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A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane

A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane by Oscar Wilde
By: (1854-1900)

Oscar Wilde's dual play, "A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane," combines two contrasting works that explore themes of love, lust, power, and morality.

In "A Florentine Tragedy," readers are immediately drawn into the drama and tension of a love triangle between a wealthy Florentine merchant, his wife, and a prince. The characters are complex and multifaceted, each driven by their own desires and ambitions. Wilde's sharp wit and clever dialogue keep the audience engaged as the power struggle between the characters escalates towards a tragic and unexpected conclusion.

On the other hand, "La Sainte Courtisane" takes a more introspective approach, delving into the inner conflict of a courtesan torn between her devotion to a holy man and her worldly desires. The play raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of love, sin, and redemption, leaving readers pondering the complexities of human nature long after the final curtain falls.

Overall, Wilde's "A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane" is a captivating and provocative read that showcases the author's mastery of language and storytelling. Fans of Wilde's work will appreciate the depth and complexity of these two plays, while newcomers will be intrigued by the timeless themes and engaging characters that populate his world.

Book Description:

Two short fragments: an unfinished and a lost play. A Florentine Tragedy, left in a taxi (not a handbag), is Wilde’s most successful attempt at tragedy – intense and domestic, with surprising depth of characterisation. It was adapted into an opera by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky in 1917. La Sainte Courtisane, or The Woman Covered in Jewels explores one of Wilde’s great idées fixes: the paradox of religious hedonism, pagan piety. Both plays, Wildean to their core, revel in the profound sadness that is the fruit of the conflict between fidelity and forbidden love. Written towards the end of his tragic life, these fragments give us a glimpse of a genius at his best: visceral, passionate, personal, poetic.

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