See biography by G. Megaro (1930, repr. 1971).
(born Jan. 16, 1749, Asti, Piedmont—died Oct. 8, 1803, Florence) Italian tragic poet and playwright. Through his lyrics and dramas he helped revive the national spirit of Italy. After a period of travel in which he experienced English political liberty and read the works of Montesquieu and other French writers, he left the military and began writing. His tragedies almost always present the struggle between a champion of liberty and a tyrant. Of the 19 tragedies that he approved for publication in an edition of 1787–89, the best are Filippo, Antigone, Oreste, Mirra, and his masterpiece, Saul, often considered the most powerful drama in the Italian theatre. His autobiography (1804) is his chief prose work.
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