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.
About the Series
Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies
This series places early modern English drama within the context of the European Renaissance and, more specifically, within the context of Italian cultural, dramatic, and literary traditions, with reference to the impact and influence of both classical and contemporary culture. Among the various forms of influence, the series considers early modern Italian novellas, theatre, and discourses as direct or indirect sources, analogues and paralogues for the construction of Shakespeare's drama, particularly in the comedies, romances, and other Italianate plays. Critical analysis focusing on other cultural transactions, such as travel and courtesy books, the arts, fencing, dancing, and fashion, will also be encompassed within the scope of the series. Special attention is paid to the manner in which early modern English dramatists adapted Italian materials to suit their theatrical agendas, creating new forms, and stretching the Renaissance practice of contaminatio to achieve, even if unconsciously, a process of rewriting, remaking, and refashioning of 'alien' cultures. The series welcomes both single-author studies and collections of essays and invites proposals that take into account the transition of cultures between the two countries as a bilateral process, paying attention also to the penetration of early modern English culture into the Italian world.
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- LITERARY CRITICISM / General