The Mandrake

TheMandrake

TheMandrake

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.

References

Machiavelli,N. (2010). La mandragola. Bur.

Sumberg,T. A. (1961). La Mandragola: An Interpretation. The Journal ofPolitics, 23(02), 320-340.

The Mandrake

TheMandrake

Twomain characters and their role in this play

Machiavelli`sMandragola performance has many exciting characters, in my opinion,the character that is captivating in this drama is Messer Nicia. Thesatire associated with his role kept the entire audience immersed ina barrage of laughter: despite his apparent foolishness and naivety,he was wealthy with an attractive and charming wife. Through theplay, Machiavelli has wittingly portrayed the perception thatknowledge is power through capturing the simplicity that showsMesser’s gullibility. The other characters in the play continuouslytrick him despite his affluence. In an illustration, Calimacoconjures up a lie about being a physician by way of pretending to bean expert in the medical field with a few utterances in Latin(Maloney and Machiavelli, 2008). Through his poise in portraying therole of a doctor, Calimaco eventually convinced Messer to persuadehis wife to ingest the potion and sleep with a stranger. The level towhich Messer was being tricked despite his wealth and stature in thesociety, he still fell for the deception.

FriarTimoteo role in this play was to convince the unwilling Lucrezia ofher best interest into drinking the potion and sleep with anotherman. As Lucrezia’s confessor, Friar managed to persuade her todrink the potion and seek forgiveness for sleeping with another manas it was in God’s will. Ligurio enticed Friar with several hundredducats that he could distribute as alms to have him go along with theploy (Sullivan, 2000). The bribery offered to Timoteo as an offeringto the church and help Messer in an unusual situation playing asignificant role in Calimaco’s plan in getting his way withLucrezia. Timoteo went further to assist Ligurio, Messer, and Siro incatching a scoundrel who would sleep with Lucrezia after drinking thepotion with a false explanation to Messer of death befalling himshould he be intimate with his wife (Maloney and Machiavelli, 2008).Throughout the whole incidence of searching for a young lad, Messerwas not aware that Timoteo had disguised himself as Calimaco, and wasmindful of the fact that the scoundrel they were to catch wasCalimaco.

Socialcommentary underlying the humorous and amusing plot

Acentral theme that surfaced from this play was fraud as it wasorchestrated by every character in this comedy in achieving theirobjective. The drama makes for fraud as an acceptable means tojustify the end. The plot from the beginning showed the trickery byLigurio and Calimaco on Messer to accomplishing their plan. They tookadvantage of Nicia’s longing to have an heir, as well as hisabsurdity. Lucrezia who from the beginning of the plot was perceivedas an upright character at the end took advantage of her husband’sfoolishness and her position and plans to deceive him about herindiscretion with Calimaco.

Lucreziainnocence as a victim of conspiracy against her

LikeNicia, Lucrezia was also an object of fraud as it were everyone wasconspiring against her from the onset of the play. Nicia led his wifeinto believing that by drinking the Mandragola potion they wouldconceive and get an heir. Against her ethical objections, she agreedto it after a strong persuasion by Timoteo and Sostrata who was hermother (Sullivan, 2000). Messer’s mother-in-law who for the mostpart was oblivious of the fraud should have questioned thelegitimacy, effectiveness, and possibility of the potion to get herdaughter impregnated. In conclusion, Lucrezia’s innocence was validup to the point she conspired with Calimaco to cheat on her husbandas she was now aware of the trickery instigated towards her husband.

References

Sullivan,Vickie B. TheTragedy And Comedy of Machiavelli.New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Print.

Maloney,Peter and Niccolò Machiavelli. Mandragola.NY, NY: Broadway Play Publishing, 2008. Print.