Shakespeare, Italy, and Transnational Exchange: Early Modern to Present, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shakespeare, Italy, and Transnational Exchange

Early Modern to Present, 1st Edition

Edited by Enza De Francisci, Chris Stamatakis


310 pages

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pub: 2017-05-16
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This interdisciplinary, transhistorical collection brings together international scholars from English literature, Italian studies, performance history, and comparative literature to offer new perspectives on the vibrant engagements between Shakespeare and Italian theatre, literary culture, and politics, from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Chapters address the intricate, two-way exchange between Shakespeare and Italy: how the artistic and intellectual culture of Renaissance Italy shaped Shakespeare’s drama in his own time, and how the afterlife of Shakespeare’s work and reputation in Italy since the eighteenth century has permeated Italian drama, poetry, opera, novels, and film. Responding to exciting recent scholarship on Shakespeare and Italy, as well as transnational theatre, this volume moves beyond conventional source study and familiar questions about influence, location, and adaptation to propose instead a new, evolving paradigm of cultural interchange. Essays in this volume, ranging in methodology from archival research to repertory study, are unified by an interest in how Shakespeare’s works represent and enact exchanges across the linguistic, cultural, and political boundaries separating England and Italy. Arranged chronologically, chapters address historically-contingent cultural negotiations: from networks, intertextual dialogues, and exchanges of ideas and people in the early modern period to questions of authenticity and formations of Italian cultural and national identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. They also explore problems of originality and ownership in twentieth- and twenty-first-century translations of Shakespeare’s works, and new settings and new media in highly personalized revisions that often make a paradoxical return to earlier origins. This book captures, defines, and explains these lively, shifting currents of cultural interchange.


"Perhaps the most theatrical section of the book is “Shakespeare, tradition, and the Avant-Garde in Chiara Guidi’s Macbeth su Macbeth su Macbeth” since there is an interview conducted by Sonia Massai and while Chiara Guidi is answering the questions she reveals an innovative approach to Shakespeare and especially to his texts (his words, his language)." -- Necla Cikigil, Middle East Technical University

Table of Contents



Notes on Contributors

Foreword, Susan Bassnett

Introduction, Enza De Francisci and Chris Stamatakis



Early Modern Period

Dialogues and Networks

1. Shakespeare, Florio, and Love’s Labour’s Lost

Giulia Harding and Chris Stamatakis

2. A Tale of Two Tamings: Reading the Early Modern Shrew Debate from a Feminist Transnationalist Perspective

Celia R. Caputi

3. Shakespeare and the Commedia dell’Arte

Robert Henke

4. The Unfinished in Michelangelo and Othello

Rocco Coronato

5. Shakespeare and Italian Republicanism

John Drakakis

6. "A kind of conquest": The Erotics and Aesthetics of Italy in Cymbeline

Subha Mukherji


Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries

Translation and Collaboration

7. The Eighteenth-Century Reception of Shakespeare: Translations and Adaptations for Italian Audiences

Sandra Pietrini

8. Shakespeare’s Reception in Nineteenth-Century Italy: Giulio Carcano’s Translation of Macbeth

Giovanna Buonanno

9. Verdi’s Shakespeare: Musical Translations and Authenticity

René Weis

10. Eleonora Duse as Juliet and Cleopatra

Anna Sica

11. Representations of Italy in the First Hebrew Translations of Shakespeare

Lily Kahn

12. Through the Fickle Glass: Rewriting and Rethinking Shakespeare’s Sonnets in Italy

Matteo Brera



Twentieth Century To The Present

Originality and Ownership

13. Giovanni Grasso: The Other Othello in London

Enza De Francisci

14. Shakespeare, Vittorini, and the Anti-Fascist Struggle

Enrica Maria Ferrara

15. Hamlet’s ghost: The Rewriting of Shakespeare in C. E. Gadda

Giuseppe Stellardi

16. "The rest which is not silence": Shakespeare and Eugenio Montale

Camilla Caporicci

17. Giorgio Strehler’s Il gioco dei potenti: A Shakespearean Master finds his Voice

Mace Perlman

18. Shakespeare behind Italian Bars: The Rebibbia Project, The Tempest, and Caesar must die

Mariangela Tempera

19. Shakespeare, Tradition, and the Avant-garde in Chiara Guidi’s Macbeth su Macbeth su Macbeth

Sonia Massai and Chiara Guidi


Afterword: Shakespeare, an infinite stage

Paolo Puppa


About the Editors

Enza De Francisci is Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Chris Stamatakis is Lecturer in English at University College London, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Shakespeare

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering Shakespeare alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, popular culture, and history, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / European / Italian
DRAMA / Shakespeare
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / Italian