Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, and Civic Life : The Boundaries of Civic Space book cover
1st Edition

Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, and Civic Life
The Boundaries of Civic Space

ISBN 9781138839984
Published October 6, 2015 by Routledge
320 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This volume introduces ‘civic Shakespeare’ as a new and complex category entailing the dynamic relation between the individual and the community on issues of authority, liberty, and cultural production. It investigates civic Shakespeare through Romeo and Juliet as a case study for an interrogation of the limits and possibilities of theatre and the idea of the civic. The play’s focus on civil strife, political challenge, and the rise of a new conception of the individual within society makes it an ideal site to examine how early modern civic topics were received and reconfigured on stage, and how the play has triggered ever new interpretations and civic performances over time. The essays focus on the way the play reflects civic life through the dramatization of issues of crisis and reconciliation when private and public spaces are brought to conflict, but also concentrate on the way the play has subsequently entered the public space of civic life. Set within the fertile context of performance studies and inspired by philosophical and sociological approaches, this book helps clarify the role of theatre within civic space while questioning the relation between citizens as spectators and the community. The wide-ranging chapters cover problems of civil interaction and their onstage representation, dealing with urban and household spaces; the boundaries of social relations and legal, economic, political, and religious regulation; and the public dimension of memory and celebration. This volume articulates civic Romeo and Juliet from the sources of genre to contemporary multicultural performances in political contact-zones and civic ‘Shakespaces,’ exploring the Bard and this play within the context of communal practices and their relations with institutions and civic interests.

Table of Contents

Introduction Silvia Bigliazzi and Lisanna Calvi Prologue: Shakespeare and Verona Stanley Wells Part I: Dialectics of Private and Public Spaces 1. Classical Paradigms of Tragic Choice in Civic Stories of Love and Death Guido Avezzù 2. Private and Public Spheres and the ‘Civic Turn’ in Da Porto, Bandello, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Robert Henke 3. Shakespeare as ‘Chief Architect and Plotter’: Romeo and Juliet and Civic Space Roy Eriksen 4. Inside-Outside: Love, Household, and City in Romeo and Juliet Mera J. Flaumenhaft 5. Defiance and Denial: Paradigms of Civic Transgression and Transcendence in Romeo and Juliet Silvia Bigliazzi 6. Tying the Knot in "fair verona": the Private and Public Spaces of Marriage in Romeo and Juliet Lisanna Calvi 7. Silencing the Natural Body: Notes on the Monumental Body in Romeo and Juliet Silvia Bigliazzi and Lucia Nigri Part II: Civic Performances and R&Jspaces 8. "For these dead birds sigh a prayer" Paul Edmondson 9. "Wherefore art thou Marius?": otway’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet Loretta Innocenti 10. Brooke, Garrick, Romeo and Juliet, and the Public Sphere Michael Dobson 11. At Juliet’s Tomb: Anglophone Travel-Writing and Shakespeare’s Verona, 1814–1914 Nicola J. Watson 12. Producing a (R&)Jspace: Discursive and Social Practices in Verona Silvia Bigliazzi and Lisanna Calvi 13. Perché sei tu?: Lindsay Kemp’s "gift of memory" Jacquelyn Bessell 14. Stage(d) Reconciliations: Romeo and Juliet and the Politics of Bilingual Shakespeare Productions in Germany Bettina Boecker Afterword: "What’s past is prologue": Civic Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet and Beyond Ewan Fernie and Paul Edmondson

View More



Silvia Bigliazzi is Professor of English Literature at Verona University. She has worked on literature and the visual arts, textual and theatrical performance (oc-ed, Theatre Translation in Performance, Routledge 2013), Shakespeare (Oltre il genere. Edizioni dell’Orso 2001; Nel prisma del nulla. Liguori 2005; Romeo e Giulietta, Einaudi 2012; co-ed, Revisting The Tempest. Palgrave 2014), and Donne (co-ed., Poesie, Rizzoli 2009).

Lisanna Calvi is Lecturer of English Literature at the University of Verona. She is author of a book on Restoration tragedy (Kingship and Tragedy, 2005) and on James II (La corona e la Croce, 2009) and she has edited Memoria, maliconia e autobiografia dello spirito (Pacini 2012) and co-edited Revisiting The Tempest: The Capacity to Signify (Palgrave, 2014).