Count Vittorio Alfieri (January 16, 1749 - October 8, 1803), was an Italian dramatist, considered the "founder of Italian tragedy. Events 27 BC - The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate. Year 1749 ( MDCCXLIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Events 314 - Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses 1803 ( MDCCCIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or Drama. "
Alfieri was born at Asti in Piedmont. Asti is a city and Comune in the Piemonte or Piedmont region, in north-western Italy, about 55 kilometres east of Turin in the plain of the Tanaro Piedmont ( Piemonte; Piedmontese and Occitan: Piemont; French: Piémont) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy.
His father died when he was very young, and he was brought up by his mother, who married a second time, until, at the age of ten, he was placed in the academy of Turin. After a year at the academy, he went on a short visit to a relative at Coni. Cuneo ( Coni in Piedmontese) with a population of c 55000 inhabitants is the capital of the Piedmontese Province During his stay there he composed a sonnet chiefly borrowed from lines in Ariosto and Metastasio, the only poets he had at that time read. Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known by his Pseudonym of Metastasio, ( January 3, 1698 &ndash April 12, 1782 At thirteen, Alfieri began the study of civil and canonical law, but this only made him more interested in literature, particularly French romances. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The death of his uncle, who had taken charge of his education and conduct, left him free, at the age of fourteen, to enjoy his paternal inheritance, augmented by the addition of his uncle's fortune. He began to attend a riding-school, where he acquired an enthusiasm for horses and equestrian exercise which continued for the rest of his life. For the Roman class see Equestrian (Roman Equestrianism refers to the skill of riding or driving Horses This broad description
Having obtained permission from the king to travel abroad, he departed in 1766, under the care of an English preceptor. Year 1766 ( MDCCLXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Seeking novelty in foreign cultures, and being anxious to become acquainted with the French theatre, he proceeded to Paris, but he appears to have been completely dissatisfied with everything he witnessed in France and did not like the French people. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. In Holland he fell in love with a married woman, but she went with her husband to Switzerland. Holland is a region in the western part of the Netherlands. A maritime and economic power in the 17th century Holland today consists of the Dutch provinces of Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Alfieri, depressed by the incident, returned home and again began studying literature. Plutarch's Lives inspired him with a passion for freedom and independence. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ( Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος c He recommenced his travels; and his only gratification, in the absence of freedom among the continental states, came from contemplating the wild and sterile regions of the north of Sweden, where gloomy forests, lakes and precipices encouraged his sublime and melancholy ideas. "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. In search of an ideal world, Alfieri passed quickly through various countries. During a journey to London he engaged in an intrigue with a married lady of high rank. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Having been detected, he was forced to leave the country. He then visited Spain and Portugal, where he became acquainted with the Abbe Caluso, who remained through life the most attached and estimable friend he ever possessed. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. In 1772, Alfieri returned to Turin. Year 1772 ( MDCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a This time he fell for the Marchesa Turinetti di Prie, but it was another doomed affair. When she fell ill, he spent his time dancing attendance on her, and one day wrote a dialogue or scene of a drama, which he left at her house. When the couple quarrelled, the piece was returned to him, and being retouched and extended to five acts, it was performed at Turin in 1775, under the title of Cleopatra. Year 1775 ( MDCCLXXV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a
From this moment Alfieri was seized with an insatiable thirst for theatrical fame, to which he devoted the remainder of his life. Theatre (or theater, see spelling differences) is the branch of the Performing arts defined by Bernard Beckerman as what "occurs when one His first two tragedies, Filippo and Polinice, were originally written in French prose. When he came to versify them in Italian, he found that, because of his Lombard origin and many dealings with foreigners, he was poor at expressing himself. With the view of improving his Italian, he went to Tuscany and, during an alternate residence at Florence and Siena, he completed Filippo and Polinice, and had ideas for other dramas. Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Siena. While thus employed, he became acquainted with Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, who was living with her husband (the former "Bonnie Prince Charlie") at Florence. Princess Louise Maximilienne Caroline Emmanuele of Stolberg-Gedern ( September 20 1752 - January 29 1824) was the wife of the Jacobite For the US politician see Charles E Stuart For "Betty Burke" see The 'Forty-Five' below For her he formed a serious attachment. With this motive, to remain at Florence, he did not wish to be bound to Piedmont. He therefore ceded his whole property to his sister, the countess Cumiana, keeping for himself an annuity which was only about half his original income. Louise, motivated by the ill-treatment she received from her husband, sought refuge in Rome, where she at length received permission from the Pope to live apart from him. History See also History of the Papacy Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter, who Jesus named as the "shepherd" and Alfieri followed her to Rome, where he completed fourteen tragedies, four of which were published at Siena.
For the sake of Louise's reputation, he left Rome, and, in 1783, travelled through different states of Italy, publishing six additional tragedies. Year 1783 ( MDCCLXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or The interests of his love and literary glory had not diminished his love of horses. He went to England solely for the purpose of purchasing a number of these animals, which he took back to Italy. On his return he learned that Louise had gone to Colmar in Alsace, where he joined her, and they lived together for the rest of his life. Colmar (Colmar kɔlmaʁ Alsatian: Colmer pronounced; Colmar between 1871-1918 and 1940-1945 also Kolmar) is a town and commune Alsace (Alsace alzas Alsatian and Elsass pre-1996 German: Elsaß; Alsatia is one of the 26 Regions of France, located on the eastern They chiefly passed their time between Alsace and Paris, but at length took up their abode entirely in that metropolis. While here, Alfieri made arrangements with Didot for an edition of his tragedies, but was soon after forced to quit Paris by the storms of the French Revolution. Didot is the name of a family of French printers punch-cutters and publishers The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an He recrossed the Alps with the countess, and finally settled at Florence. The last ten years of his life, which he spent in that city, seem to have been the happiest of his existence. During that long period, his tranquillity was only interrupted by the entrance of the Revolutionary armies into Florence in 1799. Year 1799 ( MDCCXCIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Though an enemy of kings, the aristocratic feeling of Alfieri rendered him also a decided foe to the principles and leaders of the French Revolution. He rejected with the utmost contempt those advances which were made with a view to bring him over to their cause. The concluding years of his life were laudably employed in the study of the Greek literature and in perfecting a series of comedie. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Comedy (from the Greek κωμωδίαkomodia has a popular meaning (any discourse generally intended to amuse especially in Television, Film, and His assiduous labor on this subject, which he pursued with his characteristic impetuosity, exhausted his strength, and brought on a malady for which he would not adopt the prescriptions of his physicians, but obstinately persisted in employing remedies of his own, resulting in a worsening of his condition.
He died in Florence in 1803. His last words were "Clasp my hand, dear friend, I am dying".
Alfieri's character may be best appreciated from the portrait which he has drawn of himself in his own Memoirs of his Life. He was evidently of an irritable, impetuous, and almost ungovernable temper. Pride, which seems to have been a ruling sentiment, may account for many apparent inconsistencies of his character. But his less amiable qualities were greatly softened by the cultivation of literature. His application to study gradually tranquillized his temper and softened his manners, leaving him at the same time in perfect possession of those good qualities which he had inherited from nature: a warm and disinterested attachment to his family and friends, united to a generosity, vigour and elevation of character, which rendered him not unworthy to embody in his dramas the actions and sentiments of Grecian heroes.
It is to his dramas that Alfieri is chiefly indebted for the high reputation he has attained. Before his time the Italian language, so harmonious in the Sonnets of Petrarch and so energetic in the Commedia of Dante, had been invariably languid and prosaic in dramatic dialogue. Francesco Petrarca ( July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374) known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar The pedantic and inanimate tragedies of the 16th Century were followed, during the Iron Age of Italian literature, by dramas of which extravagance in the sentiments and improbability in the action were the chief characteristics. The prodigious success of the Merope of Maffei, which appeared in the commencement of the 18th Century, may be attributed more to a comparison with such productions than to intrinsic merit. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system In this degradation of tragic taste the appearance of the tragedies of Alfieri was perhaps the most important literary event that had occurred in Italy during the 18th century. On these tragedies it is difficult to pronounce a judgment, as the taste and system of the author underwent considerable change and modification during the intervals which elapsed between the three periods of their publication. An excessive harshness of style, an asperity of sentiment and total want of poetical ornament are the characteristics of his first four tragedies, Filippo, Polinice, Antigone, and Virginia. These faults were in some measure corrected in the six tragedies which he gave to the world some years after, and in those which he published along with Saul, the drama which enjoyed the greatest success of all his productions, a popularity which may be partly attributed to the severe and unadorned manner of Alfieri being well adapted to the patriarchal simplicity of the age in which the scene of the tragedy is placed. Saul is a theatrical Tragedy in five acts written by Vittorio Alfieri in 1782 in which the eponymous protagonist simultaneously embodies the tragic heroism But though there be a considerable difference in his dramas, there are certain observations applicable to them all. None of the plots are of his own invention. They are founded either on mythological fable or history; most of them had been previously treated by the Greek dramatists or by Seneca. The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger; Σένεκας in Ancient Greek literature (c Rosmunda, the only one which could be supposed of his own contrivance, and which is certainly the least happy effusion of his genius, is partly founded on the eighteenth novel of the third part of Bandello and partly on Prevost's Memoires d'un homme de qualite. Matteo Bandello (c 1480 &ndash 1562 was an Italian novelist Biography Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona (current But whatever subject he chooses, his dramas are always formed on the Grecian model and breathe a freedom and independence worthy of an Athenian poet. Indeed, his Agide and Bruto may rather be considered oratorical declamations and dialogues on liberty than tragedies. The unities of time and place are not so scrupulously observed in his as in the ancient dramas, but he has rigidly adhered to a unity of action and interest. He occupies his scene with one great action and one ruling passion, and removes from it every accessory — event or feeling. In this excessive zeal for the observance of unity he seems to have forgotten that its charm consists in producing a common relation between multiplied feelings, and not in the bare exhibition of one, divested of those various accompaniments which give harmony to the whole. Consistently with that austere and simple manner which he considered the chief excellence of dramatic composition, he excluded from his scene all coups de theatre, all philosophical reflexions, and that highly ornamented versification which had been so assiduously cultivated by his predecessors. In his anxiety, however, to avoid all superfluous ornament, he has stripped his dramas of the embellishments of imagination; and for the harmony and flow of poetical language he has substituted, even in his best performances, a style which, though correct and pure, is generally harsh, elaborate and abrupt; often strained into unnatural energy or condensed into factitious conciseness. The chief excellence of Alfieri consists in powerful delineation of dramatic character. In his Filippo he has represented, almost with the masterly touches of Tacitus, the sombre character, the dark mysterious counsels, the suspensa semper et obscura verba, of the modern Tiberius. Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca 56 &ndash ca 117 was a senator and a Historian of the Roman Empire. Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (or Tiberius I) born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16 42 BC – March 16 AD 37) was the second Roman In Polinice, the characters of the rival brothers are beautifully contrasted; in Maria Stuarda, that unfortunate queen is represented unsuspicious, impatient of contradiction and violent in her attachments. In Mirra, the character of Ciniro is perfect as a father and king, and Cecri is a model of a wife and mother. In the representation of that species of mental alienation where the judgment has perished but traces of character still remain, he is peculiarly happy. The insanity of Saul is skilfully managed; and the horrid joy of Orestes in killing Aegisthus rises finely and naturally to madness in finding that, at the same time, he had inadvertently slain his mother.
Whatever may be the merits or defects of Alfieri, he may be considered as the founder of a new school in the Italian drama. His country hailed him as her sole tragic poet; and his successors in the same path of literature have regarded his bold, austere and rapid manner as the genuine model of tragic composition.
Besides his tragedies, Alfieri published during his life many sonnets, five odes on American independence and the poem of Etruria, founded on the assassination of Alexander, duke of Florence. The sonnet is one of the poetic forms that can be found in Lyric poetry from Europe. Ode (from the Ancient Greek) is a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse. Etruria &mdash usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia &mdash was a region of Central Italy, located in an area Of his prose works the most distinguished for animation and eloquence is the Panegyric on Trajan, composed in a transport of indignation at the supposed feebleness of Pliny's eulogium. Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61/63 - ca The two books entitled La Tirannide and the Essays on Literature and Government are remarkable for elegance and vigour of style, but are too evidently imitations of the manner of Machiavelli. His Antigallican, which was written at the same time with his Defence of Louis XVI, comprehends an historical and satirical view of the French Revolution. Louis XVI ( 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) Louis-Auguste de France, ruled as King of France and Navarre The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an The posthumous works of Alfieri consist of satires, six political comedies and the Memoirs of his Life work which will always be read with interest, in spite of the cold and languid gravity with which he delineates the most interesting adventures and the strongest passions of his agitated life. He and the Countess of Albany are buried at the church of Santa Croce at Florence. Princess Louise Maximilienne Caroline Emmanuele of Stolberg-Gedern ( September 20 1752 - January 29 1824) was the wife of the Jacobite The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a Minor basilica of the He is buried between the tombs of Machiavelli and Michelangelo. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all
See Mem. di Vit. Alfieri; Sismondi, De la lit. du midi de I'Europe; Walker's Memoir on Italian Tragedy; Giorn. de Pisa, tom. Iviii. ;