Biography of Vittorio Alfieri

Heroism on paper 16 January 1749
8 October 1803

Who is Vittorio Alfieri?


Considered the greatest tragic poet of the 18th century Italian, Vittorio Alfieri had a life quite adventurous, a direct result of his tormented character that made him, somehow, precursor of romantic restlessness. Orphaned of father less than a year, at the age of nine he entered the Royal Academy of Turin, but, impatient of the strict military discipline, he emerged in 1766 (in his autobiography will talk about how years of "caging" and "ineducazione").

At the conclusion of the studies he was appointed Bishop of the Royal Army and is assigned to the provincial Regiment of Asti. Since then, however, travels to long for the whole of Europe, often precipitously, to give vent to an inner restlessness which hardly subsided. Misfit and his unruly, was deeply disgusted by the courtiers of Paris, Vienna and St. Petersburg, while, conversely, the Scandinavian landscapes or lonelinesses drew the Spanish ones. In the many trips within that period, in the wake of that feeling sensitive and important countries such as France, omnivorous, visited England, Germany, Holland and Portugal.

Not yet focused precisely on the Centre of his interests, in that period are also some of his most intense readings, ranging in a disorderly manner by the French philosophers Machiavelli up to Plutarch. Back to Turin in 1773, followed by him years of industrious isolation and polished afterthought upon themselves and the environment around him. This process of intellectual and moral growth are paper the "Papers", written for a first part in French (1774-75) and resumed some time later in Italian (1777).

Meanwhile, in solitude, from his pen flowed hundreds of pages of high literature. Her dramatic talent was finally taking shape. In 1775 he represent his first tragedy, "Cleopatra," which brought him some success and that opened the doors of Italian theatres, confirming him in his vocation. Suffice it to say that in later years he came to write something like twenty tragedies, including, to name a few, "Philip", "", "", "Antigone, Polynices Virginia", "Agamemnon", "Orestes," "Pazzi conspiracy", "Don Garzia," "Mary Stuart," "Rosamund", "Alceste", besides "Abel", which he called "tramelogedia", meaning "mixed tragedy of melody and admirable".

Between 1775 and 1790, fleeing every worldly distraction, you gave a job a tenacious: he translated several Latin texts, read fiercely the

classic Italian from Dante to Badger, engaged in the study of grammar, aiming to seize the ways. In 1778, as it does not stand to be tied to a monarch by ties of subjection, he left all his assets to his sister and, reserved for himself a lifelong pension, he split from the Piedmont and went to live in Tuscany, Siena and Florence; He was also in Rome (1781-83), and subsequently followed in Alsace (in Strasbourg) and Paris Luisa Stolberg Countess of Albany, whom he met in 1777, which, she separated from her husband Charles Edward Stuart (pretender to the throne of England), became the companion of his life and the dedicatee of most rhymes.

Comes a report that Bishops will maintain until his death and which puts an end to its restlessness. The following year makes a gift to the sister of all its assets, keeping for himself only an annuity and after several stays, he moved to Florence and then to Siena, to learn how to use the Piedmontese and Tuscan family, so for him the use of his dialect and French, had been a dead language learned from books.

He retraced his path of formation in an autobiography entitled life he began writing around 1790 (the autobiography was a fashion genre in the 17th century, are examples of "Mémoires" of Rubbers or of "memories" of Casanova), although this work should not be considered as a "rewrite" of their own existential experience, where then the reality is sometimes forced to conform to the thought of Alfieri now mature poet.

He returned to Florence, devoted the last years of his life to the composition of "Satire", six plays, the second part of "Life" and translations from Latin and Greek. In 1803, only 54 years old, he died in Florence on day 8 October, assisted by Luisa Stolberg. The corpse is in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence.

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