commedia erudita



  • In 16th-century Italy, a more scholarly version of the commediadell'arte. Unlike the latter, it was performed to educated audiencesand used written scripts, many derived from the comedies of Plautusand Terence. A representative play is Machiavelli's La Mandragola(1520), a satire on Florentine society in which a corrupt priest helpsa woman's husband, lover, and mother to betray her.

    Other writers in the genre were Bernardo Bibbiena, whose LaCalandria (1506) was adapted from Plautus's Menaechmi,Pietro Aretino, who based his Il Marescalco (1533) on Plautus'sCasina, Giambattista Della Porta, who wrote over 30 plays ofthis kind, and the poet Lodovico Ariosto.