Giacomo Casanova lived from April 2, 1725 to June 4, 1798. He was an italian man who looked for adventure and often found trouble. Casanova’s biography, Historia de ma vie, is known for being one the the most authentic accounts of the European social life in the 18th century.
Though Casanova’s life is mostly gambling and changing jobs frequently, he was given a stroke of luck when he saved the life of a Venetian nobleman of the Bragadin family. The nobleman had a stroke and when the physician used mercury to help his condition the nobleman began to rapidly decline. Casanova, who witnessed the stroke, had the the mercury washed off and the man recovered. Casanova was taken in by the nobleman and for three years he wore the luxurious clothes and began to gamble his newfound wealth away. Casanova fled from Venice after digging up a corpse, paralyzing a man, and being accused of rape.
He was considered the man to have by the women in Europe. In the article The Philosophy of Casanova he is mentioned to be the “prototype of the seducer” by using the idea of being philosophically intelligent to impress the women around him. This can be seen with his many love affairs with women and nuns. In Historia de ma vie he states “a philosopher is the one that does not refuse himself any pleasure”. Casanova developed his philosophy to keep himself happy and to intelligently justify his actions. From the article I have made the conclusion Casanova’s philosophy is to be happy, be with women and be wealthy.
On July 26, 1755 Casanova was arrested for affront to religion and common decency and was sentenced to the Leads, the prison in the Doge’s palace. He was first placed in solitary confinement where the conditions were terrible due to the summer heat. Once he was moved in with cell mates Casanova worked on his escape. He found an iron bar and then sharpened it. When he was alone in his cell he would dig a hole under his bed. Casanova was almost done digging though when he was moved to a different cell. He then works on his new plan but this time he enlists the help of the prisoner next to him to escape. The other prisoner used the iron spike to dig out a hole above his cell and then a hole over Casanova’s cell. Casanova left a quote in his cell stating “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord”. The two men ran across the roof and broke into the Doge’s palace and slept inside overnight. In the morning the two men found new clothes and walked out the back door.
Casanova traveled around Europe during his 18 year exile from Venice. In 1774 he begged for a pardon to return to his home. After being allowed to return, he was exiled again in 1783, that same year he was in Paris and met Benjamin Franklin. Casanova lived out the rest of his life in Bohemia. In 1797 he learned about the fall of the Republic of Venice but he could not return home. He died on June 4th 1789 at age 73.
“Giacomo Casanova.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova.
Râmbu, N. (2012). THE PHILOSOPHY OF CASANOVA. Philosophy and Literature, 36(2), 271-284. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.callutheran.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.callutheran.edu/docview/1321922307?accountid=9839