Overview

Servant of Two Masters


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A: Carlo Goldoni Pf:c.1746, Estate dell'Anno, Italy Pb: 1753 Tr: 1928 G: Com. in 3 acts; Italian prose S: Venice, 18th c. C: 10m, 3f, extrasPantalone, a Venetian merchant, intended to marry his daughter Clarice to a suitor from Turin Federigo Rasponi. When word comes that he has been killed in a duel, Clarice is free to marry her beloved Silvio. However, Federigo (actually his sister Beatrice in disguise) arrives to claim his bride. In fact, Beatrice has come to Venice in search of her lover Florindo. Beatrice's resourceful and cheeky servant Truffoldino also gets Florindo to employ him, and for the rest of the action tries to keep Beatrice and Florindo apart, so that they will not discover that he is servant of two masters. When the truth is revealed, Florindo and Beatrice are so happy that Truffoldino is forgiven. Silvio is free to marry Clarice, and Truffaldino will wed Clarice's maid Smeraldina.

A: Carlo Goldoni Pf:c.1746, Estate dell'Anno, Italy Pb: 1753 Tr: 1928 G: Com. in 3 acts; Italian prose S: Venice, 18th c. C: 10m, 3f, extras

As Goldoni gradually introduced reforms to the Italian theatre, he drew on but moved beyond the improvised scenarios of the commedia dell'arte. Here stock commedia characters appear (Pantalone as Clarice's and Dottore as Silvio's father), and the part of Truffaldino was played by Giovanni Antonio Sacchi, famed for his role as Arlecchino. Indeed, much of the text, which underwent several revisions, was due to the comic improvisations of Sacchi. The result is a delightful comedy, which exploits much of the fun of traditional commedia, but in which the characterization of the independently minded Beatrice and the ingenuity of her servant lend an unprecedented depth to the action.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.