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Guarini, Giovanni Battista

Born: 1538 AD
Died: 1612 AD
Nationality: Italian
Categories: Poets

1538 – Born on December 10th in Ferrara. Italian Renaissance court poet who, with Torquato Tasso, is credited with establishing the form of a new literary genre, the pastoral drama.

1557-1558 – Guarini, having studied, perhaps at Padua, before he was 20 became professor of rhetoric in Ferrara.

1567 – He entered the service of Alfonso II, duke of Ferrara as courtier and diplomat. He became the friend of Tasso, who was also in the Duke’s service.

1573 – His ‘Aminta’, had a more immediate success, becoming one of the most famous and most widely translated and imitated works of the age.

1579 – He replaced Tasso as court poet when he was imprisoned by the Duke for erratic behavior caused by mental disturbance.

1582 – Guarini found the position uncongenial and retired to his ancestral farm, the Villa Guarini, where he wrote his celebrated dramatic pastoral, Il pastor fido (“The Faithful Shepherd”).

1585 – Guarini reentered public service in Ferrara, but his reconciliation with the court was short-lived.

1602 – In ‘Compendio della poesia tragicomica’, he ably defended ‘Il pastor fido’ against the criticism that it departed from Aristotelian rules of dramatic structure.

1612 – Died on October 7th in Venice.