Memoirs[ edit ] There is an abundance of autobiographical information on Goldoni, most of which comes from the introductions to his plays and from his Memoirs. However, these memoirs are known to contain many errors of fact, especially about his earlier years. In these memoirs, he paints himself as a born comedian, careless, light-hearted and with a happy temperament, proof against all strokes of fate, yet thoroughly respectable and honorable. In his memoirs, Goldoni describes his father as a physician , and claims that he was introduced to theatre by his grandfather Carlo Alessandro Goldoni. In any case, Goldoni was deeply interested in theatre from his earliest years, and all attempts to direct his activity into other channels were of no avail; his toys were puppets, and his books, plays.
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Memoirs[ edit ] There is an abundance of autobiographical information on Goldoni, most of which comes from the introductions to his plays and from his Memoirs. However, these memoirs are known to contain many errors of fact, especially about his earlier years. In these memoirs, he paints himself as a born comedian, careless, light-hearted and with a happy temperament, proof against all strokes of fate, yet thoroughly respectable and honorable.
In his memoirs, Goldoni describes his father as a physician , and claims that he was introduced to theatre by his grandfather Carlo Alessandro Goldoni. In any case, Goldoni was deeply interested in theatre from his earliest years, and all attempts to direct his activity into other channels were of no avail; his toys were puppets, and his books, plays.
His father placed him under the care of the philosopher Caldini at Rimini but the youth soon ran away with a company of strolling players and returned to Venice. In his father matriculated him into the stern Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia , which imposed the tonsure and monastic habits on its students.
However, he relates in his Memoirs that a considerable part of his time was spent in reading Greek and Latin comedies. He had already begun writing at this time and, in his third year, he composed a libellous poem Il colosso in which he ridiculed the daughters of certain Pavian families. He studied law at Udine , and eventually took his degree at University of Modena.
He was employed as a law clerk at Chioggia and Feltre , after which he returned to his native city and began practicing. Monument to Goldoni in Venice sculpted by Antonio Dal Zotto Educated as a lawyer, and holding lucrative positions as secretary and counsellor, he seemed, indeed, at one time to have settled down to the practice of law, but following an unexpected summons to Venice, after an absence of several years, he changed his career, and thenceforth he devoted himself to writing plays and managing theatres.
His father died in In , to avoid an unwanted marriage, he left the town for Milan and then for Verona where the theatre manager Giuseppe Imer helped him on his way to becoming a comical poet as well as introducing him to his future wife, Nicoletta Conio. Goldoni returned with her to Venice, where he stayed until The play was a critical and financial failure. Submitting it to Count Prata, director of the opera, he was told that his piece "was composed with due regard for the rules of Aristotle and Horace , but not according to those laid down for the Italian drama.
Everything must be done according to a certain form which I will explain to you. His next play, Belisario, written in , was more successful, though of its success he afterward professed himself ashamed. During his many wanderings and adventures in Italy, he was constantly at work and when, at Livorno , he became acquainted with the manager Medebac, he determined to pursue the profession of playwriting in order to make a living.
He was employed by Medebac to write plays for his theater in Venice. He worked for other managers and produced during his stay in that city some of his most characteristic works. He also wrote Momolo Cortesan in This style was typified in La Donna di garbo, the first Italian comedy of its kind. Move to France and death[ edit ] Bust of Goldoni, near Notre Dame in Paris In , he engaged in a bitter dispute with playwright Carlo Gozzi , which left him utterly disgusted with the tastes of his countrymen; so much so that in he moved to Paris, where he received a position at court and was put in charge of the Theatre Italien.
He spent the rest of his life in France, composing most of his plays in French and writing his memoirs in that language. The Convention eventually voted to restore his pension the day after his death. Goldoni took to himself the task of superseding the comedy of masks and the comedy of intrigue by representations of actual life and manners through the characters and their behaviors.
He rightly maintained that Italian life and manners were susceptible of artistic treatment such as had not been given them before. His works are a lasting monument to the changes that he initiated: a dramatic revolution that had been attempted but not achieved before. It was this very success that was the object of harsh critiques by Carlo Gozzi , who accused Goldoni of having deprived the Italian theatre of the charms of poetry and imagination. Goldoni gave to his country a classical form, which, though it has since been cultivated, has yet to be cultivated by a master.
This may be surprising, considering his staunch Catholic upbringing. No thoughts are expressed about death or repentance in his memoirs or in his comedies. After his move to France, his position became clearer, as his plays took on a clear anti-clerical tone and often satirized the hypocrisy of monks and of the Church.
Goldoni was inspired by his love of humanity and the admiration he had for his fellow men. He wrote, and was obsessed with, the relationships that humans establish with one another, their cities and homes, the Humanist movement, and the study of philosophy. The moral and civil values that Goldoni promotes in his plays are those of rationality, civility, humanism, the importance of the rising middle-class, a progressive stance to state affairs, honor and honesty.
Goldoni had a dislike for arrogance, intolerance and the abuse of power. They occupy the middle ground of human temperament. Goldoni maintains an acute sensibility for the differences in social classes between his characters as well as environmental and generational changes.
Goldoni pokes fun at the arrogant nobility and the pauper who lacks dignity. However, in some printed editions of his plays he often turned the Venetian texts into Tuscan, too. Goldoni in popular culture[ edit ] One of his best known works is the comic play Servant of Two Masters , which has been translated and adapted internationally numerous times.
In it was adapted into an opera buffa by the American composer Vittorio Giannini. Its popularity led to a transfer to the West End and in to Broadway.
La serva amorosa
Corallina opera per il bene altrui senza interesse. Due volte rifiuta quello che risulterebbe logico: sposare il padrone per il quale aveva fatto tanto. Figlio unico di casa ricca e civile, vorreste avvilirvi collo sposare una serva? Ah, signor Florindo, non ci pensate nemmeno. Se mi amate, ascoltatemi; se avete stima di me, arrendetevi ai miei consigli; e se volete essermi grato, siatelo per ora col rassegnarvi.