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Deceived


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A: Accademia degli Intronati di Siena (?Lodovico Castelvetro) Pf: 1532, Siena Pb: 1538 Tr: 1964 G: Commedia erudita in 5 acts; Italian (Tuscan) prose S: A street in Modena, 1532 C: 12m, 5fHaving lost his fortune in the Sack of Rome of 1527, Virginio is now hoping to solve his money problems by giving his daughter Lelia in marriage to the wealthy and elderly Gherardo. Lelia is supposed to be in a convent, but has escaped, disguised as a man and calling herself Fabio. To be with the man she loves, Flamminio, Lelia has become his page and helps him to woo Gherardo's daughter, Isabella. Isabella, however, falls in love with Fabio/Lelia, and Lelia takes advantage of this to encourage Isabella to spurn Flamminio's love. Meanwhile Lelia's identical twin brother Fabrizio has come to Modena in search of Lelia. Virginio and Gherardo, having learned about Lelia's escape, assume that Fabrizio is Lelia in disguise, seize him, and shut him in Isabella's room. Isabella and her maid strip the bewildered youth, and are delighted to discover that he is in fact male. Fabrizio falls in love with Isabella. Meanwhile Flamminio flies into a jealous rage on learning of Isabella's love for his page and threatens to mutilate Lelia. When he discovers that she is a girl, he relents and asks to marry her, while Isabella will wed Fabrizio.

A: Accademia degli Intronati di Siena (?Lodovico Castelvetro) Pf: 1532, Siena Pb: 1538 Tr: 1964 G: Commedia erudita in 5 acts; Italian (Tuscan) prose S: A street in Modena, 1532 C: 12m, 5f

It is not known who wrote the piece performed by the Learned Society of the Intronati, at the ‘1531’ Carnival in Siena. Clearly owing something to Bibbiena's The Follies of Calandro, The Deceived indirectly provided the source of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. In each of these pieces great fun is derived from the confusions arising out of the accident of cross-dressed identical twins. The Deceived is more than just the source for one of Shakespeare's great comedies, however. The cynical pragmatism of Lelia in exploiting Isabella's love for her and the bawdy undressing of the confused Fabrizio, together with its witty dialogue and satirically drawn characters like the Spanish braggart soldier, give this piece its individual stamp and justified its colossal popularity in the 16th century.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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