‘Uncle Maroje’: A Play by Marin Drzic
‘Uncle Maroje’: A Comedy By Croatia’s Shakespeare
Written in 1550 by Croatian playwright Marin Drzic, “Uncle Maroje” is distinguished by the same kind of sparkling wit and comedic themes that would show up later in the works of Moličre and Shakespeare. A half century before Moličre and a century before Shakespeare, Drzic wrote brilliant comedies on themes and motifs later found in the French dramatist’s “The Miser” and the English playwright’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Drzic’s play is the story of Uncle Maroje, of Dubrovnik, Croatia, who has given his son a large sum of money to buy fabric. Maroje discovers that the young man has run off to Rome where he is spending it on the most expensive courtesan in the city. The play unfolds on the streets of Rome where the greedy father tussles with his dissolute son over the money while a crafty servant manipulates a cast of hilarious characters.
Probably performed for the first time at a Dubrovnik carnival in 1551, the play reveals Drzic’s skill as a poet, humorist, satirist and, above all, a connoisseur of people. His characters, their dialects and the relationships they develop create a rich tableau of Renaissance life in Dubrovnik. Born in Dubrovnik in 1507, Drzic died in Venice in 1567.
All contents copyright © 2004.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.