The True Friend: English translation of Il vero amico

Sparkling Books
Free sample

True to Goldoni's mixture of comic wit and farce, the plot is a breathtakingly fast succession of twists and turns which only unravel in the very final lines with a surprise ending.

Two friends are in love with the same young woman. Neither wants to place their friendship in jeopardy. How can love triumph without breaking off their friendship? Goldoni explores the conflicts brought about when Florindo has to choose between Lelio, his best friend, and Rosaura, his best friend's fiancée. Added to this conundrum are the issues of whether Ottavio, the old miser, will provide a dowry and the mature Beatrice's unashamed incessant pursuit of Florindo.

The play is set in Bologna in Lelio's house. Florindo is a guest along with his faithful manservant. From the opening of the play, Florindo seeks to return home to Venice in order not to damage his friend's relationship. However, his departure is obstructed time and again by his hosts, leading to one complication after another.

From the beginning, the plot is intense and fast-moving with inversions fed into the action in quick succession. This creates suspense which continues throughout the play as potential marriage partners are switched back and forth until the very ending when the audience finally discovers what the main characters' destiny will be. Will love or friendship prevail?

The Venetian element is brought into this play through Florindo and his manservant, both Venetians. Apart from these two characters, all the others are portrayed as self-seeking, selfish and sly - whether servants or masters. The tension is kept at a constantly high level by the struggles between the characters. These struggles are not just brought about through love and friendship but are also generational and social. Furthermore, there is the added complication in the contrast of the characters' ideas of reality as they deceive one another. This creates dramatic irony and humour as the audience know more than any of the characters on stage.
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About the author

Carlo Goldoni was born in Venice in 1707. While studying Law in Pavia he was expelled from his College for having written a satirical tract about the people of Pavia. He continued his legal studies in Modena and finally graduated in Law in Padova. After practising this profession for a short while, he abandoned it in favour of the theatre. An extremely prolific theatrical career followed spanning over sixty years. Goldoni was a prolific playwright, widely regarded as the Italian Molière. He died in Paris in 1793.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Sparkling Books
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Published on
Jan 10, 2013
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781907230349
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / European / Italian
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Performing Arts / Comedy
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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