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Hoffmann (I 988, 140-1) categorizes this pietas as "parodic" rather than real, while she considers the pietas in Stichus "sincere" (ernsthaft, 136).
Bannon 1997 and Hoffmann 1988), Sailer (1988) is the only scholar to treat the topic of daughterly pietas, and he does so under the rubric of parent-child pietas.
Owens rightly emphasizes the "Romanness" of the sisters' characterization, particularly regarding pietas.
45 Though Sailer (I 993) is generally concerned with the father-son relationship, he does adduce this play, as well as another Plautine example where the father shows pietas for his daughters in Poenulus--indicating that father-daughter pietas existed at the time of Plautus and was reciprocal.
At least thirty years before the Rondanini Pieta, his spiritual dejection had already found a medieval, macabre image to express itself.
What are now identified as Michelangelo's "trembling hand sonnets" form intertextually verbal analogues to the spirit of the Rondanini Pieta, an autobiographical contemplation of death in marble aspiration for freedom affirms his art's attempt at a direct with God.
Michelangelo's verses, on the other hand, rough and contorted like the last Pieta, announce a voluntary struggle with limitation or condensation, like switching from a larger to a narrower image on the same block of marble, the result leaving more to the imagination than would otherwise be possible.
Beauty lies, not exclusively in the idealized figure like the Vatican Pieta with its formal regularity and polish akin to a Petrarchan sonnet, but more convincingly in the imperfect shape that exudes moral sorrow and suffering, like the doleful countenance and weighty flesh of the Rondanini Christ.
23 "Erexit superos dextra, linguaque Corytus, / Evertit superos ore Manuque Luther, / O quam diversos peperit getmania mores, / Orta uno pietas, impietas loco est, / Dii, factis si amborum humana parum esse videtis / Consilio, e meritis tollite utrumque suis.