Among Gian Vincenzo Gravina’s Tragedie Cinque, Andromeda is that traditionally considered by the critics as the least successful, flawed by serious structural inconsistencies which undermine its dramatic development. This paper aims to propose a new interpretation of this tragedy, based on the conviction that Andromeda actually represents a strong condemnation of the pastoral drama, regarded in Crescimbeni’s Arcadia as the prototype of the modern tragedy. Indeed, what emerges from the analysis of the text and the accompanying paratextual elements is a dense mesh of cross references to pastoral drama which consistently conceal parodic reversals. This would appear to indicate a distinct attempt by Gravina to distance himself from the aesthetic and political project of Crescimbeni’s Arcadia.
Keywords: Gian Vincenzo Gravina; Giovan Mario Crescimbeni; Arcadia; Andromeda; Pastoral drama; Parody.