Italian Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Italian Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Italian Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Italian Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries


These essays present some significant Italian contributions to Shakespeare studies. Expressly translated and revised for this occasion, they are representative of approaches to Shakespeare and his contemporaries in Italy and they convey a sense of the vitality and extreme variety of critical and scholarly attitudes in this field. A historical introduction by Michele Marrapodi with a postscript by Giorgio Melchiori, and a detailed bibliography, complete the volume.


Michele Marrapodi

Any introduction to such a wide and peopled area as “Italian Studies in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries” must, of course, originate from some definitions, limitations, and acknowledgments. I will consider these in turn.

This collection of essays offers, with a variety of perspectives and methodologies, a wide-ranging picture of the present state and prospects of Elizabethan critical work in Italy. It should be emphasized from the outset, however, that the papers collected here only in part represent the nature and extent of the Italian contribution, since, for editorial reasons, this selection does not include articles already published in English or which have appeared in internationally known publications.

The aim of both the editors and the series as a whole is to gather a multifaceted group of significant essays which otherwise might not reach a worldwide readership. the editors have selected the critical production of several relatively young scholars, together with writings by some well-established critics that have been specially translated on this occasion. After a brief survey of the course of Shakespeare studies in Italy, the present inquiry mainly considers the particular trends and body of work produced by and associated with the critics represented, within the larger movement of Shakespeare scholarship in Italy. the achievements and richness of the Italian scene may make such a limitation a flaw, but a systematic investigation of all the methodologies and accomplishments cannot be encompassed within the space of an introduction.

With the exception of the chapters by Angela Locatelli, Vito Amoruso, and Franco Marenco, who have provided their own English versions, the difficult task of translation has been perceptively undertaken by Peter Dawson, in close collaboration with the editors and the authors themselves, while the updated bibliographical section appended to the volume has greatly profited from the gener-

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