The King Stag

By Carlo Gozzi


NYU Graduate Design class

Instructor Constance Hoffman


Deramo, king of the Kingdom of Serendippo, is searching for a wife. With the aid of a magical statue, he has already interviewed and rejected 2,748 candidates before meeting Angela, the beautiful daughter of his Second Minister. She alone loves him for himself, not for his crown. Unfortunately, Angela is also loved by the evil Tartaglia, Prime Minister of Serendippo, who is determined that the King shall marry his daughter Clarice. Soon, Tartaglia hatches a terrible plan. He discovers that Deramo knows a magic spell with which he can transfer his soul into the body of a dead creature. When the King and his court are out hunting in the enchanted forest, Tartaglia seizes his moment and challenges Deramo to demonstrate his magical powers by sending his soul into the corpse of a stag they have just killed. The King does so, whereupon Tartaglia, repeating the spell, implants his own spirit in the uninhabited body of the King. Mayhem ensues, the world goes dark, and for a time all seems lost for Deramo and Angela. But this is a fairy tale, and as in all the best fairy tales, everything ends happily ever after.