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Florentine Drama for Convent and Festival

Seven Sacred Plays

A talented poet and a gifted dramatist, Antonia Pulci (1452-1501) pursued two vocations, first as a wife and later as founder of an Augustinian order. During and after her marriage, Pulci authored several sacre rappresentazioni—one-act plays on Christian subjects. Often written to be performed by nuns for female audiences, Pulci’s plays focus closely on the concerns of women. Exploring the choice that Renaissance women had between marriage, the convent, or uncloistered religious life, Pulci’s female characters do not merely glorify the religious life at the expense of the secular. Rather, these women consider and deal with the unwanted advances of men, negligent and abusive husbands and suitors, the dangers of childbearing, and the disappointments of child rearing. They manage households and kingdoms successfully. Pulci’s heroines are thoughtful; their capacity for analysis and action regularly resolve the moral, filial, and religious crises of their husbands and admirers.

Available in English for the first time, this volume recovers the long muted voice of an early and important female Italian poet and playwright.

Table of Contents

Editors’ Introduction to the Series
Acknowledgments
Antonia Pulci and Her Plays
The Play of Saint Francis
The Play of Saint (Flavia) Domitilla
The Play of Saint Guglielma
The Play of the Prodigal Son
The Play of Saint Anthony the Abbot
The Play of Saint Theodora
The Play and Festival of Rosana
The Second Part of the Festival of Ulimentus and of Rosana
Index

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