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 »  Home  »  Croatian Language  »  Marin Drzic 1508-1567 a famous Croatian Renaissance playwright
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Marin Drzic 1508-1567 a famous Croatian Renaissance playwright
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  08/5/2008 | Croatian Language , In Memoriam , Culture And Arts | Unrated
When Marin Držić died William Shakespeare was three years old

Literature written in Croatian flourished in Dubrovnik already during Renaissance time. In the first place we should mention Marin Držić (1508-1567), who is one of the most outstanding names of the European Renaissance literature, a predecessor to Moliére's comedy and Shakespeare's drama (Moliére 1622-1673, Shakespeare 1564-1616). It was observed long ago that Marin Drzic handled themes and motifs that appeared 50 years later in the works of Shakespeare.

A few of Drzic's books printed in Venice in Croatian language have been discovered in Milano (MI0185 Biblioteca nazionale Braidense - Milano):

  • Tirena comedia Marina Darxichia prikasana u Dubrouniku godiscta 1548. ukoioi ulasi Boi na nacin od morescke; i tanaz Na nacin pastirschi. In Vinegia (Venice): al segno del Pozzo 1547. [Andrea Arrivabene], 1551.
  • Piesni Marina, Darxichia viedno staugliene s mnosim drusim liepim stuarmi. [Venezia : Niccolň Bascarini], 1551.

Also Shakespeare's The Tempest has its source in the old Croatian chronicle from the 12th century, known as the Chronicle of Father Dukljanin. Its Italian translation was published in 1601, a decade before The Tempest was composed (see [Mardesic], p. 151).

The importance of Držić as a playwright for Croatians is analogous to that of Shakespeare for the English, Moliére for the French, and Goldoni for the Italians. Note that Shakespeare was three years old when Držić died. Držić's plays were translated into Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Swahili, Swedish, and some other languages.

His best known plays are
  • Dundo Maroje
  • Skup
  • Novela od Stanca
  • Pomet
all of them written in Croatian.


A nice detail from Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik

Rector's Palace is the most famous concert hall in Dubrovnik. Marin Držić was very probably also playing here. He was an organist of the Dubrovnik Cathedral, and is known to have played eleven musical instruments.

In Rector's Palace with a view from the stairs.

Croatian Parliament proclaimed the year 2008  The Year of Marin Držić. A very rich program is predicted dedicated to this outstanding Renaissance playwright, mainly in his native city of Dubrovnik.

Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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