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On Human Nature: Machiavelli’s “Mandrake” at 500

October 12, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - October 13, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

Event poster for Symposium with manuscript image of a male and female "mandrake"Symposium:

Multiple Speakers (see below)


Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513) casts its shadow far and wide across the humanities and social sciences. Often eclipsed by the scandalous, utilitarian ethics of the treatise – as well as by Shakespeare’s later elaboration of its themes – Machiavelli’s bawdy comedy, Mandragola (“Mandrake”, 1518) displays powerfully the provocative wit of its author like few other theatrical works of early modernity. This play saw more performances in 16th-century Italy than any other.

This symposium will commemorate the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli’s comedy by gathering scholars from diverse disciplines to 1) explore how this unique work accommodates different hermeneutical approaches, and 2) to share new insights and appreciation for the Mandrake as a portrayal of human nature.


For full schedule, speaker information, and address information, see here.

For downloadable pdf poster, see here.

For more information, contact Kristin Phillips-Court: phillipscour@wisc.edu. Please note: Symposium will take place across two days, beginning at 3:30pm on Friday October 12th and continuing all day Saturday October 13th.


October 12, 2018 @ 3:30 pm
October 13, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
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Memorial Library, Room 126
728 State St.
Madison, WI United States