Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

An Italian poet, b. at Ferrara, 1538, d. at Venice, 7 Oct., 1612. His father, Francesco Guarini, was a great-grandson of the famous humanist, Guarino da Verona, who had founded the fortunes of the family at Ferrara in the fifteenth century. Battista's early life, divided between Padua and his native city, was mainly academic, until, in 1567, he entered the court of Alfonso II, the last Duke of Ferrara. He was employed as a diplomatist, notably in the unsuccessful negotiations (1574 and 1575) for obtaining for Alfonso the crown of Poland. Excepting for occasional intervals, during which he was employed by the Dukes of Savoy and Mantua, he spent most of his time in the service of the Duke of Ferrara, until the death of Alfonso (1597) and the devolution of the duchy to the Holy See. Later, Guarini frequented the courts of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Duke of Urbino. His last years were mostly passed at Rome and Venice, where he was surrounded by admirers and enjoyed great fame as a poet. Guarini's domestic life was stormy and unhappy. His daughter, Anna Guarini was murdered by her husband, Ercole Trotti, with the assistance of one of the poet's own sons. His own conduct towards the latter was the reverse of exemplary, and his whole career was embittered by his quarrels and perpetual lawsuits with them and others.

Guarini's literary reputation is almost entirely based upon his "Pastor Fido" (The Faithful Shepherd), a Iyrical pastoral drama written to rival the "Aminta" of his friend and contemporary, Tasso. This "pastoral tragi-comedy" is a masterpiece of the kind that Flectcher's "Faithful Shepherdess" has made familiar to English readers, and marks the culmination of the pastoral poetry of the Italian Renaissance. In an age of conflict and intrigue, men turned with pleasure to these artificial pictures of the loves of shepherds and nymphs, and found a refuge from reality in the sentimental world of an imaginary Arcadia. Written with considerable dramatic power, its main charms lies in the lyrical portions. It was published at the end of 1589, dedicated to Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, and was frequently represented with success on the stage. Guarini also wrote a collection of Iyrical poems, "Rime"; a comedy, "Idropica"; "Il Secretario", a dialogue; and a political treatises, "Il Trattato della Politica Liberta", in support of the Medicean rule in Florence. His letters were printed in his lifetime. During Tasso's confinement, Guardini saw an edition of his rival's "Rime" through the press, per sola pietà , as he puts it.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter