Thestory of La mandragola () portrays Callimaco as one ofthe main characters who also plays the role of a protagonist.Callimaco is considered to be a virtuous prince. He has ferventaspirations but sometimes has the eagerness of putting his life indanger. As a protagonist, he helps in the development of the playbecause the story is centered on him. In the beginning of the movie,he heads back to Italy following an extended stay in France justbecause he has been told that there is a beautiful woman calledLucrezia.
Lucreziais also the main character in this story. Her role in developing thestory is centered on the idea that Callimaco is trying his best tohave her. Thispaper seeks to identify the main characters in the play and the rolethey play in developing the theme and the social reflection that thestory offers about the real world.
Unfortunately,to Callimaco, Lucrezia is a woman who is married to an old rich manand she does not consider indulging in affairs. At this point,Callimaco sets the pace of the story as he devises a way to sleepwith the lady. He understands that Lucrezia and her husband do nothave a child and sees it as an opportunity to explore (Sumberg,1961). Callimaco goes ahead to hire a cunning man who can help himsleep with Lucrezia. In this plan, Callimaco has to pretend to be adoctor , who can treat infertility using a mandrake root. In the end,he manages to trick Lucrezia and goes to bed with her.
Atthis point, Lucrezia appears as an innocent victim of a conspiracyagainst her because, in the first place, Callimaco used a cunning manLiguria to get his message to their family and secondly, Lucreziadoes not seem to agree to sleep with another man. A plan has to becrafted. Callimaco informs Lucrezia’s husband that for the portionto make Lucrezia fertile, she has to sleep with another man first sothat it does not kill her husband. The effect will be that theportion will kill the first man that she will sleep with.Nonetheless, it is hard to have Lucrezia agree to this plan becauseshe is a virtuous woman. Nevertheless, Callimaco does not give up andinsists on bribing Friar and her mother to convince Lucrezia. She isto be convinced that having a man killed and committing infidelity inorder to have a baby is not a sin (Sumberg, 1961). It is, therefore,clear that Lucrezia is a victim of conspiracy, but later she agreesto adultery herself.
However,despite the humor and amusement which underlie this plot, it is clearthat Machiavelli is commenting on the society throughout the play(Machiavelli, 2010). The movie is in the political parable whereLucrezia from Florence, represents leaders who at the end of the daysuccumb to the evils of the society. Even though it is easier tostomach the allegorical plot of the play, it becomes hard to digestwhen the characters are taken from real people. Rape is alsopresented as a topic which is not supposed to be talked about. A manlike Callimaco does his best to be seen that he did not rapeLucrezia. Nonetheless, the main point is how leaders sometimes easilygive in to bad habits and also get away with what they want.Callimaco is an excellent example of an individual who starts asvirtuous but as the story progresses she decides having bad habitsand taking advantage of her position.
Machiavelli,N. (2010). La mandragola. Bur.
Sumberg,T. A. (1961). La Mandragola: An Interpretation. The Journal ofPolitics, 23(02), 320-340.