Gli Antivalomeni an Italian Renaissance Tragedy

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As critics have long acknowledged, Gli Antivalomeni occupies a special place in the repertoire of Giraldi's tragedies with a happy ending. The playwright's unremitting quest for a modern form of tragedy led him to a bold mixture of the genres in a play which has been hailed as one of the forerunners of modern tragicomedy. The title of the play, usually translated as ‘The Changelings', refers to the all-important mechanism which provides the drama with its happy conclusion: the deceitful interchange of two pairs of children in their infancy. This was probably the first use of the changeling motif in Italian literature. It is an exceptionally good illustration of Giraldi's method of crafting a play to meet the requirements of a particular occasion, in this case Anna d'Este's marriage by proxy to Francis of Lorraine, son of the Duke of Guise.

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