatre. But we really know very little as yet about the habitual predilections of the Florentines. As a result, we are hard put to make a decision, even a tentative one, as to whether Machiavelli meant his comedy to be taken as a mere innocuous amusement, aviscious corrective satire, or as an objective, almost photographically disinterested portrait of contemporary manners, without first knowing how a Florentine audience might customarily respond to what, for us, appears as a set of highly provocative representations for example, that of the church as an expediter of

18 12 murder, abortion, and adultery. D. Erskin Muir suggests that the Florentines had become inured to such subjects both through the experience of their daily lives and through frequent dramatic representations and would have accepted Mandragola as nothing more than an amusing divertissement, one "not meant to be taken seriously."^- Muir, however, offers no support for this view other than her own speculation. No doubt, future scholarship will be able to piece out our knowledge of the Florentine audience and its habits of expectation, allowing us, perhaps, to make a more supportable statement of Machiavelli1s intention. For the interim, however, I would like to suggest as another approach, a system of analysis designed to provide us with a set of data indicative of La Mandragola*s purpose. My methodology derives from Elder Olson*s Tragedy % and the Theory of Drama. According to Olson, a distinction can be made between the plot of a play and that which is actually represented on the stage. Plot is defined by Olson as a "system of actions of a determinate moral quality." In using the phrase "system of actions," the critic means to imply that a plot will consist of a number of events which have

19 13 been arranged according to some unifying principle (usually causal sequence, but others are possible).^ Furthermore, plots which are so organized will be complete, that is, they will have a beginning, a middle and an end. Although Olson does not dwell on this quality of completeness, I assume his meaning is the same as Aristotle*s. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it.5 Although the idea of "completeness** may at first seem no more than a trivial exercise in codifying the obvious, I have, nonetheless, found it to be a most valuable concept. As I will show later in my essay, it allows me to clearly define the limits of Mandra- gola*s plot so that I may lift it out whole when comparing it with its representation. I did not, on the other hand, find Olson*s notion that a plot must possess a "determinate moral quality" to be particularly helpful here. Olson*s reasoning is as follows. He assumes, first of all, that "plot

20 14 is always aimed at some specific effect within the audience, and that this effect is always of an emotional nature.^ We experience emotion, he says, on the basis of what we hope and fear for the characters presented to us. If those whom we favor experience good fortune, then our experience is pleasurable. When the opposite occurs we experience pain, and so on. The attitudes we develop toward the characters (our favoring some and holding others in disfavor) is determined on the basis of our moral approval or disapproval of their actions.^ If, for example, we disapprove of murder for gain, we will hold in disfavor those who engage in it and subsequently wish them misfortune. Hence, in order to gain an emotional effect, a plot must include events of a "determinate moral quality," events which are identifiable in terms of the general moral code we bring to the theatre. As I have stated, this concept will not be of particular use to me. As Olson himself recognizes, no such universal moral code exists. He suggests, therefore, that the playwright (and presumably the critic) must make himself as familiar as possible

21 15 with the moral attitudes entertained by the audience. As I indicated earlier, the attitudes of the Florentine audience are unknown to us. Therefore, in my initial treatment of Mandragola s plot, I shall not take its moral quality into consideration. According to Olson, once the playwright has constructed his plot that is, once he has cast his story into a series of actions, casually linked, with a beginning, a middle, and an end he must then embody it and bring it to life through what the critic chooses to call a representation. 8 In Olson s usage, a representation is a plan for performance. It is, I suppose, what we would normally think of as a script. Olson further suggests that in transforming a plot into a representation, the playwright will be faced with a series of choices. He will have to decide, for example, which of the events contained within the plot are to be actually witnessed by the audience and which are to be merely described through conversation, a messenger, a narrator, or some other device. Furthermore, he will have to decide whether or not he wishes to add additional actions to his representation, i.e. events which are not included in the plot

22 16 and which do nothing to forward it.^ Shakespeare, as Olson points out, does both in Macbeth# He chooses to describe rather than to enact the murder of Duncan, even though the murder is a crucial event in the plot; and he chooses to include the porter scene, an action which does nothing to forward the plot, Olsonfs assumption, and mine as well, is that such discrepancies between plot and representation, in so far as they are products of choice, are also products of intention.^ Furthermore, the playwright, in making his choices, will often do so in keeping with his overall design for the work. As a case in point, Olson offers the following example: Shakespeare... arranges the representation /of Macbeth7 so that scene by scene we take the view lie wishes us to take. Consider, for example, the murder of Duncan. It is a dastardly, an unnatural, a monstrous act. Were we to see Macbeth commit it, it would leave us with an idelible impression of brutality which would preclude all sympathy for him. It must remain a hideous murder; but it must happen off stage; and we must see the indecision, the revulsion, the agitation and anguish of the murderer before the crime, and the remorse, horror, and fear which follow immediately upon it. This is in fact what we do see; and Shakespeare forces us to be more concerned for the murderer than for his victim. The proof of this is that at the knocking closely as it follows upon the murder we are actually fearful for Macbeth. The suffering which takes place before our eyes is so immediate and so

23 17 intense that the murder of Duncan, base as it is, is comparatively remote and faint.h Naturally, we cannot consider every discrepancy between the plot and its representation to be a guide- post to the playwright1s primary intention (the effect which the work as a whole is meant to have upon its audience). Indeed, a dramatist may choose for technical reasons to include within his representation actions which are not integral to his plot. He may, for example, need these additional scenes to better establish character or probability or to furnish exposition. Therefore, in my treatment of Mandragola. I will consider as facts of primary intention only those discrepancies which do not seem to be the products of technical necessity. I shall begin my consideration of Mandragola with a summary of its representation (that which the characters say and do during performance). I will try to abstract from the representation what I consider to be its plot. Next I shall compare the two for discrepancies, excluding those I believe to be the result of technical considerations. Finally, having completed this process, I hope to be left v/ith a pattern of facts, as it were, indicative of Mandragola's purpose.

24 18 Mandragola1s Representation Act I Scenei (Callimaco and Siro). Callimaco, a young man of Florentine birth relates something of his history to his servant, Siro. Callimaco originally left Italy at the age of ten, having been sent to Paris to escape the French invasions. His next ten years were spent pleasantly, if innocuously, abroad. Recently, however, he was entertained by the description of an exquisitely beautiful Florentine woman, Lucrezia, the wife of Nicia, a middle-aged lawyer, and Callimaco has now returned to his homeland nearly mad with desire for her. Callimaco then tells Siro of some of the obstacles to his desire. Lucrezia is an absolute paragon of virtue. She avoids all people of her own age, and she rarely leaves her house. Furthermore, her husband, although old, is not quite past it yet. -^ Callimaco, however, does have some hope: Nicia is an incredible dunce, the couple are desperate for children, and Lucrezia1s mother, Sostrata, is an old bawd who might be of some help to him. Callimaco*s best hope, however, is the parasite Ligurio, an ex

25 19 marriage "broker who has both befriended Nicia and promised to help Callimaco for a price, Ligurio, we are told, has offered to persuade Nicia to take his wife out of town to the baths, the waters allegedly being a cure for infertility. As Callimaco explains to Ligurio, the trip might lead to some change in her outlook: you*ve got to be gay in these resorts: there*s nothing else to do. I would go too, and arrange all sorts of festivities, and show myself off as splendidly as possible; and I would work my way into their acquaintance. Who knows? One thing leads to another, and time will tell. U Scene ii (Ligurio and Nicia). Ligurio attempts to convince Nicia to take Lucrezia to the baths, but the old man is hesitant, not liking to pick up stakes and move. When Ligurio chides him about his reluctance to travel, Nicia proves to be a fool. He boasts of being a renowned globe trotter, having seen the sea itself. When asked about its size, he claims that it is at least seven times bigger than the Arno. Nicia is finally persuaded, however, and asks Ligurio to find out which bath will best suit his purpose. Scene iii (Ligurio alone). The parasite comments on Nicia*s stupidity and suggests that it will certainly give Callimaco an advantage.

26 20 Scene iv (Callimaco and Ligurio). Ligurio tells Callimaco that although Nicia is now willing to move, their plan is not a particularly good one, Well, this is how I see it: you know that all sorts of people go to these watering places, and among them might "be someone who fancies Lucrezia as much as you do: and he might "be richer than you, he might be more attractive than you; in which case ihe fruits of our labours would be picked up by someone else. Then it might be that faced by a number of rivals s!he will become colder than ever, or, if she likes the situation she may decide on another man and not on you. (Italics mine.)14 Ligurio suggests that they try another plan, one that would yield quicker returns and have.more chance of success than going to the baths. He advises Callimaco to pretend that he is a Parisian doctor. The parasite predicts that Nicia, being simple minded, will believe Callimaco provided the young man bandies a bit of Latin at him. The act ends with another prediction, this time by Callimaco: "these fine hopes of your!s I*m afraid they will just vanish in a puff of smoke." Act II Scene i (Ligurio and Nicia) Ligurio is assured by Nicia that he will be able to tell at once whether Dr. Callimaco is a quack. "As for his learning, once

27 21 I have had a few words with him I shall be able to tell you if he is well grounded or not; I am not the 1 r man to be taken in by a mere cap and gown!" Scene ii (Callimaco. Ligurio. and Nicia) Nicia is at once deceived by Callimaco s Latin. Callimaco agrees to put his medical skill at the disposal of the old man and asks him for a specimen of Lucrezia*s urine. Scene iii (Siro. Callimaco. Ligurio. and Nicia). Siro is sent with Nicia to fetch the specimen. Scene iv (Siro and Nicia). Nicia complains to the servant about conditions in Florence. Those in authority do not recognize or patronize true talent such as his own. If he were not independently wealthy, he would starve in the practice of law. "You've got to be in with the Government in this city before even a dog will bark at you."^ Scene v (Siro) Nicia has gone in to obtain the specimen and Siro comments, once again, on what a fool the old man is. Scene vi (Siro and Nicia). Nicia tells Siro of the trouble he had in obtaining the specimen. Lucrezia wants children as badly as he, but she is unwilling

28 22 to do anything to cure her infertility, (Nicia automatically assumes that the fault is hers). Scene vii (Callimaco, Ligurio, Siro, and Nicia), After some Latin nonsense over the urine (which once again astounds the gullible Nicia), Callimaco tells the old man that he has a guaranteed remedy for barrenness, proved effective on the Queen of France herself. There is one drawback, however the first man to have intercourse with a woman after she has taken the Mandrake cure, perishes within eight days, Nicia at first protests that he does not want to die. When Callimaco suggests that they get someone else to sleep with her, Nicia again objects: "I don*t want to make my wife a whore and myself a cuckold. ^ Callimaco reminds the old man that the King of France, indeed the whole French court, has already set the precedent, Nicia has one final objection. He will, in effect, be murdering the man who first sleeps with Lucrezia, and the old lawyer does not want to hang. Callimaco now suggests that they disguise themselves, kidnap and blindfold a young lout, put him to bed with Lucrezia, and no one will be the wiser. With his self-interest and reputation both assured and secure,

29 23 Nicia agrees "but sees no way to convince the virtuous Lucrezia. Ligurio now suggests that her confessor, Friar Timoteo, is the very man to persuade the girl and predicts that the friar can be convinced to join the intrigue by "you, me, money, or baser selves and his. -*-9 Ligurio also predicts that Sostrata will "see things our way" and help to bring the girl 20 to her confessor. anticipation. Callimaco is almost frantic with Callimaco: But I beg you don t leave me alone. Ligurio: You re in a fine state. Callimaco: Where am I to go? Ligurio: Here, there anywhere. Florence is a great city.21 Act III Scene i (Sostrata. Nicia. and Ligurio). Sostrata agrees to bring her daughter to Friar Timoteo, telling Nicia that I have always heard it said that it is the part of a wise man to choose the lesser of two evils. If there is no other way to have children, then, conscience permitting, you must take this one.22 Scene ii (Nicia and Ligurio). Nicia explains to Ligurio why Lucrezia is so unwilling to visit the church. She has been told by a neighbor that if she

30 24 attended mass for forty mornings she would conceive. The monks, however, kept making advances toward her, and she refused to return to the church. Ligurio comments: These friars are sly and cunning; and that is only to he expected, for they know all about our sins as well as their own: and someone who was not familiar with them might easily go about getting their support in the wrong way. So I am anxious that you should not spoil anything in talking to him for men like you, who spend all day studying in their books, understand the wisdom of the ages, but don't know how to handle the business of the world (He's such a half-wit I'm afraid he might ruin everything).23 Scene iii (Friar Timoteo and a Young Widow) Ligurio's prediction about the Friar's character is confirmed. For a florin, Timoteo facilely reassures the widow that her wicked husband is "beyond all doubt" 24 in purgatory and not in hell. Scene iv (Friar Timoteo) The Friar cynically itemizes the advantages and disadvantages of possess sing women. Who so renounces them avoids trouble, but also certain advantages; who lives with them has plenty of both. But true it is that where the honey is there will the flies be gathered together.25 Scene v (Ligurio. Nicia. and Friar Timoteo) Ligurio tells the Friar that Nicia is deaf and may

31 25 answer strangely to any questions put to him. The parasite goes on to explain that Nicia is prepared to donate several hundred ducats to the church if the Friar will arrange an abortion for Nicia s neice. The Friar agrees: So be it, and in God s name. Let what you wish be done, and all for God s sake and charity. Tell me the name of the convent, give me the potion, and, if you like, give me the money too, so that I can start putting it to some good use.26 Ligurio offers the Friar part of the money but then pretends to be called away for a moment. Scene vi (Friar Timoteo and Nicia) After talking at cross purposes with the supposedly deaf Nicia, the Friar complains: I might as well address the beasts of the field. One of the men I have to deal with is deaf and the other is out of his wits. One can t hear and the other has run away. But if this is sound money I can beat them at their own game.27 Scene vii (Ligurio. Friar Timoteo. and Nicia). Ligurio returns and tells the Friar that he has just received word that the girl has miscarried on her own. The Friar may still keep the money if he is willing to help them with another matter, one not so scandalous, but more advantageous to us, and more profitable to you. ^8 The parasite and the Friar enter the

32 26 church to discuss the new proposition. Scene viii (Nicia). The old lawyer complains of his utter confusion. All he knows is that he is now twenty-five ducats to the had,and his business has not even been mentioned. Scene ix (Ligurio. Friar Timoteo, and Nicia). The Friar agrees to use his authority to persuade Lucrezia to sleep with a stranger and assures Nicia that his first child will be a boy. Ligurio and Nicia go off to fetch Sostrata and Lucrezia. Scene x (Friar Timoteo) The Friar assures us that he is as much the wiley manipulator as Ligurio. I really don t know who is tricking whom. That rogue Ligurio only produced the first story to try me out, so that if I refused to help with that he wouldn t have told me about this business at all, and given away their plot for nothing; they aren t concerned with the bogus one. Well, they caught me all right: but I can still turn the trap to my own use. Messer Nicia and Callimaco are rich, and by one means or another I shall do well out of both of them; the whole affair must be kept secret that is as much in their interest as mine. Come what may I have no regrets.29 Scene xi (Sostrata and Lucrezia). Lucrezia is terribly distraught over what she has been asked to do. If I were the only woman left in all the world, and responsible for replenishing the whole human race, I can t think I would be justified in doing this. 5

33 27 Sostrata cautions her daughter to be advised by the Friar and those who love her. Scene xii (Friar Timoteo. Sostrata. and Lucrezia). The Friar begins to induce Lucrezia*s consent with a series of arguments. He tells her that the Bible itself gives precedent for murder, fornication, incest, and the like and that fear of evil is always greater than the evil itself. Indeed, on close appraisal evil is "natural, bearable, and homely. 31 Furthermore, good must never be sacrificed for evil. The good of bringing a soul into the v/orld far outweighs the evil of a problematical murder. Besides, the real sin lies in displeasing one*s husband. The girl most reluctantly agrees to submit herself but with the full knowledge that she will die for her sins before morning. Scene xiii (Ligurio and Friar Timoteo) The act ends with the Friar predicting that things will go exactly as planned, that there will be no difficulty. Nicia claims that he is "the happiest man alive. 32 Act IV Scene i (Callimaco). The young man tells us of his terrible anxiety and of his plan to die if the

34 28 strategem does not succeed. Scene ii (Ligurio and Callimaco). The parasite allays the young man s fears, reassuring him that everything is going exactly as planned. Callimaco, however, introduces another complication: if he participates in the kidnapping, then he cannot be the man kidnapped. If he does not participate in the kidnapping, then Nicia may see through their plot. Ligurio then comes up with a scheme whereby the Friar will disguise himself as Callimaco; the young man, in turn, will disguise himself as a vagabond. The two engage in some comic business, with Callimaco testing out a series of grimace disguises. Ligurio again offers a prediction: Make her yours tonight, and before you leave, let her know who you are, explain the plot, declare your love for her, tel] her how much you adore her; show her that she could remain your ally without any scandal, or with a great deal of scandal become your enemy. But there'll be no question of that she won't want tonight to be the last.33 Scenes iii. iv. and v (Callimaco and Siro) Siro is sent for the mock potion and is ordered to deliver it to Nicia. Scene vi (Callimaco). The young man again speaks of his anticipation, his nervousness, and his vow to kill himself if the scheme fails.

35 29 Scene vii (Siro. Ligurio. Callimaco. and Friar Timoteo in disguise) Callimaco promises his entire fortune to the Friar if their plan succeeds, Timoteo remains on stage while the others go off to disguise themselves. Scene viii (Friar Timoteo) The Friar delivers another of his cynical monologues, this time on the subject: "an excess of good nature as well as evil nature can bring you to a bad end."34 The Friar sees himself as a good man who may have allowed himself to get into trouble through his generosity to Nicia, He finds consolation, however, in the thought "that when a thing concerns many, the responsibility can!t be laid at the door of anyone in particular."33 Scene ix (Ligcurio. Siro. and Friar Timoteo) The three enjoy a good laugh at the expense of Nicia*s ridiculous costume. Scene x (Nicia. Ligurio. Siro. and Friar Timoteo). Nicia villifies his wife for her virtues and hesitancy, and the party makes ready to capture their "victim." Scene xi (Callimaco. Ligurio. Siro. Nicia. and Friar Timoteo). All goes as planned: Callimaco enters playing a lute. He is seized, spun around, blindfolded, and taken into Nicia*s house.

36 30 Scene xii (Friar Timoteo). The Friar ends the act with a prediction: Ligurio and Siro will have supper, as they have not eaten all day, Messer Nicia will go from room to room, keeping an eye on things. And Callimaco and Madonna Lucrezia won t sleep, "because I know that if I were in his place an you were in hers we wouldn t sleep either. Act V Scene i (Friar Timoteo), The time is the next morning and the Friar has just come out of the church. He again delivers a monologue, this time on the necessity of maintaining the appearance of another Madonna, a "miracle working" statue of the Virgin kept within the church, How many times have I told these monks to keep her clean! And then they are surprised when devotion falls off! I remember when she had five hundred ex votos, and today there aren t twenty; and this is our own fault, for not knowing how to keep up her reputation, Why, we used to go there in procession every evening after compline, and have lauds sung there every Saturday, V/e used to make ex votos ourselves so that there were always fresh ones to "be seen; we used to get offerings for her out of the ladies through the confessional and out of the men too. There s nothing like that now and then we marvel that devotion is so cold! Oh, what a stupid lot my "brother monks are. (Italics mine.)37 Scene ii (Nicia, hiirurio, Siro. and Callimaco). Callimaco still in disguise is turned out of Nicia s

37 31 house and warned not to come back. Scene iii (Nicia. Ligurio. and Siro). Nicia tells the parasite and the servant how he checked and double checked to make sure the vagabond and his wife were engaged in lovemaking. Scene iv (Friar Timoteo). The Friar, who has overheard the conversation, decides to wait for Nicia and Callimaco in the church "where I can get the best value for my goods." Scene v (Callimaco and Ligurio). Callimaco describes the seduction of Lucrezia to the parasite. As I told you, Ligurio, till after one o clock I wasn t really happy about it, and though my pleasure was great, I was not able to enjoy it. But after I had told her who I was, and had made her understand how much I loved her, and how easily we could live happily without it involving any scandal, thanks to the foolishness of her husband, and had promised that when God had other plans for him I would marry her at once and when on top of all this she had felt the difference between my love and Messer Nicia*s and between the kisses of a young lover and an old husband, then, after a sigh or two, she said: "Since your cunning, the folly of my husband, my mother s lack of scruple and the wickedness of my confessor have combined to make me do what I would never have done on my own, I can only believe that some divine influence has willed this, and, as it is not for me to resist what heaven decrees, I surrender. And so I take you for my lord, and master, and guide. You must be everything to me father, defender, and the sole source of all my happiness: and what my husband wanted for a night, I want him to have forever. Seek his friendship, then: go to church this

38 32 morning, then come home to dine with us; you shall come and go as you will, and we shall be able to be together at any time without suspicion.1 When I heard this I was overwhelmed with tenderness, and hardly able to express anything of what I felt. But the result is that I am the happiest and most contented man in all the world, and if neither death nor time destroy my happiness the saints themselves shall call me blessed!39 Scene vi (Nicia, Lucrezia. and Sostrata). Nicia brings Lucrezia to the church to be sanctified. Lucrezia now speaks caustically to her husband whereas she had been meek and deferential before. Scene vii (Friar Timoteo. Nicia. Lucrezia. and Sostrata). Friar Timoteo blesses Lucrezia: Fra. Timoteo: May fortune favor you, madonna, and may G-od grant you a fine male child. Lucrezia: As God wills. Fra. Timoteo: Oh, He wills it. He certainly wills it.40 Scene viii (Callimaco, Ligqirio, Friar Timoteo. Nicia, Lucrezia. and Sostrata). Nicia, as Lucrezia predicted, welcomes Callimaco into their home and gives him a key so that he may come and go as he pleases. Friar Timoteo, Ligurio and Siro receive ample rewards. Nicia looks forward to his son. Indeed, as Sostrata tells us: Today everyone is h appy.the play ends with the principles entering the church to join together in prayer.

39 33 The Plot As Olson and Aristotle suggest, a sequential plot will also be complete; it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end, as we remember, "is that which itself naturally follows some other thing either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it."42 The end of Mandragola*s plot, then, is Callimaco*s being given the key and welcomed into Nicia*s home. Nothing else of consequence follows that is not already contained within this gesture. Callimaco has achieved all of his goals. He has gained the confidence of Nicia, the devotion of Lucrezia, and free access to her with all appearances maintained. Nothing else follows because nothing else is desired. A beginning, as Aristotle says, "is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be."43 Mandragola*s plot begins, then, v/ith Callimaco first hearing of Lucrezia*s beauty. Nothing else prior to this event necessarily leads to it. Callimaco neither had to leave Florence at the age of ten nor establish residency at Paris to have heard of Lucrezia. In my opinion, Machiavelli includes these

40 34 details merely for the sake of establishing probability and characterization. If Callimaco is to impersonate a doctor attached to the French court, then he ought to know something of French manners and customs. Furthermore, he would have to be a stranger to Florence, or Nicia might otherwise have seen or heard of him. As for characterization, the fact that Callimaco lived in comfort abroad while his country was being invaded establishes him as a young man concerned primarily with his own self-interest and pleasure. On the other hand, this event does naturally lead to the next events within the plot the young man's return to Florence and his solicitation of Ligurio's help. This action leads, in turn, to the first intrigue against Nicia, the attempt to persuade him to take Lucrezia to the baths. But is this action truly a part of the plot? A middle event, we remember, is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. 44 Does anything necessarily follow the intrigue about the baths? I think not. The action is abortive; nothing comes of it. It leads nowhere because it is abandoned rather abruptly in favor of the mandrake root intrigue. Nevertheless, this action

41 35 is treated to full enactment within the representation (I, ii). I should like, therefore, to consider this action as my first fact of intention, as it were. In doing so, I am making several assumptions. First of all, I am assuming that the author has excellent control over his material and would ordinarily exclude an action which leads nowhere, unless its presence is of use in some special way. The fact that the comedy displays a high degree of economy in other respects would seem to hear out this assumption. Again, I am assuming that the action has no technical justification. One might argue that it helps to establish Nicia's character, shov/ing us that he is a most easily managed blockhead. But Machia- velli is able to do this in a number of other ways. Nicia*s immediate acceptance of Oallimaco on the basis of a four word greeting in Latin indicates to us, at once, what kind of a man Nicia is. The playwright did not have to develop an abortive line of action merely to further Nicia*s characterization. Putting aside the intrigue of the baths, the next event within the plot is the decision by Ligurio and Gallimaco to adopt the mandrake ruse. This, in turn,

42 36 leads to Callimaco*s pretending to be a doctor, the gulling of Nicia through the use of Latin and the business with the urine, and the decision to enlist the help of Sostrata and Timoteo. All of these actions are fully enacted. The next discrepancy between plot and representation is the short scene between the Friar and the young widow (III, iii). Again, this scene, while treated to a full enactment, does not function in terms of the plot. Nothing else is ever done with the widow; indeed, we never see or hear of her again. Once more, I do not think Machiavelli is using the scene merely to characterize the Friar. His personality becomes quite clear as soon as he accept the twenty-five ducats for the abortion. I would like, therefore, to consider this action as my second fact of intention. The decision to seek Friar Timoteo*s aid leads directly to his being tested through the abortion ruse and to his being proven agreeably corrupt. As a result, Timoteo is enlisted by the plotters and manages to persuade Lucrezia to submit (reluctantly to be sure) to her husband*s wishes. Lucrezia*s acquiescence allows for the culmination of the intrigue.

43 37 After a necessary adjustment, with Timoteo disguising himself as Callimaco, the young man is seized and put to bed with Lucrezia. I think it important to point out that although she has agreed under pressure from her husband, mother, and confessor to submit herself, Lucrezia has not yet lost her innate sense of morality. She still believes that what she is about to do is unjustifiably perverse and that she will die for her sins before morning. The girl has not truly been morally seduced until she has spent the night with Callimaco. I think that the playwright takes special pains to suggest that the climax of the plot lies in the moral seduction and not merely in the physical submission of Lucrezia. If the whole of the play!s action is directed toward Callimaco*s gaining pleasure with Lucrezia, the young man, as he tells us, was not able to enjoy total happiness until after this final corruption. Furthermore, it is the moral seduction and not the physical submission of Lucrezia v/hich allows for both her betrayal of Nicia and the end of the plot: Callimaco*s gaining free access to her home. Lucrezia*s moral seduction, then, is an event most

44 38 crucial to the plot. Nevertheless, it is not enacted for us. One might argue that Lucrezia*s moral seduction takes place in the bedroom and that to represent it would be a violation of decorum. I would conversely argue that Machiavelli, if he had chosen to do so, could easily have enacted the scene in Act V, the morning after the physical seduction. Callimaco could have presented all of his arguments to her then, and she could have responded in exactly the same way as she did the night before. The only difference this arrangement would make in terms of the plot is that Callimaco*s perfect pleasure would have to have been delayed until the lover*s next liason, and the playwright could have easily foreshadowed this pleasure in the same way as he foreshadows the future course of their affair. Taking all of the above into consideration, I should like to consider the nonenactment of Lucrezia*s moral seduction as my third fact of intention. As the reader may have noticed, I have not stopped to consider those monologues of Callimaco, Nicia, and Timoteo which do nothing to forward the action. Callimaco, we remember, speaks several times of his

45 39 nervousness, anticipation, and desire to kill himself if the plan does not succeed, I have not considered Callimaco s monologues as facts of primary intention because I believe Machiavelli introduces them simply as a device to heighten interest in the action. If Callimaco were a blase, rather disinterested young man, the audience would certainly lose some of its interest in the outcome of his affairs, Nicia s monologue (III, viii) seems in my view, nothing more than a device to gain a laugh. Timoteo s monologues, with but one exception, reveal facts about the Friar which would not otherwise be suggested by the action. In Act III, scene x, for example, the Friar reveals that he is perfectly aware that Ligurio is trying to trick him and that he, himself, plans to turn the trap to his own use. Likewise, in his soliloquy (IV, iii), the Priar reveals that he will be perfectly happy to engage in mischief provided that he cannot be held, personally responsible. The one exception to this pattern is the Friar s monologue on the statue of the Virgin (V, i). Since I cannot account for this digression in any other way, I shall consider it as my fourth and last fact of intention.

46 40 A Theory of Mandragola*s Purpose I should like to introduce my discussion of Mandragola*s purpose with a consideration of the play*s structure. The comedy*s primary structure is, of course, that of a sequential plot. Its action is complete, and its events, with the exceptions noted above, are linked together by cause and effect. An examination of my first three facts of intention, however, suggests the possibility of another subsidiary structure for the play, one v/hich reaches outside the comedy to depend upon the arousal and fulfillment of our expectation. The events enacted or described in my first three facts of intention seem to bear a common characteristic: they are each a fulfillment of some prefiguration or prediction offered by one of the characters shortly before the event itself. I do not mean to suggest that this quality is the raison d*etre of these events as facts of intention (I will come to that in a moment) but, rather, that these three events, being outcomes of predictions, are representative of a general pattern throughout the work. Indeed, as I hope to show, the rhythm of prefiguration and outcome

47 41 comprises a secondary structure for the play. In Act I, scene i, Callimaco prefigures a possible course of action for the play. Ligurio will persuade Nicia to take his wife to the baths where the change of locale might lead to a change in her outlook. 45 Callimaco then proceeds to characterize Lucrezia and Nicia in most extreme terms. Lucrezia is characterized as the most beautiful and virtuous woman to be found either in Prance or Italy, and Nicia is described as the most blockheaded and simple-minded man in Florence. 46 I think any audience, on hearing such a description, would be filled with a certain expectancy. It would want to see these marvelous creatures to judge for themselves the accuracy of Callimacofs prefigurations. In the next scene, during which Ligurio attempts to persuade Nicia to take his wife to the baths, Callimaco1s prefiguration is confirmed. Only the most block-headed man in Florence would describe the sea as being exactly seven times larger than the Arno. Luring the following scene, predictions are made by both Ligurio and Callimaco. Ligurio predicts that if the young man bandies a bit of Latin at Nicia, the old lawyer will take Callimaco for a learned doctor

48 42 without question. The parasite further predicts "if you are prepared to trust me and take a risk, I will see that you have what you want before this time tomorrow, "47 Callimaco, in turn, predicts the exact opposite: "Well 1*11 do as you say, but these fine hopes of yours I*m afraid they will just vanish in a puff of smoke,"48 The act ends with the audience wondering which of the two predictions is to be proven correct, Act II begins with Nicia offering a prediction to Ligurio: "As for his /Callimaco*s7 learning, once I have had a few words with him I shall be able to tell you if he is well grounded or not: I am not the man to be taken in by a mere cap and gown!"49 This prediction by Nicia, as well as Ligurio*s prediction about the Latin, establishes audience expectation for the next scene. Here we see Callimaco (disguised as a doctor) and Nicia confront one another for the first time. Nicia is shown to be dead wrong in his prediction. He has overestimated his power to judge the talents of other men and is immediately taken in by a four word greeting in Latin. Act II closes with both a prefiguration by Callimaco, and a prediction by Ligurio. Callimaco

49 43 under Ligurio*s tutelage, explains to Nicia the details of a scheme to kidnap the vagabond, thus setting up audience expectation for the action of Act IV. I will let you have the potion this evening after dinner; you give it her to drink, and put her straight to bed about four hours after dark. Then we shall disguise ourselves, you, Ligurio, Siro and I, and we will scour the New Market and the Old Market, and the streets round here, and the first idle young lout we find, we111 throw a cloak over his head and whip him along in the dark into your house and up to your room. Then we will put him to bed, tell him what to do and there won't be any difficulty at all.50 Ligurio!s prediction, on the other hand, arouses the audience's expectation for the action of Act III immediately following. Ligurio tells Nicia that Friar Timoteo will be persuaded to join their cabal by "you, me, money, our baser selves and his." In the first scene of Act III, Ligurio prefigures the character of Timoteo immediately before we are introduced to the Friar for the first time. These friars are sly and cunning; and that is only to be expected, for they know all about our sins as well as their own: and someone v/ho was not familiar with them might easily go about getting their support in the wrong way.^2 The following scene confirms our expectation of Timoteo. We see the Friar gulling a florin from a foolish and superstitious young widow who trusts him. The rest

50 44 of Act III confirms the prediction made by Ligurio at the end of Act II: money, Ligurio1s baser self, and Timoteo!s, combine to persuade the Friar to convince Lucrezia to submit to her husband*s demands. Act III ends with a pair of prognostications, one by Lucrezia and the other by Timoteo. Lucrezia predicts that she will die for her sins before morning, and Timoteo assures Ligurio that everything will take place as planned without any difficulties. Luring Act IV, Ligurio predicts that if Calli- maco reveals himself to Lucrezia, delcares his love for her, and threatens the girl with scandal, then Lucrezia Mwon*t want tonight to be the last.* -^ The Friar ends the act predicting a pleasurable conclusion to Callimaco*s affairs. Callimaco*s recounting (in Act V) of his affair with Lucrezia the night before confirms Ligurio*s prediction of Act IV. Using the parasite*s arguments, Callimaco has gained Lucrezia*s devotion and made her his mistress. He also tells of a prediction by Lucrezia: Seek his /Nicia*s7 friendship, then: go to church this morning, then come home to dine with us; you shall come and go as you will, and we shall be able to be together at any time without suspicion.54

51 45 The play ends with Lucrezia*s prediction fulfilled: Nicia invites Callimaco to dinner, giving him a key and free access to both his home and his wife. The predictions and prefigurations which I have charted above can be broken down into two types: those which are fulfilled and those which are not. Ligurio*s prediction that the mandrake ruse will succeed is, for example, born out, while Callimaco*s prediction that it will fail is not. Again, Ligurio*s prediction that Nicia can be deceived with a bit of Latin is fulfilled, while Nicia*s own prediction that he will not be gulled is shown to be false. Lucrezia*s prediction that she will die for her sins is likewise proven false, while Ligurio*s prediction that she will become Callimaco*s mistress is fulfilled. As I have suggested, the rhythm of prediction and outcome constitutes a kind of structure for the play, a structure designed to arouse and to terminate audience expectation. In a situation where certain predictions are fulfilled as expected and others are. not, I think an audience will naturally be led to wonder about reasons for the differences and will look for causes. What is there about Ligurio and Timoteo which enables them to make successful predictions one-

52 46 hundred percent of the time? Why is it that when we f i r s t see Lucrezia she in c o rre c tly p re d ic ts that she will die for her sins hut when we next hear of her she i s able to c o rre ctly p re d ict the attitude her husband will take toward Callimaco? Callimaco begins the play by prefiguring an intrigue, that of the baths. The audience has every reason to expect this intrigue to be enacted; yet it is abruptly abandoned and replaced with another intrigue. Why? I think that in directing the spectators to consider such questions, in leading them to ponder the causes of successful and unsuccessful predictions within the play, Machiavelli means to teach his audience something. I believe that the primary purpose and effect of Mandragola is didactic. Moreover, I believe that the specific lesson Machiavelli intends to teach is implied in the four facts of intention I have cited. I should first like to posit that lesson as a theory and then show how it can account for the four facts. The nature of the lesson is that of a formula or little handbook for successful living, for achieving one*s goals whatever they might be. The elements

53 47 which make up this formula can be framed as a series of propositions. A) If one is to succeed in any given endeavor, one must be its moving force, its manipulator. One must place himself in absolute control of the situation, leaving nothing to contingency, fortune, or chance. The more one puts oneself into the hands of fortune, the less chance for success. An attempt to teach this lesson would certainly account for my first fact of intention, Machiavelli*s inclusion of the original, abortive intrigue against Nicia. V/e, like Callimaco ask: why must this plan, which promises results and which we expect to see enacted, be abandoned? In answering, Ligurio argues that the plan is a bad one because it is fraught with contingencies: Well, this is how I see it: you know that all sorts of people go to these watering places, and among them might be someone who fancies Lucrezia as much as you do: and he might be richer than you, he might be more attractive than you, in which case the fruits of our labours would be picked by someone else. Then it might be that faced by a number of rivals she will become colder than ever, or, if she likes the situation, she may decide on another man and not on you. (Italics mine.)55

54 48 All of Ligurio s plans, on the other hand, are most carefully controlled so as to take into consideration all possible contingencies. Consider, for example, his instructions to Callimaco following the speech above. Now I want you to do as I tell you. Say that you have studied medicine and have practiced in Paris. He will easily believe that, he s so simple, and what is more, you re educated and can bandy a bit of Latin with him. And even if he were the sort of man who could tell whether or not you were a doctor which he isn t my plan won t allow him the time or chance to suspect you. And if he does discover who you actually are, it will only be when it s too late to spoil the plot.56 I think that the audience is meant to compare the two plans and to learn something from the difference. B) If one is to succeed in any endeavor involving other human beings, one must know both his own nature and that of other men. An attempt to teach this principle would, I think, account for my second fact of intention: the scene between the Friar and the young widow. Immediately before this scene, Ligurio is able to prefigure successfully the character of the Friar, although he has never met him before: These friars are sly and cunning; and that is only to be expected, for they know all about

55 49 our sins as well as their own; and someone who was noi familiar with' tiiem might easily go about getting "their support in the wrong way. (Italics mine).57 This passage is of interest for two reasons. In the first place, Ligurio recognizes that friars are a particularly able breed of manipulator because they have a knowledge of both other men s natures and their own. In this connection we also remember Ligurio s prediction that he will be able to manipulate Timoteo through an awareness of his own base nature and the Friar s. I think the point is quite clear that if one is to be a successful string puller (and successful predictor) both kinds of knowledge are necessary. By way of contrast, Nicia lacks this special knowledge. He thinks of himself as a great judge of human character, able to tell at once whether or not Callimaco is a quack. But Nicia is ignorant both of his own shortcomings as a judge and of Callimaco *s true character, and he is deceived in a flash. The second reason that this passage is of interest to me is that it sets up the scene immediately following between Timoteo and the young widow. I think this scene is intended by Machiavelli to show us how we ourselves might be manipulated lacking familiarity

56 50 with the nature of the men with whom we deal. In the scene i t s e l f, the widow, who apparently is ignorant of the Friar!s true nature, trusts his authority and is swindled out of a florin. Ligurio, on the other hand, is thoroughly familiar with the character of the Friar and thus able to manipulate him. Again, I think Machiavelli means his audience to ponder and learn something from the contrast between Ligurio the manipulator and the manipulated young widow. C) What one must know of human nature is that (1) all men, from the most base to the most virtuous, are subject to manipulation, provided that the manipulator has a sound knowledge of human nature; and (2) human nature is forever constant, one and the same for all men. Virtue is a sham, an appearance. It counts for nothing in the world because it affects nothing. In truth, all men are base. They are greedy, hedonistic, concerned only with their own selfinterest, easily duped by appearance (such as virtue), and jealous of their reputation in the eyes of the world. An attempt to teach these principles can account, I think, for my third and fourth facts of intention.

57 51 If all human "beings, no matter what their pretense to virtue, are truly base and invariably subject to manipulation by those knowledgeable enough to appeal to their baseness, there is no reason to represent the moral seducation of Lucrezia. Ligurio, who knows human nature cold, merely suggests to Calli- maco the correct appeals to be used (a threat to her reputation and a promise of future pleasure), and her conversion is as good as accomplished. There is no reason to represent it because it is inevitable, human nature being constant. The virtue of the most virtuous woman in either France or Italy is shown to be a sham. It crumbles at the first intelligent assault on her baser self. If, as I have suggested, Machiavelli means to teach his audience the principles of human nature as he understands them, then I consider his nonrepresentation of Lucrezia*s moral seduction to be a truly inspired gesture. The effect of the event in terms of what it teaches us is much better treated as it is than if it had been fully enacted. Lucrezia*s moral seduction has been forecast by Ligurio, the man who is never wrong in his predictions. The audience s anticipation is aroused. They expect to witness the

58 52 event. It is, a fte r a l l, the culmination of the plot. But Lucrezia s conversion is not enacted. It is merely described by Callimaco the next morning. In its disappointment and possible irritation, the audience would, I think, question the purpose of the nonrepresentation. The spectator would be led, as I have been led, to look for causes. Machiavelli1s treatment of the event is, in my view, a splendid tour de force, a throw away line as it were. "What? the playwright in effect says to his audience, You needed to see it? But it was inevitable; you knew that, human nature being what it is. Besides, Ligurio predicted it. He knows all about human character and is never wrong. I should like to add just a word about Lucrezia s moral seduction. I think that the playwright means us to view it more as an education than as a corruption. The girl, during her night with Callimaco, learns the way of the world. She comes to understand that virtue is no match for cynical efficacy based on a knowledge of human motivation. The sign of her education, of her enlightenment, is her new ability to predict accurately. Whereas the evening before she had forecast that she would die for her sins, the morning

59 53 after she is able to predict exactly what her husband1s attitude will be toward Callimaco. As for my fourth fact of intention, Timoteo*s monologue on the statue of the Madonna, I think it merely an ironic parallel to the prostitution of the virtue of Madonna Lucrezia (which is what Timoteo calls her). The statue has lost its power to inveigle money because the foolish monks, the ones who do not know human character as Timoteo does, have allowed its reputation to tarnish. I think that we, as audience, can be sure that such will not be the case with Madonna Lucrezia. Virtu and Fortuna I should like to end this study by considering my conclusions in the light of one of the mainstays of Machiavelli*s political thinking the dialectic between virtu and fortuna. I have two reasons for wishing to do so. I believe that by showing agreement between (l) my observations as to the causes of successful and unsuccessful behavior in the play and (2) opinions commonly expressed by the author in his discursive writings, I can enhance the credibility of my argument.

60 54 More importantly, however, I plan to explore the theme of fortuna more carefully in connection with my essay on La Calandria. and I think Machiavelli*s understanding of that term can provide us with a helpful introduction. According to Leonard Olschki, it is generally known that Machiavelli admitted only two forces as determining the course of history: virtu and fortuna.1158 Strictly speaking, Olschki is wrong, for a reading of The Prince reveals others: the democratic process, the intervention of God, the employment of wickedness, and so forth. These, however, are regarded as exceptions, particular manifestations of particular circumstances. For the most part, the two forces mentioned, and fortuna. are indeed considered by the author to be the primary determinates of human destiny. The two terms appear frequently in The Prince. Power, prosperity, and rank are said to be accrued, 59 maintained, and lost via their agency. Yet nowhere are they ever precisely defined. Machiavelli comes closest perhaps in his chapter (XXV) entitled "Concerning the Influence of Fortune in Human Affairs, and the Manner in which it is to be Resisted.

61 55 I am not unaware that many men have believed and still believe that the affairs of the world are controlled by fortune and by God in such a way that the prudence of men cannot manage them, and indeed cannot improve them at all. For this reason they are inclined to think that there is no point in sweating much over these matters and that they should submit to chance instead. As a consequence of the great changes exceeding every human expectation, that have been and are still seen daily, this opinion has had wider acceptance in our day than heretofore. Thinking about it, I myself have sometimes been inclined to concur with this judgment in some measure. Nevertheless, since our free will must not be denied, I estimate that even if fortune is the arbiter of half our actions, she still allows us to control the other half, or thereabouts. I compare fortune to one of those torrential rivers which, when enraged, inundates the low-lowlands, tears down trees and buildings, and washes out the land on one bank to deposit on the other. Everyone flees before it; everyone yields to its assaults without being able to offer it any resistance. Even though it behaves this way, however, it does not mean that men cannot make provisions during periods of calm by erecting levees and dikes to channel the rising waters when they come, or at least restrain their fury and reduce the damage. The same may be said about fortune which tends to show her strength where no resources are employed to check her. She turns their course toward those points where she knows there are not levees or dikes to restrict her.60 In coming to terms with the two forces, Danniel Donno writes: Fortune is generally used by Machiavelli to mean the nature of circumstances which if favorable, are to be exploited for ones own ends and, if unfavorable, are to be overcome or minimized by appropriate action. It is not intended merely to imply luck and, whether favorable or unfavor

62 56 able, it is never an excuse for inaction, "Ability is generally used to translate Machiavelli*s virtu, A key word in The Prince and The Discourses, it implies physical and mental capacity intelligence, skill, courage, vigor in short all those personal qualities that are needed for the attainment of one*s own ends. The term almost invariably carries no implications of virtue in the moral sense, According to Prezzolini, "virtu appears as opposite to indolence, corruption and idleness. «Virtu is assuredly an action provoking quality.... A contemplative, quietistic or effeminate attitude toward life is never called virtuous."^2 Considering fortuna. Olschki tells us that the term, in Machiavelli*s usage, "has lost its metaphysical implications," no longer signifying a goddess or 63 a personification as in Roman times. Nor is it treated as a metaphor or allegory as in poetry. It now designates the unpredictable circumstances which hamper or favor the free expansion of political willpower. In other words: fortune represents the passive conditions of political success in conquest or internal administration. Virtu is its active counterpart.^4 Turning his attention to the latter, Olschki suggests that: Virtu is neither a special nor a personal ability; it is not vigor, valor, fortitude, prowess, audacity or gallantry in an heroic or merely military sense. It certainly includes all the possible capacities of a successful ruler, as smartness in action and straightforwardness in mind. But in its dialectical contrast to fortune it expresses

63 57 comprehensively the efficiency of a leader, a people and a regime, both in the fields of military and political intelligence, 5 Drawing this material together for a moment, I think we may conceive of virtu and fortuna as the active and passive principles serving to shape human circumstance. Roughly speaking, fortuna describes that which happens or is done to one, while virtu implies the ability to seize control over circumstances, the shaping of one s own destiny, in so far as that is possible. As they operate in the world, these principles do not conform to strict ratios so much fortuna to so much virtu for human will, or the lack of it, is capable of altering the balance in most cases. As Machiavelli implies in his flood control analogy, virtu is able to impose itself in constraint of fortuna. while the latter may wreak havoc at those weak points where virtu has failed to be assertive. Again, in praising the ancient Romans for their willingness to act decisively, rather than passively, in military affairs, Machiavelli once again stresses the advantages of virtu over fortuna. Thus, the Romans, forseeing difficulties, always remedied them. And they never allowed them to persist in order to avoid a war, for they knew that wars cannot be avoided and can only be deferred to the advantage of others.... Nor were

64 58 they ever pleased with the so rt of advice that is always on the lips of our present-day wise men: that is, to enjoy the benefits of time. Instead they were pleased to use their strength and prudence. For time bears all things out and may produce good as readily as evil, evil as readily as good.66 While fortuna can achieve success in and of itself, such success is often ephemeral. As Machiavelli opines: "Those who rise from private station to become princes by means of good fortune alone do so with scant effort but remain so with much toil."67 Virtu is needed for a more permanent success. Abetting the prince in his exercise of virtu is a knowledge of human nature considered throughout to be constant and unchanging coupled with an understanding of how this nature is best exploited to the prince s best advantage. The constancy of human nature runs as an underlying assumption throughout the work. Over and over again we find such statements as: "Men almost always walk in the paths beaten by others and act by imitation."it is the nature of men to feel much bound by the favors they do as by those they receive.and there is of course Machiavelli1s often quoted indictment of human character: For this can be said about the generality of men: that they are ungrateful, fickle, dissembling, anxious to flee danger, and covetous of gain. So

65 59 long as you promote their advantage, they are yours, as I said before, and will offer you their blood, their goods, their lives, and their children when the need for them is remote. When the need arises, however, they will turn against you.70 Olschki indeed suggests that the notion of a fixed human nature underpins Machiavelli*s theory of history. Referring to Machiavelli1s reliance upon the historical exempla, Olschki writes that: Since he conceived of the immutability of human nature as an absolute reality, he could believe that typical political developments could have their exact counterparts in the past and be reproduced under similar circumstances in present or future days.71 Knowing human nature allows the prince to avoid situations which are disadvantageous, to recognize those which are beneficial, and to elicit expedient responses from his subjects. For example, in considering the advantages of waging war against the French rather than upon the Turks, Machiavelli notes that in decentralized France the King is "surrounded by a large number of lords of ancient lineage who are recognized and loved by their s u b j e c t s." ^ The Turks, on the other hand, are "governed by one man, everyone else is his se r v a n t."73 Thus Machiavelli concludes that monarchies such as France are more easily conquered, "for you can enter them with ease by winning over one

66 60 of the barons of the kingdom, since malcontents and others who desire a change can always be found."74 In Turkey, however, all administrative personnel "are servants and dependants of their ruler, they can be corrupted only with great difficulty; and even if they were corrupted they would prove to be of little use because (being neither long established nor loved) they would be unable to draw the populace after t h e m."75 An understanding of human behavior also permits the prince to exercise a manipulative control over his subjects. Commenting on the problem of retaining control of newly won states, Machiavelli suggests several courses of action. He notes that invading armies will normally play havoc with the lives and interest of the conquered, thereby incurring their hostility. Anticipating Chairman Mao, he concludes that "even if one has a very strong army, he will always need the good will of the inhabitants when entering a province."76 States which have the same language and are of the same region as the conquerer are more easily controlled. To hold them securely, it is enough to have extinguished the line of princes who ruled them formerly and to maintain the pre-existant condition. When there is no distinction of

67 61 custom, men will live quietly as happened in Burgandy, Brittany, Gascony, and Normandy.77 Addressing himself to the problem of administering newly won territory, Machiavelli once again accepts as his premise the predictability of human behavior. Therefore, it is to be noted that in seizing a state, one ought to consider all the injuries he will be obliged to inflict and then proceed to inflict them all at once so as to avoid a frequent repetition of such acts. Thus he will be able to create a feeling of security among his subjects and by benefiting them, win their approval. Anyone who acts otherwise, either through timidity or bad judgment, will always have to keep a dagger ready in his hand, nor will he ever be able to trust his subjects since, because of continually renewed injuries, they will never be able to feel safe with him. Injuries must be committed all at once so that being savored less, they will arouse less resentment. Benefits, on the other hand, should be bestowed little by little so as to be more fully savored.78 To recapitulate briefly, Machiavelli sees two principles, virtu and fortuna, as governing over the circumstances of the world. One is active, the other is passive. One is more likely to produce success, the other is too chancy. In addition to courage, intelligence, daring, and the like, an understanding of human nature stands as a mark of the "virtuous man, one of his weapons, so to speak. And finally, human nature is viewed as fixed, with men being seen as appetative, self-interested, deceitful, ungrateful, and so forth.

68 62 On the basis of what has been said, I shall argue that the play, when seen from my perspective, corresponds nicely with the understanding of social dynamics forwarded by Machiavelli in The Prince# But to show such concurrence proves nothing. There is no necessary reason to accept my interpretation as correct, simply because it correlates with ideas expressed by the author elsewhere. Nonetheless, a demonstration of agreement must bear some rhetorical weight, enhancing to a degree, the probability of my argument, making it more credible. With these limitations in mind, I shall bring this essay to its conclusion by considering my analysis of the play in light of the vision of human affairs found in The Prince. Looking back once again to the advisability of the mandrake stratagem over that of the baths, we may (using the language of The Prince) regard the latter as an expression of virtu. As noted on page 20 above, Ligurio rejects the bath scheme in favor of the mandrake ruse because the former is overly dependent upon change. Lacking active control, too many things may go wrong with it. Ligurio*s plan, on the

69 63 other hand, is active rather than passive and leaves nothing to chance. It takes all possible contingencies into consideration. Indeed, one might argue that the "tightness of the play derives in part from Ligurio*s careful planning. In the same connection, Ligurio and Friar Timoteo may be seen as men of virtu in so far as they possess a sound knowledge of human nature and the ways in which it can best be exploited to their own advantage. Ligurio knows exactly how Nicia and Lucrezia will respond to given stimuli, and we remember how adroitly Timoteo was able to manipulate the woman in the church. Nicia, on the other hand, lacks knowledge of human behavior, accepts Ligurio at face value, and is easily deceived. Finally, in keeping with the notion of human character found in The Prince, we may observe that the two successful manipulators consistently regard their fellow men as being appetative, base, and self-interest ed. Madonna Lucrezia*s seduction bears to this.

70 64 Notes ^David Knauf, lecture in Renaissance Drama, State University of Iowa, Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, March, ^D. Erskine Muir, Machiavelli and his Times (London: William Heinemann t'icl.,, pp. 116>, 121. ^Elder Olson, Tragedy and the Theory of Drama (Detroit: Wayne State university tress, 1966). 4Ibid.. p Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Arts. trans "S.ff." feitcfrer (4tn ed.; New York: Dover jpublications, Inc., 1951), p. 31. ^Olson, pp ^Ibid., p Ibid.. pp Ibid.. pp Ibid.f pp , 103. X1Ibid.. p ^Machiavelli, Niccolo, Mandragola, trails. J.R. Hale, in Eight Great Comedies, ed. Svlvan Barnet (New York: The New American library, 1958;, p Ibid.. p It»id.. pp Ibid.. p Ibid., p. 79. x^ibid.. p Ibid.. p. 83.

71 65 *-9Ibid.. p Ibid. 2 L., Ibid. 22Ibid.. p Ibid.. pp Ibid.. p Ibid., p Ibid.. p Ibid. 28Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid. ^ Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid. 36Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid. 4 Ibid.. p Ibid.. p. 106.

72 66 ^ Aristotle13 Theory of Tragedy, p Ibid. 44Ibid. "Machiavelli, p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p. 79. '^ Ibid., p Ibid.. p Ibid., p. 85. " ibid.. p Ibid.. p "ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid.. p Leonardo Olschki, Machiavelli the Scientist (Berkeley, California: Gillick ress, 194^;, p. 35. c q N -^Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince and Selected Discourses, trans. Daniel Donno (New York: bantam" books of Gosset & Dunlap, 1966), pp. 29, 25, 16, Ibid.f p. 84. ^Daniel Donno, "Introduction" to The Prince and Selected Discourses, by Niccolo Machiavelli (New York: Santam hooks of Gosset & Dunlap, 1966), p. 125.

73 67 ^Giuseppe Prezzolini, Machiavelli. trans. by Gioconda Savini (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1967), p. 21. ^Olschki, pp lbid.. p, Ibid., p. 40. ^Machiavelli, The Prince, p Ibid., p Ibid.. p. 25. ^^Ibid.. p. 43. ' ibid., p \)lschki, p ^Machiavelli, The Prince, p rbid. 74Ibid.. p Ibid., p Ibid.. pp Ibid., p Xbid.. p. 38.

74 68 CHAPTER III THE ENDING OF BILORA

75 69 How are we to account for the incongruous ending of Bilora, Until the final moments of the fars. both its action and the character of its protagonist seem to assure us that we are in the presence of a typically humorous domestic, dialect comedy. Suddenly, at the very last, however, the action takes a serious turn. Bilora, who has been characterized as a bragging but ineffectual coward, assumes the initiative against his rival, literally beating the life out of him. The reversal is so unexpected that it surprises Bilora himself: "Hello: I believe h e s actually dead. ^ The play s action may be summarized as follows. Bilora, a rude peasant, has come to Venice to recover his wife, Dina. The woman, according to Bilora, was abducted against her will by Andronico, a rich but elderly merchant, and she now lives with him in town as his mistress. Upon entering the city, Bilora runs into an old acquaintance, Pittaro. Having informed his friend of the situation, Bilora explains that he wants no more from Andronico than the return of Dina and a little money for his trouble. Rather than chance a row, Bilora is willing to forego revenge. He has always

76 70 been of a conciliatory nature. Habitually avoiding quarrels, he prefers in every case "to agree with a person rather than to come to blows.n^ Pittaro cautions the rustic to be as deferential as possible in dealing with Andronico, since the old man has a ferocious temper when aroused. Furthermore, he advises Bilora to secure Dina's support first, before approaching the merchant. Since Andronico happens to be away on business, Pittaro suggests that the time is now opportune to talk with the v/oman. Dina is not overly pleased to see her husband, nor is her manner particularly reassuring. When Bilora asks for her commitment, she vacillates, first claiming to despise Andronico, then speaking of him as if he were her proper lord and master. Furthermore, she appears most reluctant to abandon the luxuries of her new life. Finally, however, Dina promises her husband that if he attempts a peaceable settlement with Andronico, she will return to the farm no matter what the merchants response. Leary of engaging in direct negotiation with Andronico, Bilora asks Pittaro to serve as his intermediary. Should the old merchant prove recalcitrant, Pittaro is instructed to represent his friend as a hard-nosed

77 71 customer, capable of murder at the drop of a hat. Andronico at first refuses even to consider relinquishing his mistress. But being fully confident of her loyalty, the merchant, in the interest of peace, agrees to go through the formality of having the woman decide the issue for herself. When summoned, Dina laughs at the idea of returning to her husband and cleverly denies having spoken with him earlier. She accuses Bilora of being a coward, a wife beater, and a lunatic who has, no doubt, fancified the story of their previous conversation. Andronico, having made his point, sends his mistress back into the house and orders the two men off the premises. Pittaro, as instructed, warns the merchant that Bilora is an unscrupulous thug, capable of violence if crossed, and that the merchant, for his own safety, had best give up the girl. Andronico responds by threatening havoc of his own if the two do not leave at once. Pittaro leaves and Bilora, now alone, bemoans his miserable condition. He curses Andronico and boasts of bloody revenge. The merchant, in the meanwhile, preparing to embark on another trip, reappears outside the house. Suddenly, Bilora undergoes what appears to be a lightning change of character. For the first time

78 72 he takes agressive action against his rival, subjecting the old man to a most spectacular beating. Bilora: May the plaque choke you, old villain. Take that! And that! (He strikes him.) A ndronlco: Aha! my brave fello w! Alas! A la s! Help! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Ah, I am killed! Ha! Traitor! Help! Fire! Murder! I am killed!3 Much to the peasantfs surprise, the old fellow has, indeed, been killed. "Hello! I believe he*s actually dead!"4 The play now comes to an end most abruptly with Bilora asking what is, in my view, a rather provocative question. "He has cashed in all right, that fellow. Didn*t I give you warning enough?"^ My question is, has he given us any warning at all? As with Mandragola. the critic attempting to come to terms with Bilora is hampered by an imperfect knowledge of the playwright*s audience. If we knew what Beol- co*s courtly spectators expected from a fars, we might be able to make a more educated guess as to the effect the dramatist hoped to gain with the ending of his work. Quite possibly Beolco*s audiences simply enjoyed representations of elaborate beatings, bawdy double entendres, and discourses upon the merits of women, each for its own sake alone. If such were proven to be the case, we

79 73 might speculate that the playwright meant no more than to gratify his spectator^ appetites on a moment to moment basis, with but little concern for causal necessity. Beolco may have believed that the immediate pleasure to be afforded through the inclusion of a good beating scene outweighed whatever sense of incongruity it might produce. Although this particular rationale for the ending of Bilora is the product of pure speculation, it retains, none-the-less, a degree of plausibility. The practice of delighting audiences on a moment to moment basis seems to have been common procedure in the commedia dell* arte, a form which followed shortly upon the Ruzzante farce, and one which may have been related to it. While reserving the moment to moment hypothesis as a possible explanation for the ending of the play, I would like to posit another hypothesis which I believe more adequately accounts not only for the final moments of Bilora. but for the whole of it as well. Through this essay I hope to demonstrate that (l) the comedy has been most skillfully designed to teach us a specific lesson on the powers of love; (2) that the attempt to teach this lesson unifies the play into a whole; and (3) that Beolco directs our attention to the lesson by first establishing and then

80 74 violating a pattern of expectation. By way of procedure, I would like to begin by considering in some detail the cues which I believe lead us to anticipate a less serious ending to the play. Next, I would like to examine the play*s structure from the points of view of Kenneth Burke and R. G. Collingwood. Finally, I will attempt to show how the whole of the work functions as a rhetorical argument consisting of proposition and demonstration. Assuming my own experience to be typical, I believe that the general reaction to Bilora1s grim catastrophe must be one of surprise. Not only does the dramatist fail to prepare us for a serious resolution of the action, but, as I hope to demonstrate, he "conditions us to expect the opposite. In order to appreciate fully the cues which in my view direct us to anticipate a humorous ending, I think it necessary to consider first the context of decorum within which the action is presented. On the basis of what I admit to be a limited reading, I would like to suggest the possibility of a kind of decorum associated with the cuckold/dishonored husband figure in renaissance drama. Conventionally, of course, this character is expected to regard the assault

81 75 upon his wife s virtue as an assault upon his own honor and to act accordingly, the remedy for sullied honor being blood satisfaction. In my view this norm, as a norm, operates in both comic and serious plays. In comedy, the cuckold is a ludicrous figure, subject to the mockery and scorn of other men because he is incapable of seriously persuing his honor, of "living up" to the norm, as it were. He is either too stupid or too vain to realize that he has been deceived (e.g. Nicia in La mandragola) or too old, cowardly, or weak to effect his revenge (e.g. Ruzzante in II reduce). In serious plays, on the other hand, the dishonored husband is at least potentially capable of persuing his honor; possessing, as he does, the necessary equipment in terms of will, intelligence, or strength. The basic rectification of honor action may be complicated or varied in a number of ways: the husband may be mistaken about his wife s guilt, his rival may be his king, or the playwright may choose to represent blood revenge in an unfavorable light. But even in such cases, the conventional concern for honor and satisfaction is usually recognized to be the norm, the pattern of behavior which is ordinarily to be expected.

82 76 In my view, the cuckold and the deceived husband both tend to function within the context of their own peculiar decorum. The dishonored husband, for example, in so far as he is potentially capable of persuing his honor, will be (l) intelligent rather than imbecilic; (2) a doer rather than a windbag boaster; (3) he will usually be more concerned with the moral or ethical aspects of his problem (How may I achieve justice with honor?) than with its petty or purely physical aspects (How can I get my wife back into bed? How can I profit from my rival*s passion?); (4) being thus concerned, his language, vis-cl-vis the cuckold*s will for the most part be free of the more elaborate crudities; and finally, (5) he must have enough courage and power, physical and social, to make his potential for revenge credible I think the reason we are surprised by Bilora*s ending is that its protagonist gives every indication of being a cuckold in a comedy rather than a dishonored husband in a serious play. effect a successful revenge. Such men do not usually Let us consider some of these signs. 1. Bilora is a nincompoop. When Dina gives him a few coins for his dinner, not only is he unable to

83 77 arrive at their sura, but he fusses over the largest, naively calling it a "cornacchion." Bilora*s speech is rich in malopropisims of this sort. 2. Bilora seems to be more the cowardly windbag than the potent doer. When preparing to speak to Dina for the first time, he asks Pittaro whether such an encounter is really advisable. What if Andronico catches them together? Might there not be danger? Pittaro repeatedly assures his friend that he need fear nothing. The merchant i3 away on business, and Dina is all alone. Fully aware that his safety is guaranteed, Bilora approaches the house boasting: I *11 knock on the door no matter what happens even if I am mashed like a turnip or boiled in the soup even though it may be my own head that gets knocked or my own frame that is jarred from its hinges. Bah! let happen what will.6 Throughout the play Bilora continually brags of his ability to man-handle Andronico. "By the blood of Christ, if I get started, 1*11 do more damage than a soldier." Again: "I*ve got a mind to spit in his face, then may the worms eat him." But v/hen Bilora is faced with the reality of such a meeting, he immediately turns tail, leaving the actual confrontation to Pittaro. Although Bilora is unwilling to stand up to Andronico personally, he does not hesitate to have Pittaro do his boasting for him.

84 78 But listen: if you notice that he is getting illtempered, you tell him that hy heaven she has a husband who is a tough customer, and that if he doesn't send her back, her husband will kill him. Tell him I used to be a soldier. That may scare him.... Tell him I'm a regular cutthroat, a bad actor.7 Perhaps as insurance against our missing the point, the playwright has Pittaro, himself, tag Bilora as a boaster. Bilora: Do any thing you like, so long as you make him give her back to me. And if he refuses, by the Blood of the Virgin, I'll shoot him in the rump with an arrow. Yes I'll knock his breakfast down to his shoes. Pittaro: Just now be quiet! I don't need any more of your boasts.8 3. Bilora*s goals are mundane and trivial. He seems uninterested in the more ethical concerns which I have suggested are characteristic of the dishonored husband achieving justice, rectifying honor, etc. Bilora, for example, habitually associates the recovery of his wife with other, more petty ends. As he explains early in the play, he seeks no more from Andronico than the return of Dina and a little money. He makes a similar association on his first clandestine visit to Dina after her abduction. His purpose, as expressed to Pittaro, is to assure himself of her loyalty. But as he approaches the house, he speaks to himself in

85 79 the following way: "Now watch: I may be able to snatch some trinkets off her hands or pinch some small change." Bilora*s mind, moreover, is as much on his own stomach as it is on recovering his wife. At the beginning of the play he tells us: Damnation! I feel as if I v/ere going out of my head! I'm almost starved, and I haven't so much as a crust of bread nor any money to buy some with. If only I knew v/here she was, and where they are taking her, I would beg of her at least to give me a piece of bread.^ Again, the moment he gains Dina's pledge to return with him, his thoughts turn to food. Bilora: Honestly, will you go with me even if he objects? Dina: I tell you, yes! I sware I will! Now go, so he won't find you here! Bilora: Look here, couldn't you let me have a piece of bread? I give you my word I'm dying of hunger, I haven't eaten a bite since I left home last evening Bilora*s speech is peppered with some rather elaborate vulgarities: "by the blessed blood of a sick bitch," "by the blood of a limping bitch," etc. Such language is, in my view, uncharacteristic of the dishonored husband, in so far as he is usually concerned with questions of ethics and morality. On the other hand, crudity of this sort is typical of the comic cuckold. Machiavelli's Nicia, for example, uses quite a bit of it.

86 80 5. In addition to being a coward, Bilora lacks both the physical and the social power to make his threats of revenge credible. In the first place, he is in miserable physical condition. By his own admission he is half starved. Indeed, when Dina sees him for the first time she mistakes him for a beggar. Moreover, except for Pittaro, who is quite old, Bilora has no supporters in the city to back him up. Andronico, on the other hand, is said to have friends capable of drowning Bilora in the canal. To pick up my argument once again, I believe that we respond with surprise to the ending of Bilora because its protagonist violates his own decorum. Until the final moments of the play, Bilora is a comic cuckold; habitually vain, cowardly, stupid and ineffectual. Suddenly, with no apparent warning, we find him behaving as if he were a dishonored husband in a serious play, bringing vengeance down upon the head of his enemy. In short, his behavior at the end is most uncharacteristic. I do not believe Bilora*s jump in character to be the product of amateurish construction; nor do I believe that Beolco is writing in a moment-to-moment style,

87 81 tossing in a good beating scene merely to satisfy the immediate appetites of his audience; rather, as I hope to demonstrate, Bilora's change of character is an event central to both the meaning and the form of the work, its keystone, as it were. As a springboard into my discussion of Bilora's form and meaning, I would like to consider two rather similar ideas about dramatic structure, one belonging to Kenneth Burke and the other to R, G-. Collingwood. If we examine Bilora through Kenneth Burke*s spectacles, we might see its structure as a pattern of elements designed to arouse and satisfy audience expectation. V/e might also particularize Bilora*s structure by assigning to it the label "conventional," a term which Burke uses to indicate that the source of the audience*s expectation is to be found in their experi- 12 ences with other plays of Bilora's general type. Just as we expect fourteen lines from a sonnet because of our experience with sonnets in general, we might justifiably expect Bilora to behave in a certain way because of our experience with cuckolds in other peasant farces. This behavioral pattern is what I have referred to above as the cuckold's decorum.

88 82 For the most part, our conventional expectations are satisfied. As anticipated, Belora is represented as being ineffectual, vulgar, stupid, vain, and all the rest of it. However, because of our experience with other peasant farces, such as II reduce, we might also expect Bilora (rather than his enemy) to be beaten up or otherwise traduced at the end of the play. If so, then we must leave the theatre dissatisfied, our expectations unfulfilled. Keeping Burke*s notions in mind, I would now like to switch spectacles for a moment to consider dramatic structure from R. G. Collingwood*s point of view. Like Burke, Collingwood also explains structure in psychological terms. But instead of speaking of an arrangement of elements designed to arouse and satisfy expectation. Collingwood considers structure to be an arrangement of elements designed to allow for the stimulation and discharge of emotion. ^ Although most representational crafts, according to Collingwood, are so designed, the specific conditions under which emotion is discharged may vary. Certain representations (which Collingwood labels amusements ) provide within their own context imaginary objects toward

89 83 which emotion can he directed.^ we may be presented, for example, with make-believe fools to laugh at, villains to fear, heroines to pity, and so on. The emotions aroused by these figures are dissipated during the course of the performance in laughter, terror, and tears, and we leave the theatre as we came in, without having acquired any excess emotional baggage. Other representations (which Collingwood calls "magical") arouse emotions to be directed against real objects in the world outside of the theatre. During the course of a performance we may be filled with love of country, fear of war, disgust for corruption, and so on. When we leave the theatre after a magical performance we bear these emotions with us to direct them at appropriate institutions in the real world. ^ Suppose for a moment that we are sitting through a performance of Bilora. We would certainly be justified in considering ourselves to be in the presence of a simple amusement. There before us is a ridiculous little fellow engaged in some comical, make- believe adventure. We are prompted to laugh and do so, thus discharging our emotions harmlessly. But due to the "conventional" form of the comedy on with

90 84 Burke*s glasses once again we have naturally come to anticipate a humorous ending to the play. Perhaps, like Ruzzante in II reduce, this funny little braggart will also be beaten up by his rival, claiming afterwards to have been attacked by an army. But the play ends with our expectations unsatisfied. Bilora has jumped character to become the aggressor and the whole tone of the piece has become grim. We are left at the close, I believe, with an entire bag full of irritating emotions: surprise, dissatisfaction at being denied what was "promised," perhaps a sense of incongruity, certainly curiosity. What was Beolco up to this time? Was he trying to make some kind of point? Magic art? I think not, for unless we are the kind who customarily vent our irritations at home, we have no proper object in the real world toward which we may direct our emotions. I do think our emotions are given direction, but not, as yet, into practical life. Consider for a moment the last two lines of the play: "He has cashed in all right, that fellow. Didn t I give you warning enough?"-*-^ The "you" (te in the Italian)*^ refers to Andronico, but the question challenges us* It teases us, it exacerbates our

91 85 already raw irritation, and it directs our attention right back into the play, enough?" we ask in effect. "Did you give warning "Certainly not in your bragging. Why you never once spoke directly to Andro- nico, much less warned him of anything. What kind of warning have you given then?" We are led by the nose, I think, to reflect post facto upon the whole of the play for an answer. If Bilora seems to end most abruptly in terms of its script and performance, I would like to suggest that there occurs a more gradual termination of the dramatic experience in its entirety. It continues on through the process of reflection until we have settled our differences with the play. Subjected to reflection ex post facto, the play reveals a substratum of "meaning" ignored during a first encounter. The experience, for me, was much like looking at a painting under ultra-violet light and finding a whole new picture underneath. This "meaning" is not to be found in an examination of the play's action, its pattern of events. Nor is it to be found in Bilorafs character, his habitual way of behaving, and the kinds of choices he makes. Rather, it is to be found in dianoia. the thought expressed, usually at some length, throughout the play.

92 86 The comedy begins with Bilora delivering a rather long monologue. If there*s any place a lover can*t squeeze into, you couldn*t shoot a cannon ball into it! Love hell! Who would ever have thought that love would drag me wildly around like this, among people I never saw before, and such a long way from home? It*s a fact I don*t even know where I aim! They say that love is a weak and helpless thing, but I know now that it can do absolutely anything it pleases.18 As proof of love*s power, Bilora, continuing, offers a personal example. Bor example, if I this once I must speak of myself if I were moved only by the desire to recover my good wife, I certainly should not have trotted all day yesterday, all last night, and all this morning through woods, thickets, and across fields... Love can outpull three pair oxen. And I am one who knov/s, too. It is a bad business, love.19 Nor is Bilora the kind of man to go running off on a difficult journey at the drop of a hat. As he tells us, "I preferred spending all my time, night and day, hauling my shocks of grain.**20 According to Bilora, Andronico, too, is subject to the power of love. There are some who would have you believe that love seizes only striplings and disgraces only the young; but I can tell you it also persues the old, and if a certain old fellow had not been shot in the rump with Cupid*s arrow, he would never have stolen my wife. May love torture him and tear his heart to pieces the old scoundrel!21

93 87 In my view, Bilora's opening soliloquy consists, fundamentally, of a series of propositions on the nature of love. Boiled down to their essence, they would read as follows: 1. Love is all-powerful. It is stronger that ' three pair oxen"; it can do "absolutely anything it pleases." 2. Love has in addition to its other powers the ability to alter habitual behavior, to turn men around and make them what they are not. It has taken the normally stick-at-home Bilora and driven him night and day on a most arduous journey ("Who would ever have thought that love could drag me wildly around like this.") 3. Love is basically destructive, "bad business," in Bilora1s words. It has the power to disgrace the young and to "torture and tear" the hearts of the old. Let us now consider for a moment the other of the play's two soliloques, Andronico's entrance speech. In an anecdote which would otherwise seem a non sequitur, the old merchant amplifies the twin propositions that love can alter habitual behavior and that it is basically destructive.

94 88 It reminds me of the time that Messires Nicolas d*allegri and Panthasilus of the house of Bucentaure, heaven bless their memory, admonished me: nwhat!s the use, Andronico of this melancholy mood in which you seem to take such delight? What the devil! Go and find yourself a girl and enjoy yourself with her. When do you expect to enjoy life when you*re no longer able to? You seem to us a most unnatural man, a strange man, a man bewitched. But take note and remember that in your old age you will commit some folly for the sake of love." And that is just what has happened... Love works wonders. Look at the way I have stolen this girl from her husband. I have risked my life in order to possess her so deeply am I in love.22 Love, then, has turned Andronico from a somber melancholic into an old fool. A moment after his monologue, he tells us that he has "signed over his securities to Dina, "leaving her free to control ZKis7 property as she likes. As for love's destructive power, when we reflect upon the play, knowing full well how it will end, the last few lines quoted "Love works wonders, etc. seem most ironic. I would like to suggest that the ending of Bilora is in fact a demonstration of the propositions presented and amplified in the two soliloquies. If love has the power to alter character, if it can turn melancholics into fools and sticks-at-home into travelers, then it can transform cuckolds into dishonored husbands, it can make the weak and ineffectual,

95 89 aggressive and purposeful. Again, if love is essentially a destructive force, if it can disgrace the young and make the old into fools, then it can kill as well. When we reflect upon the "thought contained within the work we have, indeed, been given "warning enough "

96 90 Notes ^Angelo Beolco, Bilora. trans. Babette and Glenn Hughes, in Vol. II of IVorCT Drama. ed. Barrett H. Clark (New York: Dover!Publi cat ions, Inc., 1933), p.9. 2Ibid., p. 2. ^Ihid., p Ibidl. 5Ibid. 6Ibid., p. 3. n ' Ibid.. p. 6. 8Ibid. ^Ibid., p Ibid., p. 4. -^Kenneth Burke, Counter-Statement (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 19?lj, p Ibid.. pp ^R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1556/, pp Por Collingwood, structures of the kind described fall under the heading of "craft rather than that of "art proper" because they contain within themselves a preconceived end, i.e., audience manipulation. In so far as my immediate goal is to descriminate Bilora1s structure vis-&-vis two of Collingwood*s Hcrafts," amusement and magic, the question of "art proper" will not enter into the discussion. ^Collingwood, p. 82.

97 91 15Ibid., p. 68. ^Beolco, p Angelo Beolco, Biologo secondo. in Tutte le opere del famosisso Ruzanie lvincenza: G. Greco. 1584). pp ^ Beolco, Bilora. p Ibid. 20Ibid. 21Ibid. 22Ibid.. p. 5.

98 92 CHAPTER IV LOVE AND FORTUNE IN LA CALANDRIA

99 93 La Calandria by Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena is a reworking of the familiar Menaechmi device with twins of opposite sex taking the place of the more familiar brothers. The better to effect his comedy of errors while exploiting to the full the farcical potentialities of transvestism Dovizi*s twins impersonate each other in both name and dress. Briefly, the situation prior to curtain is this. Lidio and Santilia, a pair of male and female twins, were separated at age six during the Turkish sack of Modone. Fannio, the girl s manservant, saves his mistress from the attackers by dressing her up as a boy. The name he gives her is that of her brother, Lidio. Eventually, Santilla and Fannio are befriended by a kindly merchant, Perillo, who brings them to Rome as part of his household. Santilla grows up never revealing her sex, and now, Perillo, loving her as a son, has arranged for her to marry his own daughter. The play opens on the day before the wedding is to take place. Meanwhile, Lidio, accompanied by his own servant, Fessenio, has come to Rome in search of his sister. Shortly after arriving, he initiates an affair with

100 94 Fulvia, a randy old matron married to a vain dunce, Calandro. In order to avoid suspicion, Lidio has been visiting Fulvia dressed as a girl. As one might imagine, the name he chooses for himself is that of his sister, Santilla. by Lidio*s disguise. Calandro is more than fooled Thinking him a girl, the old man falls in love with him. The play contains two primary lines of action. One has to do with Calandro*s attempts to arrange an assignation with Lidio. In this venture, he is repeatedly duped by Fessenio, who pretends to act as the old man*s intermediary. The second line of action centers around a scheme to deceive Fulvia. This intrigue will shortly be the object of some attention, and I think it might be helpful at this point to consider the chain of circumstance from which it arises. Having found his affair v/ith Fulvia to be somewhat risky, Lidio has decided to see her less frequently. Fulvia interprets this as a sign of indifference and, in desperation, seeks out the services of Ruffo, a charlatan with a reputation for casting love spells. She also sends her maid, Sarnia, to personally intercede with Lidio. On the way, Sarnia encounters

101 95 Santilla, dressed in her usual male costume, and mistakes the girl for her twin, A scene of cross-purpose ensues, during which Santilla comes to realize that she has been taken for Fulvia*s lover. She does not know, however, that the man in question is her brother, whom she believes dead. For some rather unconvincing reasons, which I shall discuss in a moment, she decides to have some fun at Fulvia*s expense by impersonating the young man with whom she has been confused. In my opinion, there is something quite odd about Santilla*s behavior at this point. Just a moment before her decision to trick Fulvia, the girl was in a state of despair over the impossibility of her impending marriage. If I marry Virginia /?erillo*s daughter7, they will find out that I am a woman and not a man: they will turn me out and might even have me put to death. And if I refuse to marry her, they will also turn me out with their curses. If I reveal myself now to be a woman, I would only bring harm upon myself. I can*t take much more of this, though. A cliff on one side, wolves on the other.1 Considering that the girl is in jeopardy of death or disgrace, with no hope in sight, there is nothing improbable about her alarm, in and of itself. But the concern so earnestly expressed in words is

102 96 immediately belied in action as Santilla, on the eve of her undoing, elects to participate in the Fulvia intrigue A reader unfamiliar with La Calandria might wonder whether this untimely prank represents anything more than a minor episode, an incidental diversion quickly resolved in favor of a more probable tack the working out of Santilla*s dilemma. Such is not the case. Not only does the Fulvia episode constitute a primary line of action, it informs the better part of the girl*s behavior throughout. What efforts, then, are made to remedy our sense of incongruity? At various points in the comedy, Santilla and her servant, Fannio, attempt to justify their prank via one of three arguments, none of which, in my estimation, makes the intrigue any more probable. We are told, first of all, that the scheme will allow Santilla to stay out of Perillo*s way during the wedding preparations. As Fannio explains, no one would 2 think of looking for the girl at Fulvia*s house. Should the reader be puzzled as to how avoiding Perillo prior to the wedding could be of benefit to Santilla, she, herself, provides the answer: "Today I am going to keep out of sight: I want to see if there is any

103 97 truth to the old saying *As long as there is time there is hope,n^ an astonishingly laissez-faire attitude, given the seriousness of the girl*s situation. The other two rationales are more simply stated. A good laugh is to be enjoyed at Pulvia1s expense4 (nothing like a healthy chuckle on the way to exile: to the gallows). And further, a bit of money stands to be made from the scheme^ (Maybe you can take it with you). Regarding the latter, I think it important to note that Dovizi never draws the obvious connection; that is, he never in any way suggests that the Fulvia money could be used to save the girl, helping her to survive in the world without Perillo, providing her with a dowry or some such. Perhaps I can restate the issue less impressionistically. There is little doubt of Dovizi*s debt to Plautus. Not only can we point to the twins motif, we have Castiglione*s backhanded admission, as well:^ As for those who will claim that the author has stolen certain things from Plautus, we shall say merely that Plautus deserves to be robbed, the snotnose, for leaving his things to the world without a key or watch-man. The author swears upon the holy cross, however, that he has not stolen so much as this (snapping his fingers) from Plautus and wishes to

104 98 be compared with him in his own right. Anyone who doubts this can look up Plautus* works; he will find that nothing is missing from them. If that is the case, and Plautus has not been robbed, then no one can say the author is a thief.7 With the above in mind, I think it might be profitable to compare Plautus* general approach with that of Dovizi. The typical Plautine action usually concerns a young man with a problem: either he lacks sufficient funds to buy the girl he loves or she has already been sold to another, or, having the necessary money, he needs some way of justifying the purchase to his parents. A clever acquaintance of the young man, usually his slave, will then work out some sort of intrigue involving disguises, mistaken identity, and the like, so as to allow his master the satisfaction of his desires. In Miles G-loriosus. for example, an oafish soldier manages to gain control of both the young man*s sweetheart and his slave. The slave then comes up with a confidence scheme whereby the soldier is tricked into believing that a certain beautiful married woman is madly in love with him and that if he is to enjoy her, he must first give up the girl (the young man*s sweetheart) now in his possession. The better to appease the girl, whom he also believes to be in

105 99 fatuated with him, the miles not only presents her with her freedom, hut throws some expensive trinkets and the slave in with the bargain. Naturally the slave, the girl,and the jewels all return to their proo per owner, the young man. To make my point, in Plautine comedy, the intrigue is always organically bound to the problem, arising from it as a natural consequence. Indeed, with Plautus, an intrigue has no other raison d etre than to provide a solution for the original difficulty. Not so with Dovizi, however. As we have seen above, having had the opportunity to yoke his intrigue (the Fulvia escapade) to his problem (Santilla s survival) in a natural and organic fashion (via the money gulled from Fulvia), he manages instead to paste the stratagem to the predicament with some extremely watery glue. Thus far we have considered the first of the play s problems, the intrigue against Fulvia, and found it to be wanting in probability vis-&-vis Santilla s plight. I would now like to turn our attention to the ending of the play, the better to describe what seems to be a peculiar intrusion into its denou- ment.

106 100 Let us suppose that we, as knowledgeable theatregoers, are about to attend a performance of La Calan- dria, Let us further assume that we know nothing of this particular work other than that it has been labeled a "Romanesque comedy" that is, one written in conscious imitation of Plautus or Terence, On this basis alone, I think it likely that we would enter the theatre with certain a priori assumptions about the play s structure. For example, as a result of our experiences with other comedies of the Roman or Romanesque type, I think we might expect La Calandria to display a particular arrangement of its component parts. Whether we, like Donatus, refer to these components as prologue, protasis, epitasis, and catastrophe^ or use a more conventional set of terms such as exposition, complication, climax, and denouement, we none-the-less expect the elements involved to succeed one another, as above, in the conventional order. Unlike Aristotle s nonsequentially oriented six parts of tragedy, Donatus * four parts of comedy seem to imply a progression. The Aristotelian elements have no fixed order of appearance and may coexist at any moment within the play. On the other hand, we

107 101 would be hard pressed to name a comedy of the type under consideration in which the four elements of Donatus appear simultaneously or in mixed order v/ith, for example, the epitasis the entangling of the plot following the catastrophe the untangling. Something like this, however, occurs in La Calandria. Returning once again to our hypothetical performance, we note that up until its very end, the conventional ordering of parts is conserved prologue, protasis, epitasis and catastrophe. The prologue, setting forth the argument, is followed in turn by the protasis, during which the basic situation of mistaken identity is first exploited. Next we have the epitasis. with the action moving to a crisis point as both twins descend upon Fulvia*s house at exactly the same time. Finally we are treated to the catastrophe. a recognition scene for which the whole of the action previous has been a preparation. The twins, encountering one another outside of the old matron*s home, engage in a confused debate as to which of them is really Lidio. Suddenly, in a flash of insight, Santilla and her servant Fannio, penetrate the mystery, discovering that she is at last in the presence of her long lost brother. V/ith delicious

108 102 sentimentality, the girl pours out her emotions: 0h God, I begin to feel my heart grow light with joy. -^ All is now sweetness and light. The knot has been unraveled; brother and sister are finally to be reunited; and Santilla s problem, once so threatening, is now amenable to solution with Lidio taking his sister s place in marriage to Perillo s daughter. But where is Lidio? At the very moment of discovery, just as Santilla and Fannio are in the process of disentangling matters Lidio, disgusted with the confusion, has stepped into the house to keep his appointment with Fulvia. Suddenly, Sarnia, Fulvia*s maid, emerges from the house weeping in fright for her mistress. It seems that the old woman s brothers, suspecting her of infidelity, have lain in ambush for her lover and now have Lidio trapped within. They wait only upon the return of Calandro, Fulvia*s husband, before entering to kill the boy. Thus, at the eleventh hour, with light pouring from the end of the tunnel, catastrophe has been interrupted by a brand new epitasis, and the knowledgeable theatre-goer has been presented with a violation of formal sequence.

109 103 Now it is all very well to posit an informed spectator, a kind of critic-historian with a command of Donatus and proper Romanesque structure at his finger tips; hut would the ending of La Calandria seem anomalous to anyone else? Or, to put the question another way, does the interruption of catastrophe by epitasis have a corresponding impact upon the spectator s emotional, as well as intellectual, faculties? I believe so for two reasons. The following passage is taken from Edward P. J. Corbett s Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. In it, the author offers advice as to the proper way to conclude a speech. Let it /Ehe recapitulation/ be as brief as possible. Otherwise the conctusion will take on the proportions of second discourse, and it will serve only to weary and alienate the audience. Nothing so exasperates an audience as the speaker or writer who goes on and on after he has announced that he is about to conclude.h The differences between public address and theatre notwithstanding, I think Corbett s observations can be fruitfully applied to the ending of La Calandria. Dovizi has given us every indication that he is about to conclude: the twins are in the process of being reunited, their problems are about to be solved, and we, as audience, feel pleasure at witnessing

110 104 an obligatory scene long anticipated. We have been presented, in other words, with an all but completed 12 experience from which nothing else need issue. All that remains is the speedy resolution of the events initiated. But Dovizi, like Corbett1s bad speaker, decides to go on "after he has announced that he is about to conclude, eliciting, we may assume, a certain measure of annoyance from the spectator, if not the "weariness, alienation and exasperation" to which Corbett refers. I said earlier that there were two reasons why the interrupted catastrophe might have an effect upon the spectators emotions. To understand the second reason, we need to consider both the nature of the catastrophe as well as its emotional relationship to the rest of the play. As has already been noted, the episode in question serves as an obligatory scene. As such, it is preceded by a number of anticipatory scenes: exposition dealing with the twins1 separation, scenes of mistaken identity, resultant scenes of confusion, and so on. Needless to say, many of these are richly comic and pleasurable. But only up to a point; for these same scenes of folly and confusion we so thoroughly enjoy also provide us with certain

111 105 tensions which stand in need of relief. While we relish the comedy, we simultaneously yearn for its end: the reuniting of the twins, the resolution of their difficulties, and the attendant relaxation of all stress and doubt. The scenes of cross purpose, amusing though they be, conspire to delay, frustrate and titilate these romantic expectations, producing an even greater counterpressure in their behalf. And yet, we are able to hold our disquiet in check, giving ourselves over wholeheartedly to laughter. How is this so? In my view, this ability derives from a certain confidence v/e place in the playwright: i.e., that at the appropriate moment he will provide us with a highly pleasurable release from tension, a recognition scene made all the more satisfying for having been delayed. Thus secure in the assurance of eventual gratification, we relax, allowing ourselves to enjoy the comedy. I think we are now in a position to appreciate fully the importance of the recognition scene. Like the keystone of an arch, it serves the emotional architecture of the whole as its point of focus, its culmination, its agent of coherence. Like the keystone, it gives meaning to what has been laid down

112 106 before, rescuing it from chaos and absurdity. Ex- perientially, it constitutes an emotional payoff for the audience: a long expected release from stress. And Dovizi chooses to interrupt it, after it has begun, catapulting his audience out of their sense of serenity into a brand new state of anxiety. The question remains, Why? In keeping with the principles set forth in the first chapter, I am going to argue for La Calandriafs wholeness. I believe that the play possesses a unifying principle, that this principle is thematic, and that the two seeming irregularities detailed earlier, the Fulvia intrigue and the interrupted catastrophe, ensue directly from it. My concern with an organizing principle is, in this case, a narrow one. Quite prosaically, it can be translated into questions such as: What controls the play*s action? And what causes things to happen as they do? In La mandragola. action was shown to be the product of an interrelationship between the forces of virtu and fortuna. with Machiavelli coming out on the side of the former. In the case of Bilora. it was shown to be determined by the ubiquitous powers of love. In the present instance, I believe a good case

113 107 can be made for La Calandria*s action being controlled by a close interweaving of two themes we have seen before, love and fortune. Love Anticipating Shakespeare, Dovizi chooses, v/ithin a single play, to look at love from a multitude of angles, both high and low. In the first place, we have filial love. Consider for a moment the opening lines of the play with its close connection between fortune and love an interrelationship I shall return to later. Fessenlo; How true it is that man makes one plan and fortune makes another for him. Just as wc thought v/e were quietly settled in Bologna, my master Lidio learned that his sister Santilia was alive and in Italy, and immediately his love for her was revived a love stronger than ever brother felt for sister. U Santilla*s love for her brother is equal to his, and v/e remember her outpouring of happiness during the recognition scene: "Oh God, I begin to feel my heart grow light with joy."^4 Again, when the two finally meet in full knov/ledge of each other*s identity, their feeling for one another is highly charged. Lidio: Are you really Santilia? But I see now that you are. Oh, my dear sister, for whom I have wished and searched so long! How at last I am satisfied; now I have gained my v/ish; now I am the happiest man alive.

114 108 Santilia: Beloved brother of mine, though I see you and touch you, I can scarcely believe you are really he whom I thought dead and for whom I mourned so long. Now that I find you are alive, my joy is as great as my grief was then.15 In addition to filial love, we have a representation of caritas in the person of Perillo. A generous merchant, he rescued Santilia from the Turks, took her into his own home, and raised her as his own child. His kindness is also reflected in his desire to marry her to his daughter. There are elements of charitable love in Fulvia, as well. Her affection is of the kind which allows her to care about the well-being of Lidio above and beyond the pleasure she gains from their sexual relationship. Thinking that Lidio has been transformed from a man to a woman by Ruffo*s spells, she cries out to her maid: HHow unhappy I am! I have harmed not only myself but him v/hom I love more than myself,... if the spirit can*t help me, I am ready to kill myself."-^ a moment later, she tells the magician that though I have been deprived of my pleasure, I do not weep for my own sake so much as for Lidio. 17

115 109 At various points in the play, love is shown to have the power to make its devotees brave or intelligent. When the jealous Calandro is about to take vengeance upon his wife, Lidio, despite the danger to himself, offers to go to her aid. Calandro has gone in the house, threatening Fulvia. He is beside himself with rage and may hurt her. If I hear any trouble, I'll go inside, no matter what, and either protect her or die for her. No true lover was ever lacking in courage.18 Again, when Fulvia manages to gain the upper hand over her husband, even though she is dressed, compromisingly, in male attire, Fessenio draws the moral. Well, well, live and learn. 0 love, how great is your power! What poet, what doctor, what philosopher can hope to rival you as a teacher? All knowledge, all doctrine is secondary to yours. What else but love would have enabled Fulvia, in so tight a spot, to act so intelligently? I never saw anything like it. Other variants of love are held up to ridicule or consideration from time to time: marriage, in the adulterous behavior of Calandro and Fulvia, homosexuality, in the scenes of transvestitism, physical love, in the bawdy "key scene" between Sarnia, her lover and Fessenio (III, x), and romantic love, as for example when Santilla comes to court Fulvia in male costume.

116 110 Santilla: How is my beloved Fulvia? Sarnia: Do you really want to know? Santilla: Indeed I do. Sarnia: She wants you to give her your heart. Santilla: I can t do that. Sarnia: Why not? Santilla: Don t you know that it already belongs to her?20 Love is introduced as a major theme early on in the play in a little debat between Lidio and Fessenio, on the one hand, and Lidio*s tutor, Polinico, on the other Polonico s arguments may be summarized as follows. Love is a waste of time, the preoccupation of a worthless man. Lidio*s affair with Fulvia, if discovered, would endanger both his life and his reputation. A prudent man would consider v/hat might happen in the future, there being no greater pain than remorse. All women have the same deceitful nature. And finally "the companions of love are anger, hatred, disagreement, ruin, poverty, suspicion, ^and7 diseases in the souls of men. Avoid love, avoid it, he counsels, you will soon find out the damage love can cause. ^

117 111 Lidio and Fessenio, on the other hand, counter with the following: Polonico's cautions are useless because Lidio is not free to help himself. "There is nothing in the world," he tells us, "that heeds advice less than love, whose nature is such that a man will allow himself to be consumed by it rather than give it up because someone tells him to. "23 He must do as love commands, loving Fulvia more than himself. "It is a sign of merit to love above one's station."24 Furthermore, "everything is subject to the power of love, and there is no sweetness like that of fulfilling one's desires. Without love there is nothing perfect, nothing virtuous, nothing good."25 Women, moreover, "are the greatest source of goodness and comfort in the world, and without them v/e would be useless, inadequate, harsh, and like the beasts of the field.besides, Lidio is young, "and young people have always been ruled by love; older people can afford to think of more serious things."27 This last argument is echoed by Fessenio. You never stop to consider that what is right for an old man may not be right for a young one; that what is right in times of danger may not be right in ordinary times. You, who are old, cling to the kind of life that old men remember, but you must allow Lidio, who is young, to lead the kind of life that is proper

118 112 for a young man, nowadays, and adjust yourself to the idea.28 I think it would be a mistake to dismiss Polinico out of hand as being merely an old fool. He is certainly the butt of Fessenio*s jokes, but he never makes a fool out of himself. He speaks calmly and with dignity and never allows himself to be baited into losing his temper. His words, furthermore, strike home. Fessenio: I have good news about Galandro. Lidio: Let us hear it. It may take some of the sting out of Polinicofs w ords.29 The debat, with its clash of ideas, ends with no clear-cut winner. The audience must now wait and watch, observing the action in its relationship to the theme of love in order to see which view, if either, eventually prevails. As we shall see, truth is resident on both sides. In the cases of Fulvia and Calandro, the action does, for the most part, bear out Polinico*s condemnation of love. It serves to destroy her good judgment and further exacerbates his lack of it. Fulvia*s passion, in its desperation, makes her easy prey for Fressenio, Santilla, and Ruffo. Fessenio tells us in his opening, expository monologue that she has become

119 113 "so upset about Lidio*s failure to visit her that she can scarcely control herself and has been consulting soothsayers and magicians. 30 Ruffo, a man of virtu in the Machiavellian sense, understands the nature of women in love and stands ready to exploit her to the fullest. Fannio: Ruffo: Is the woman generous? I should think so! True lovers, you know, share everything they have money, clothes, livestock, everything. A woman who loves as deeply as the lady Fulvia would even give her life.31 Ruffo is correct in his prediction. He recognizes that Fulvia is "more in love than she is wise" and with the aid of Fessenio and Santilla is able to dupe her over and over again, gaining money, clothing, jewelry, and the like. Referring to the woman*s gullibility, Ruffo surmises that: Love is painted blind with good reason, for he who loves never sees the truth. This woman is so blinded by her passion that she believes a spirit can make a person male or female at will, as if all that had to be done to make a woman out of a man was to pull out the root and replace it with a crack, and then, to turn him back into a man, sew up the mouth down there and replace it with a peg. Oh, the credulity of lovers.33 Fulvia gains little from love but anguish. Observing her, Sarnia makes reference to an old proverb:

120 114 How true it is that he who has love in his heart has spurs in his side. 34 Fulvia*s entreaties to Fessenio are pitiful. Unless you can help me I am desperate. Plead with him to save my life. For it belongs to him. 35 And her suffering is obsessive. **How unhappy I am! I know now for sure that Lidio is unfaithful. How sad is the destiny of women.36 And again: There is no pain like that of a woman who has wasted her youth. 57 Love has radically altered her personality and behavior for the worse. As Sarnia laments: How unhappy we poor women are! When we fall in love we are done for. Fulvia who was always so prudent, doesn t know what she is doing now that she is in love with Lidio. Since he won t come to her, she has decided to go to him dressed as a man, never thinking of what might happen if she were discovered.38 Fulvia herself recognizes the changes wrought by love, and she despairs over the loss of self- control it imposes. Poor me, I have loved too deeply and gave so much of myself that I am no longer my own mistress. 39 she appeals to heaven to free her from the affair but immediately falls back under love s spell once again. But v/hat am I thinking of? Not to love Lidio, and to run away from him? Ah, no, I can t do that, nor do I want to. 4^

121 115 Like Bilora, love has turned her around and made her brazen. Fulvia: Love can make a person do anything. I used to be so timid I was afraid to leave my room alone, and now,moved by love, I don't even hesitate to leave the house alone in men's clothing. 4-1 Dovizi makes the same point for a third time with Fessenio*s comment: "Truly there is nothing too dangerous or too foolish for love to attempt: here Fulvia has gone to Lidio's house, not knowing that her husband is also there. 42 Again we are reminded of Bilorafs situation. Love, however, is credited with saving Fulvia. As we remember, Fessenio tells us that only through its power was the woman able to act intelligently, outfacing her husband while dressed in men's clothing (see p. 109, above).43 Love has less of an impact upon Calandro than upon his wife, for as Fessenio explains, the old man is already "the world's greatest simpleton."4-4- Nonetheless, the emotion provides him with his share of discomfort. Oalandro: Oh! Fessenio, give me a hand: I'm afraid I don't feel very well.

122 116 Fessenio: Why what's the matter master? Do you have a fever? Calandro: No, of course not, stupid. Its Santilla. Fessenio: Did she hit you? Calandro: Oh, what a fool you are! I mean I am so much in love that it hurts.45 Like Fulvia, love makes Calandro desperate. Calandro: I'll get her, even if I have to go nude and barefoot. Fessenio (aside): Just listen to this all you lovers.46 His obsession with Santilla in reality, Lidio is equal to his wife's. When Fessenio tells him that he will not "be able to see Santilla today, he cries "Then I might as well be dead. 47 Calandro's passion, combined with his stupidity, make him an easy mark for Fessenio's practical jokes. The old man is led, in turn, to believe that kissing is another form of drinking and that as a result he stands in danger of losing his ears, nose, or rings in the act; that he can die at will, be dismembered, and then be put back together again, whole, in Santilla's chambers; and that a local whore is, in fact, Santilla. He submits to being carried through the streets in a trunk and finally winds up carrying the trunk himself.48

123 117 Fessenio takes great delight at these antics and is particularly amused by the incongruity of an old dunce like Calandro falling in love. Now I see that the gods have their jokes as well as human beings: here is love, who is accustomed to dwell in noble hearts, sticking so firmly to this sheep that it is impossible to dislodge him. He must not have much to do to visit such a baboon.49 Similarly, when Calandro enters the trunk after having removed his clothes, Fessenio ridicules him with a mock auction. Ladies and gentlemen, we have here the spoils of love; whoever wants to acquire politeness, insight, and knowledge need only buy these cloths and wear them awile. They belong to Calandro,... a man so clever that he has fallen in love with another man, believing him a woman, and so powerful that he can die and come back when he chooses.50 But the attitude toward love displayed in the play is by no means one-dimensional. V/e remember the positive treatment given to filial and selfless love for example. And, as Fulvia reminds us, "in love all things are possible."^ The multiformity of love is brought into focus by Sarnia, who, in a pair of successive soliloques, experiences some of its complexity. In the first of these, love is portrayed as a degrading, victimizing, will-robbing affair, especially for women.

124 118 How unhappy we poor women are! When we fall in love, we are done for* Fulvia, who was always so prudent, doesn t Icnow what she is doing now that she is in love with Lidio.... Well, she ought to be satisfied now: she's given him everything, including her honor and her body, and he thinks nothing more of her than dirt undp his feet. Our sex is truly to be pitied.52 A moment later, her attitude changes, with love now being experienced.as a necessary, pleasurable, and civilizing force. She is gone to seek her pleasure. I was wrong to blame her, for he who is indifferent to love is no better than a beast of the field. I am never so happy myself as when I am with my lover, Lusco, who is waiting for me now in the courtyard. We'll have the whole house to ourselves. I'll follow my mistress' example: a person's a fool not to take his pleasure when the opportunity comes along. (Calling) Lusco! Oh, Lusco!55 In the main, love treats its habitues unequally: certain lovers, Fulvia and Calandro, are made to suffer, while others, Sarnia and Lidio, are not. One wonders if there is a reason. I think a case can be made for two reasons, both having to do with propriety. For Fulvia and Calandro, love is an id e fixe, an all consuming obsession, a monomania without balance or proportion. Love is not merely the central issue of their lives, it is all. Both claim, Fulvia perhaps more convincingly, that

125 119 life without love is simply not worth living. In other words, they overdo it. Still, one might argue that they have no choice, that they are in the grip of love, and love is all powerful. This may he so, hut Fulvia suggests, in a passage previously quoted, that things might have been otherwise, that at one time she might still have retained a measure of control, and that her present situation is to some degree the result of her own doing. "Poor me, I loved too deeply and gave so much of myself that I am no longer my own mistress."54 Furthermore, the examples of the other two lovers mentioned above suggest that alternatives are possible. Sarnia and Lidio both love with a degree of moderation. In his own way, each is able to maintain a certain levelheadedness in their respective affairs, never wholly abandoning their self-possession. Unlike Fulvia and Calandro, neither is an absolutist; their lives are not totally dominated by love. Sarnia is able to do her job as maid, serve as Fulvia*s intermediary, and enjoy a good roll in the hay now and again. Her view of love is balanced: she understands its destructive capabilities and at the same time recognizes that one is "a fool not to take his pleasure

126 120 when the opportunity comes. 55 Similarly, Lidio is capable of approaching love with a measure of rationality. He allows for his own self-interest, tapering off the affair when it appears to be potentially dangerous. He maintains a degree of aloofness, appreciating the objective advantages of the relationship Fulviafs station in society is, 67 after all, higher than his. And he is able to maintain other life interests, finding his sister and having a good time at Calandro*s expense. With a modicum of self-restraint, then, love is not necessarily intolerable. Very briefly, the second reason has to do with the decorum of age. As Lidio and Fessenio both point out, love is properly the business of the young, and what is right for youth may not be right for the aging. To take a retrospective look at the little debat at the beginning of the play, Polonico seems to have been right in speaking of the detrimental effects of love, and Lidio and Fessenio seem to have been right in distinguishing between its effects upon the young and old. An evaluation of Polonico*s most ominous prediction that Lidio*s affair with Fulvia endangers his life and reputation must wait until we have

127 121 considered the second of the play*s two major themes, that of fortune. Fortune As it appears below, the term fortune will be used to include both chance, accident, fate and the like, and fortuna in the Machiavellian sense, meaning by this, an inactive, volitionless receptivity to chance and other external forces. I use the word 1fortuna simply as a term of convenience and do not mean to imply that Machiavelli and Dovizi somehow influenced one another. Clearly, much of the play is predicated upon a series of necessary accidents, chance occurences, and coincidences requisite to the furthering of the action. In this connection we may cite (1) the accident of the twins* perfect identicality (without which, there would be no play); (2) Santilla*s adopting of her brother*s name, and he, hers; and (3) the coincidence of both attiring themselves in the clothing of the opposite sex. All of these are necessary to Fulvia and Calandro falling in love with the same person (a coincidence of sorts, itself); the intrigues of Ruffo,

128 122 Fessenio, and Fannio against the old couple; and, as we shall see, the final outcome of the play. V/e remember that Fessenio opens the comedy by telling us that fortune was responsible for alerting Lidio to his sister s presence in Rome, thus bringing them to the city in the first place. A chance meeting between Sarnia and Santilla (dressed as Lidio), precipitates Fulvia s visit to her lover while dressed in male costume, this excursion coinciding with Calandro's own visit and subsea_uent exposure. Nor is this the only accident of synchronism: on two occasions the twins descend simultaneously upon Fulvia s house, the second occurence leading directly to the recognition scene and Santilla*s deliverance. Considering fortune for a moment in the sense of for tuna, we observe that v/ith certain exceptions, circumstance is, for the most part, controlled by 58 agencies other than the individual s free will. All of the major female characters, for example, complain regularly and bitterly of the strictures put upon their lives by their sex. I will quote but a few of these. Santilla: Men are certainly more fortunate than women, and I can bear better witness to this than most women. ^

129 123 Santilla: Ah, me, this f u l v i a *s passion for Lidi 7 only proves what I was saying: sad indeed is the fortune of us poor women.60 Fulvia: Samia: How unhappy I am! I know now for certain that Lidio is unfaithful. How sad is the destiny of women.61 How unhappy we poor women are! When we fall in love we are done for.62 Again, we are reminded of the absolute control love maintains over the lives of Fulvia and Calandro, robbing them of their free will and making them easy prey for exploiters such as Ruffo and Fessenio. The impression one gets throughout is that Fulvia and Calandro are almost zombie-like, answering, without volition, only to love s commands. As already noted, love s control over Lidio is nowhere near so total as it is over the old couple. He is able to maintain a degree of proportion, selfinterest, and self-possession in the face of the emotion. Nevertheless, as he explains to Polonico, its power still cannot be denied. "I am young and young people have always been ruled by love.... I must do as love commands, and it has bidden me to love the lady Fulvia."^ Love, then, may not rule Lidio absolutely, but it rules nonetheless.

130 124 Unlike Machiavelli, Lovizi presents us with a world governed by accident, chance, and fortuna, a world in which the impact of free will and virtu is minimal.^ It is within this milieu that we shall try to resolve the two problems initially posed, that of the Fulvia intrigue and the interrupted catastrophe. Earlier in the essay, we attempted to contrast Dovizi s approach with that of Plautus and noted that the Plautine intrigue was organically bound to the play s central problem in such a way as to lead directly to its solution. The Fulvia intrigue, on the other hand, seemed to lead away from any such solution. But from our new prospective, that of fortune, we must now ask whether this is really the case. The fact of the matter is that the intrigue, with its vicissitudes of coincidence, places Santilla in her brother s presence on Fulvia s doorstep, thereby resolving her difficulties. The intrigue, then, is bound to the play s solution, but not through causality in the accustomed sense; rather, chance and accident are the rule. Let us consider this more closely. The possibility of salvation through fortuna is hinted at early in the play just prior to Santilla*s commitment to the Fulvia scheme.

131 125 Santilla: Tiresia, go to the house, see what Perillo is doing about this wedding of mine, and when Fannio comes there, send him back to me so I can find out what s going on. Today I am going to keep out of sight: I want to see if there is any truth in the old saying, "As long as there is time, there is hope."65 A short time later, Fannio revivies his mistress* hope in fortuna. Hearing her complain bitterly about her situation, wolves on one side, a cliff on the other, he advises: Don t give up hope; something may yet turn up. I think you are right to keep out of Perillo*s sight, and this idea of Ruffo s is a good one. 66 The idea of reliance upon fortuna rather than virtu comes into sharper focus in a similar scene between Santilla and Fannio. Santilla: But in the meantime it would be a good idea to find out what s going on at the house about this wedding of mine. Fannio: As to that, I see no way out: better not think about it in advance. Santilla: Putting things off is not going to solve them. They won t look any better tomorrow than they look today. Fannio: Who can say? One thing at a time. Where the lady Fulvia is concerned we stand only to gain. Santilla: All right.67

132 126 In advising his mistress to proceed with the Fulvia intrigue and in keeping alive the prospect of deliverance through fortuna, Fannio, through no design of his own, unwittingly leads Santilla to her salvation. In this capacity he makes a most peculiar clever servant, operating with a kind of intuitive radar substituted in place of the usual intelligence and virtu. Fortunate servant might be a better appela- tion for him. Be that as it may, I should like to move on to a consideration of the interrupted catastrophe. I believe that Dovizi interposes the brothers-in-law episode into his denouement for tv/o reasons. First of all, it allows him to bring both of his primary themes, love and fortune, to a point of convergence. In verification of Polinico*s prediction, love is shown to be a source of considerable danger. It entraps Lidio within Fulvia*s house and almost causes him to lose his life. But the power of fortune is able to supersede that of love. It brings Santilla to the right place, at the right time, thus permitting her to save both her brother and herself. The brothers-in-law episode also affords Dovizi a final opportunity to impress his audience with awe

133 127 at the mysterious workings of fortune. With the action taking place off-stage in Fulvia*s house, Fannio muses: What a strange predicament this brother and sister find themselves in! This will either be the happiest or the worst day of their lives, depending on how it ends. It seems that heaven made them similar not only in their appearance but also in their fortunes: each of them is now in a position where what profits one profits both and where what harms one harms the other.6 Among sixteenth century critics, the arousal of awe, of admiratio. was widely held to be an important end of poetry. The emotion was thought to result from an effect known as la maraveglia. or the marvelous. I would like to bring this study to its conclusion by suggesting the presence of such an effect in La Galandria. The concept of the marvelous has its roots in both the Horatian and Aristotelian schools of criticism. Among the Horatians, poetry was prized for its ability to instruct in a highly pleasing manner. Under this arrangement, pleasure was considered to be the instrument of didacticism, attracting and holding a willing audience for the poet's moral lesson. La maraveglia. in turn, with its representations of extraordinary, startling and seemingly miraculous events, was

134 128 thought to he a rich source of spectator delight With the infusion of Aristotelianism into the critical mainstream, the nature of the marvelous and its techniques of implimentation were more preciselydefined. For Aristotle, reversals and recognitions, with their sudden and unexpected shifts in fortune and awareness, were powerful stimuli to the emotions, capable of eliciting wonder and surprise, as well as 70 pity and fear. These techniques, reversal and recognition, came to be associated with the marvelous. The astonishment they produced was similarly identified with admiratio. Let us consider La Calandria in light of what has been said. While we cannot know whether Dovizi had in mind to occasion the marvelous, the play does reflect several of its characteristic features. First of all, there is an astonishing reversal in the Fulvia intrigue, a line of action which seems to draw Santilla away from the solution of her problem but actually leads her to that solution via an unanticipated recognition of her brother. Again, there are the workings of fortune mysterious and powerful which implement this delivery.

135 129 One final issue remains, that of versimilitude. Throughout the century, a great deal of attention was given to the marvelous in its relationship to versimilitude. A number of critics were apprehensive about the possibility of conflict between the two. For them, versimilitude expressed fidelity to what was ti*ue and rational in the natural order, while the marvelous suggested something of the incredible. A variety of solutions to this difficulty were proposed. Critics such as Castelvetro and Sansetti believed that it was the special task of the poet to reconcile the two elements and that, given enough skill and care, plots could be fashioned so as to make the marvelous credible. For them, the credible/marvelous represented the greatest source of pleasure for an audience.71 G-iraldi Cintio suggested another approach. According to his system, a discrimination could be made between the major subjects of a poem and other subjects which digressed from it. Versimilitude was to be maintained in the major subjects while the marvelous was reserved for the digressions.^2 For Tasso, a poem could be considered verisimilar if it agreed with what the spectator believed was time. Thus, for a Christian audience, acts of God,

136 130 miracles, and other such wonders, could be both marvelous and believablearistotle describes a similar effect in the Poetics, Even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design. We may instance the statue of Mitys at Argos, which fell upon his murderer while he was a spectator at a festival, and killed him. Such events seem not to be due to mere chance.74- In ray opinion, there is a comparable air of design about the coincidences in La Calandria. As Fannio tells us in a line previously quoted, "It seems that heaven made them /^he twins/ similar not only in their appearance but also in their fortunes: each of them is now in a position where what profits one profits both and where what harms one harms the other."75 Given the presence of a super human power, La Calandriafs coincidences are rendered believable, and the marvelous and verisimilitude are cojoined.

137 131 Notes ^"Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena, The Pollies of Calandro, trans. Oliver Evens, in The Genius of ijie TfaTian Theatre, ed. Eric Bentley (New itork: Sfew American Library, 1965), p Ibid., p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p Ibid.. p. 52. r "When Dovizi*s prologue failed to arrive in time for the initial 1513 production, the author*s friend, Baldassare Castiglione wrote another. Castiglione*s prologue appears in most printed editions of the play. 7 'Dovizi da Bibbiena, p Plautus, The Braggart Warrior, trans. by George E. Duckworth, in Yol. I of The Complete Roman Drama, ed. George E. Duckworth (2 vo1s.; New York: Random House, 1942), I, ^Donnatus, A Fragment on Comedy and Tragedy. trans. George Miltz. in theories of ffomedy. ed. Paul Lauter (Garden City, New York: Anchor ^oots of Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964), pp ^Dovizi da Bibbiena, p. 91. ^Edward P.J. Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (New York: Oxford Universi"f v t r e s s. ^A hypothetical devil *s advocate might argue that the brothers-in-law episode (the new epitasis) is indeed necessary and that the plot would remain incomplete without it. My position, on the other hand, is that the scene is unnecessary, that it arises from nothing and gives rise to nothing, and that as a result it can be lifted out from the plot without appreciable damage to the whole.

138 132 As evidence for his view, my devil*s advocate might argue that: A) During the report of the brothers-in-law episode (it takes place off stage), we learn that Fulvia is so pleased by her narrow escape, that she has promised Santilla to her son, Flaminio. Thus, my imaginary adversary might argue that Santilla*s prospects depend upon the scene and that her future is left dangling without it, I would contend, on the other hand, that Fulvia*s promise is unnecessary as it merely reiterates another pledge vouchsafed in Act II, scene v: Fulvia: Dear Fessenio, if you are interested in your own welfare, or in Lidio*s and if mine means anything to you, you must urge him, persuade him, beg him not to leave on this account. /Eidio wants to leave Rome in order to find his sister7. I will search all Italy for this girl, and if we succeed in finding her. I give you my word that I will give her in marriage to Flaminio, my only son. /Italics mine./ B) In a brief monologue found in Act II, scene vii, Sarnia presents us with the following observations. Ah, me, such is life! It hasn*t been more than a month since Lidio wanted to spend every minute with my mistress, and now, when he sees how much she is in love with him, he pays her no attention. If we don t find some way out of this, I don t know v/hat Falvia will do; she might cause a scandal, and I have a feeling that Calandro s brothers already suspect something. Heaven knows i~b ^s owious enough: all she -thinks about is Lidio. /Ttalics m i n e ^ On the basis of the foreshadowing above, my devil s advocate might wish to contend that the episode in question, rather than being the isolated, self-contained nodule that I have made it out to be, is in fact linked to the fictional world outside itself by the laws of probability and, by stretching things a bit causal necessity. In the first instance it could be

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