How does Callimaco change throughout The Mandrake?

Quick answer:

In The Mandrake, Callimaco evolves in different ways. He goes from being a boy in Italy to an orphan in France. He returns to Italy to see the beautiful Lucrezia. He pretends to be a doctor so that he can trick Lucrezia into having sex with him. When he has sex with her the first time, he pretends to be someone else. Finally, he evolves into a full member of Lucrezia and her husband's household.

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In the very beginning of the play, we learn about Callimaco. We learn that he was born in Italy, but once his parents died, he was sent to live in France. While in France, a war in Italy destroyed his home and neighborhood. Yet that didn't bring him down too much: "Those years in Paris were so carefree and delightful," Callimaco tells Siro.

He also tells Siro (his servant) about how French women are "really more appealing and beautiful" than Italian women. That's when Lucrezia enters. Callimaco finds out about this Italian woman and her "intoxicating quality."

Callimaco wants to see Lucrezia for himself. That's what brings him back home to Italy.

Alas, Lucrezia is married. Callimaco pretends he's a doctor and exploits their troubles with trying to have a baby. He says Lucrezia will become pregnant if she eats a mandrake root. The catch? The first person to have sex with her after she takes the potion will die.

The elderly husband goes along with this idea nonetheless. The husband and Callimaco pay Lucrezia's mom and a friar to persuade Lucrezia that having sex with another man under these circumstances does not qualify as a sin.

As it turns out, Lucrezia likes having sex with Callimaco (who wears a mask), and the husband even lets Callimaco live with them.

In conclusion: Callimaco evolves from a boy in Italy to an orphan in France, and he evolves from scheming and tricking Lucrezia to becoming a member of her and her husband’s household.

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