‘All things changed to the contrary’. Comic-Tragic Contiguities in the Verona Plays.

Data inizio
1 gennaio 2015
Durata (mesi) 
Lingue e Letterature Straniere
Responsabili (o referenti locali)
Bigliazzi Silvia
Parole chiave
Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet, 'Bad Quartos'

The reserach project focuses on the Bard’s Veronese plays (The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet) as cases in point of Shakespeare’s early experimentation on the pliability of comic and tragic patterns, focusing on their fluidity as well as on their manifold performative potentialities. Sudden reversals of fortune, friendship turned to enmity, love to violence, and death as the other, yet contiguous, face of life make up the common frame of these two early plays. Heavily drawing on the European novella tradition and the coeval amorous poetry, which makes for their fundamentally eventful but also lyrical cast, Shakespeare explores in these plays the dramatic possibilities of an ever-changing reality mingling the comic and the tragic in unexpected ways outside of the pastoral and tragicomic tradition that he will reinvent in his later romances.

The principal areas of investigation and discussion focused upon issues of comic and tragic continuities include:

  • the stage history of The Two Gentleman of Verona: what are the (thematic, cultural, generic, etc.) elements that have been privileged in its subsequent stagings and adaptations from the eighteenth century to the present, and what have been their performative fallouts?
  • the rewritings/adaptations of The Two Gentlemen of Verona: what kind of rewrites/adaptations/appropriations have gone by in time? What media, different from the theatre, have been involved? What role may this drama’s alleged ‘weakness’ play in the passage from one medium to another?
  • the textual performability of Romeo and Juliet’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ quartos: do they reveal a different approach to theatrical stageability? What kind of performance do they suggest? The conference welcomes an exploration of the staging possibilities inscribed in the texts as traces of their performance history (stage directions, speech types, word-gesture relation, etc.);
  • the mise en scene of Romeo and Juliet’s in-quartos: may an investigation of past and present performances of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ quartos suggest new performative approaches?
  • present-day re-creational scopes: in 2010 ‘Bad quarto productions’ was founded (http://badquarto.org/about.html) witnessing a growing interest in the theatrical re-creation of ‘bad’ quartos. Is it possible to go further than that, and receive new insights from the Folio’s and ‘good’ quartos’ relation to the ‘bad’ quartos? Can this exploration help to develop fresh or even completely new thoughts on the plays’ own expressive translatability in new word-gesture balances?
  • creating and re-creating Shakespeare in different media: can such new balances be captured by audio-visual media different from theatre? May they have a role in exploring the potential of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ quartos? Can we learn a more profound lesson on the way we communicate complex ideas and feelings?
  • how may new performative and expressive experiments relate back to early modern unstable play texts and with what outcomes?

Importo previsto relativo alle missioni:
FUR Bigliazzi: € 3.000
FUR Calvi: € 3.000

Enti finanziatori:

Finanziamento: assegnato e gestito dal Dipartimento
Finanziamento: assegnato e gestito dal Dipartimento

Partecipanti al progetto

Silvia Bigliazzi
Professore ordinario
Simona Brunetti
Professore associato
Lisanna Calvi
Professore associato
Aree di ricerca coinvolte dal progetto
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone