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Antonfrancesco Grazzini («Il Lasca»), Two Plays

«The Friar» and «The Bawd» – Translated with an Introduction by Marino D’Orazio

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Marino D’Orazio

Antonfrancesco Grazzini, known as Il Lasca (The Roach), was born and lived in Florence at the height of the Renaissance. He wrote prolifically in most genres, including novelle, burlesque poetry, and comedies. As a playwright he was, in his time, more popular than even Machiavelli. The Friar is a farce in three acts which satirizes, in the manner of Boccaccio, lustful men of the cloth and their willing female victims. The Bawd subverts stock classical comedy characters and situations while placing them in contemporary Florence. The result is the usual mayhem involving gullible fools, lustful young people, corrupt scheming servants, and a bit of black magic. The rise and subsequent popularity of the commedia dell’arte owes much to the likes of Il Lasca.
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About the author

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Marino D’Orazio has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with a specialty in Italian literature. He has been a college professor of both English and Italian, and has translated fiction and nonfiction books. He has also had a long career as a trial attorney, from which he deems himself “semi-retired.” His proudest achievements are his long marriage to his wife Mary Sue and the three phenomenal children they’ve had together.

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