- Summaries (3)
Lucrezia is inconsolable after Paolo's death, but it is ruled a suicide as King Charles marches north to revenge themselves on the Pope and the Eternal City.
Lucrezia is devastated when Paolo is found hanging and his death is ruled a suicide. It leads the Pope to refuse him a Christian burial and Lucrezia goes on a hunger strike to get him to change his mind. Her protest also means her baby is not being fed. Lucrezia accuses Juan of killing the boy and has proof that Paolo did not take his own life. The Pope decides to send Juan to Spain to find a bride but Lucrezia has her own plans for him. Caterina Sforza and her cousin Giovanni, Lucrezia's ex-husband, offer their support to King Charles VIII of France should he decide to march against Rome. Micheletto arrives in Rome with news that the King will soon be on the move. The Pope has a plan to defend the city but Cesare is forced to improvise. Cardinal Della Rovere meanwhile returns to Rome and seeks to join the Dominican order and obtain their help in eliminating the Pope.
Even Cesare can't console Lucrezia when she sees Paolo's noose-strung corpse. The very 'suicide note' found on her illiterate peasant lover confirms her suspicion it must have been murder, right up brother Juan's alley. It was indeed an execution staged my Micheletto, who meanwhile receives news from the very taxidermist who prepared the tortured-to-death prince Alfonso's body for king Ferrante's crazy tableau-vivant of royal cruelly, that the French king, recovering from the epidemic, is about to leave Napels. Even after an unlawful church funeral is discretely arranged for 'suicidal' Paolo, to convince Lucrezia she must nurture their son, she's out for bloody vengeance on Juan, before he must ride to Spain to marry, but he survives, unlike his whore of the day. The French army secured Sforza support and demands 'passage' to Rome to plunder it as punishment for the papal trickery. There's no way the papal army can mount a credible defense, not even enough bronze to cast a single canon, but Cesare and the papal sculptor come up with a crafty deception.
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