This volume presents a contrastive study of the overlapping careers of Shakespeare and Caravaggio through the comparison of their strikingly similar conventional belief in symbol and the centrality of the subject, only to gradually open it up in an exaltation of multiplicity and the "indistinct regard" (Othello).
Utilizing a methodological premise on the notions of early modern indistinction and multiplicity, Shakespeare, Caravaggio, and the Indistinct Regard analyses the survival of English art after iconoclasm and the circulation of Italian art and motifs, methodologically reassessing the conventional comparison between painting and literature. The book examines Caravaggio’s and Shakespeare’s works in the perspective of the gradual waning of symbolism, the emergence of chiaroscuro and mirror imagery underneath their radically new concepts of representation, and the triumph of multiplicity and indistinction. Furthermore, this work assesses the validity of the twin concepts of multiplicity and indistinction as an interpretive tool in a dialectical interplay with much recent work on indeterminacy in literary criticism and the sciences.
Rocco Coronato is an Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Padova, Italy. A visiting academic at Amsterdam, Harvard, Warburg Institute, Brown University, Chicago, he has written more than 70 articles. His articles and chapters have often appeared on international journals and collection of essays. His monographs include: Shakespeare’s Neighbors: Theory Matters in the Bard and His Contemporaries (University Press of America, 2001); Jonson Versus Bakhtin: Carnival and the Grotesque (Rodopi, 2003); La mano invisibile: Shakespeare e la conoscenza nascosta (Pacini, 2011); La linea del serpente: caos e creazione in Milton, Sterne e Coleridge (Pacini, 2012); Intorno a Shakespeare: re e confessori, marinai e vedove, delinquenti e attori (Aracne, 2013). His research interests include the influence of classical and early modern European sources on English writers from the 16th to the 18th century, the application of complexity theory to literary interpretation and the digital humanities.