The Poetics of Imitation in the Italian Theatre of the Renaissance

By Salvatore DiMaria

© 2013

The theatre of the Italian Renaissance was directly inspired by the classical stage of Greece and Rome, and many have argued that the former imitated the latter without developing a new theatre tradition. In this book, Salvatore DiMaria investigates aspects of innovation that made Italian Renaissance stage a modern, original theatre in its own right. He provides important evidence for creative imitation at work by comparing sources and imitations – incuding Machiavelli’s Mandragola and Clizia, Cecchi’s Assiuolo, Groto’s Emilia, and Dolce’s Marianna – and highlighting source elements that these playwrights chose to adopt, modify, or omit entirely.

DiMaria delves into how playwrights not only brought inventive new dramaturgical methods to the genre, but also incorporated significant aspects of the morals and aesthetic preferences familiar to contemporary spectators into their works. By proposing the theatre of the Italian Renaissance as a poetic window into the living realities of sixteenth-century Italy, he provides a fresh approach to reading the works of this period.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003663

  • PUBLISHED JUN 2013

    From: $60.00

    Regular Price: $80.00

    ISBN 9781442647121
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2013

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    Regular Price: $80.00

Quick Overview

DiMaria delves into how playwrights not only brought inventive new dramaturgical methods to the genre, but also incorporated significant aspects of the morals and aesthetic preferences familiar to contemporary spectators into their works.

The Poetics of Imitation in the Italian Theatre of the Renaissance

By Salvatore DiMaria

© 2013

The theatre of the Italian Renaissance was directly inspired by the classical stage of Greece and Rome, and many have argued that the former imitated the latter without developing a new theatre tradition. In this book, Salvatore DiMaria investigates aspects of innovation that made Italian Renaissance stage a modern, original theatre in its own right. He provides important evidence for creative imitation at work by comparing sources and imitations – incuding Machiavelli’s Mandragola and Clizia, Cecchi’s Assiuolo, Groto’s Emilia, and Dolce’s Marianna – and highlighting source elements that these playwrights chose to adopt, modify, or omit entirely.

DiMaria delves into how playwrights not only brought inventive new dramaturgical methods to the genre, but also incorporated significant aspects of the morals and aesthetic preferences familiar to contemporary spectators into their works. By proposing the theatre of the Italian Renaissance as a poetic window into the living realities of sixteenth-century Italy, he provides a fresh approach to reading the works of this period.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘This study offers a fresh look at the poetics of imitation and reflects on-going scholarly interest in Italian erudite comedy.’
    Violetta Topoleva
    Renaissance and Reformation vol 36:04:2013

    “In this book, Salvatore DiMaria provides a rich, compelling, and exhaustive study of Italian Renaissance theatre. A very useful and important source, it is an excellent addition to scholarship in the field and sure to become a fixed port of call for any scholar who endeavours to work in this area.”


    Eugenia Paulicelli, Department of Italian and Comparative Literature, Queens College, and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

    “This study represents a serious advance in state-of-the-art research on Italian Renaissance theatre. Expanding on and enhancing the important and evolving scholarship in this field, it works out useful goals with considerable scholarly and intellectual rigour. The Poetics of Imitation in the Italian Theatre of the Renaissance is also meticulously researched, articulate, and extremely well-presented.”


    Michael Lettieri, Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto
  • Author Information

    Salvatore DiMaria is a professor in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Tennessee.
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Chapter I. Imitation: The link between past and present

    1. The Humanists turn to the Ancients

    2. From the Classical stage to the theater of Renaissance

    3. The poetics of the new theater

    Chapter II. Machiavelli’s Mandragola

    1. The characters: imitation vs. source

    2. New characters

    3. Machiavellian morality

    Chapter III. Clizia. Form stage to stage

    1. The sons

    2. The fathers

    3. The wives

    4. A Machiavellian perspective

    Chapter IV. Cecchi’s Assiuolo: An apian imitation

    1. A contaminatio of sources

    2. Ambrogio: An original amator senex

    3. Oretta’s immorality as a reflection of the times

    Chapter V. Groto’s Emilia: Fiction meets reality

    1. From the sources to the adaptation

    2. The stage pretense of realism undermined

    3. Erifila: a Venetian courtesan.

    Chapter VI. Gli duoi fratelli rivali. Della Porta adapts Bandello’s prose narrative to the stage

    1. The source’s King vs. the play’s Viceroy

    2. Eufranone vs. Lionato

    3. The women

    4. New characters and the comic element

    Chapter VII. Orbecche: Giraldi’s imitation of his own prose narrative

    1. The plot

    2. Orbecche and the question of womanhood

    3. Sulmone vs. Malecche: The debate on kingly prerogatives

    4. Machiavellian princeship anchored to religious morality

    Chapter VIII. Dolce’s Marianna: From history to the stage

    1. The historical source

    2. Josephus’ Herod vs. Dolce’s Erode

    3. Mariamme vs Marianna

    4. Erode and the theater audience

    Conclusion

    Endnotes

    Bibliography

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