Shakespeare, Caravaggio, and the Indistinct Regard: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shakespeare, Caravaggio, and the Indistinct Regard

1st Edition

By Rocco Coronato


188 pages

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Hardback: 9780815376347
pub: 2017-11-03
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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.

Table of Contents


About the Author

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.

About the Series

Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies

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.

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