Early European Drama Translation Series, Vol. 1
Three Florentine Sacre Rappresentazioni: Texts and Translations
This is the first bilingual edition of a selection of plays from the fifteenth-century tradition of Florentine sacre rappresentazioni. These were plays produced by youth confraternities that elaborated biblical texts or saints’ lives in ways that achieve a concentration of psychological realism that is frequently astonishing. The Representation of Abraham and Isaac, probably the first sacra rappresentazione, portrays the near-sacrifice of Isaac with striking emotional force. The Representation of the Conversion of Mary Magdalene creates a version of the Magdalene as a lively courtesan who falls in love at first sight with Jesus. The Prodigal Son play sets the parable in a contemporary Florence with rough-and-tumble youth gangs, tracing the Prodigal’s fall through gambling and drinking. The translations aim for readability consonant with fidelity to the Tuscan texts. An introduction describes what is known of the performance conditions and briefly introduces each play.
The Early European Drama Translation Series is sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS) to provide reliable, inexpensive translations of major European vernacular plays from the Middle Ages and Renaissance for use in a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. It is the intent of the series to internationalize the teaching and study of the early theater by supplying translations of important texts from many genres: mystery plays, saint plays, history plays, miracles, moralities, folk plays, carnival plays, processionals, and civic and ecclesiastical ceremonies of every kind.