To be able to completely understand Goldonis work we have to understand his beginning point and that is comedy dell’arte. Goldoni will make this type of comedy perfect in his works.
This comedy reached its success in 17th century when it was spread all over Europe but in the 18th century the comedy loses its touch and becomes material for entertaining the uneducated audience. The more serious and educated people were one step ahead and were waiting for a new theatre type.
This is a specific type where professional actors act. It was never performed by a strictly written script and the actors had more freedom to improvise. They had space to think of their mimic, gests, dance, song etc.
Goldonies comedy was based on him wanting to bring the written script back to the comedy dell’art because he believed it will make it more convincing.
In Mirandolinas bar everything was revolving around three guest and those are a rich count, a knight and a misogynist Ripafratt and a marquis who got very poor. The count and marquis are fighting for the attention of Mirandolina but the marquis always loses because he was out of money.
The misogynistic knight Ripfratt looked at that vain competition with a pinch of despise. He was rough towards Mirandolina and she put up with his behavior. Mirandolina lost her temper and decided to get her revenge by making him fall in love with her.
She faked modesty and honesty towards the knight and that worked well towards her. The knights attitude fades away as well as his caution towards women.
Mirandolina goes to his room and tries to win him over with her tactics. She placed nice sheets on his bed, made him his favorite gravy. He felt flattered and got more relaxed around her.
The knight didn’t know what was happening to him so he decided to go away for some time. Mirandolina faked, with some tears, that she was sad because of his departure and she broke his heart like that.
In the last act Mirandolina is completely convinced that the knight was in love with her so she decided to get her revenge. She rejected and despised the knights gift which was a golden bottle and that was her way of telling him that she doesn’t care about the material things and that she actually wants him to admit that women are superior.
The knight went to her place to ask her to accept his gift but he found her with Fabrizio. The knight was desperate and humiliated because of his weakness. He confronts the count and Mirandolina acts like she doesn’t know what is going on.
When she realized that she went too far Mirandolina said that her fathers last wish was for her to marry Fabrizio. She planned to be protected like that and keep her freedom.
The waitress Mirandolina is a work of art in which we have a simple plot, comedy, fast changing of the scenes and convincing characters.
Place: Florence, Mirandolinas bar
Main character: Mirandolina
Author: Carlo Goldoni biography