The Mistress of the Inn

by Carlo Goldoni

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Characters Discussed

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Mirandolina (mee-RAHN-doh-LEE-nah), a pretty young girl who inherits an inn from her father. She promises him on his deathbed that she will marry Fabricius, who has served her father well. She delays the marriage, however, because of her delight in tempting all men, yet giving nothing. After enthralling three noble suitors, she finally announces that she will marry Fabricius.


Fabricius (fah-BREE-chee-ews), the faithful serving-man, who becomes jealous of Mirandolina’s favors to the nobles.

Marquis di Forlipopoli

Marquis di Forlipopoli (fohr-lee-POHP-oh-lee), a proud but penniless noble in love with Mirandolina.

Count D’Albafiorita

Count D’Albafiorita (DAHL-bah-fee-oh-REE-tah), a wealthy noble who gives her expensive but tasteless presents.

Cavalier di Ripafratta

Cavalier di Ripafratta (dee ree-pah-FRAHT-tah), a professed woman-hater whose defenses crumble before Mirandolina. At last, burning with love, he proposes marriage, but she refuses him.


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Carlson, Marvin. The Italian Stage from Goldoni to D’Annunzio. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1981. Excellent background for understanding the conditions under which Goldoni produced The Mistress of the Inn and other comedies. Also describes the efforts of actress Eleanore Duse in popularizing the play for twentieth century audiences.

Goldoni, Carlo. Three Comedies. London: Oxford University Press, 1961. The introduction by Gabriele Baldini discusses Goldoni’s abilities as a comic dramatist and examines his use of stock materials in The Mistress of the Inn. Also provides an assessment of Mirandolina, “the most fascinating female character” to appear in Italian literature in centuries.

Kennard, Joseph Spencer. Goldoni and the Venice of His Time. New York: Macmillan, 1920. Scholarly assessment of the playwright and his influence on Italian theater in the eighteenth century. Remarks on the production of The Mistress of the Inn and analyzes Goldoni’s development of Mirandolina as the comic seductress.

Riedt, Heinz. Carlo Goldoni. Translated by Ursule Molinaro. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1974. General survey of Goldoni’s achievements as a dramatist. A chapter on The Mistress of the Inn explains it as “a portrayal of feminine psychology,” comments on its structure, and remarks on twentieth century productions and adaptations.

Steele, Eugene. Carlo Goldoni: Life, Work and Times. Ravenna, Italy: Longo Editore, 1981. Brief comments about the drama, including a general assessment of Goldoni’s accomplishments as a playwright. Includes Goldoni’s own comments about The Mistress of the Inn, and focuses critical attention on the development of Mirandolina.

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Critical Essays