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L’«Alcesti» di Emanuele Tesauro, o le sventure della sincerità a corte (e qualche altra «Alcesti» barocca)

digital L’«Alcesti» di Emanuele Tesauro, o le sventure della sincerità a corte (e qualche altra «Alcesti» barocca)
Article
journal COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI
issue COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2004 - 3. Sacrifici al femminile. Alcesti in scena da Euripide a Raboni
title L’«Alcesti» di Emanuele Tesauro, o le sventure della sincerità a corte (e qualche altra «Alcesti» barocca)
author
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 2004
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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The vitality of the myth of Alcestis in seventeenth-century literature is linked to new or mixed genres, such as tragicomedy and drama for music, in which the structural and thematic peculiarities of the Euripidean tragedy (first and foremost the happy end) are not only admitted but in fact acclaimed as ‘modern’ ingredients. Starting from the examples of two dramas for music from the second half of the seventeenth century – the libretto by Aurelio Aureli, Antigona delusa d’Alceste and the tragédie lyrique by Philippe Quinault, Alceste ou le triomphe d’Alcyde – the essay focuses on the seventeenth-century rewritings, which enliven the linearity of the ancient drama through the multiplication of the weird and wonderful ‘accidents’, as if in a novel; it is shown here, however, that these innovations tend to elude the problematic nucleus of the myth, offering a superficial and evasive interpretation. More faithful to the classical model is the tragicomedy Alcesti o l’amor sincero (1665), attributed to Emanuele Tesauro: it too proposes a complex and radical rereading of the tragedy, transforming it into a parable of court loyalty and expanding the eponymous motif of ‘sincerity’ into a highly perceptive reflection on the lability of knowledge of bonds of affection, an uncertainty that corrupts such bonds and undermines traditional morality.

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