Francesca Da Rimini

Francesca Da Rimini

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Francesca Da Rimini

Francesca Da Rimini

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Excerpt

"Francesca da Rimini" was acted for the first time at Rome, by Eleonora Duse and her company, on December 9, 1901. Has there, since "Hernani," been such a battle over a play in verse? The performance lasted five hours, and many of the speeches were inaudible on account of the noise in the theatre. Since then the play has been freely cut, it has been acted with the greatest success in the chief cities of Italy, and has raised more discussion than any play in verse of this century. The translation which follows has been made from the unabridged text.

The play is written in blank verse, but blank verse so varied as to be almost a kind of vers libre. This form of blank verse is not new in Italian. It is to be found in the pastoral tragedies of the Renaissance, in Tasso "Aminta," in Guarino "Pastor Fido." We need only open Leopardi to see almost exactly the same structure of verse. Take these lines of Leopardi ("Sopra un basso relievo antico sepolcrale"):

"Morte ti chiama; al cominciar del giorno
L' ultimo istante. Al nido onde ti parti
Non tornerai. L'aspetto
De' tuoi dolci parenti
Lasci per sempre. Il loco
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