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Scripts and Scenarios


  • Page extent: 316 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.478 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521034159)

The Italian Renaissance produced a new type of stage comedy, experimental and even revolutionary in its time, by copying and updating the dramatic formats of Plautus and Terence from ancient Rome. These scripted comedies, first written and performed for private audiences, ranged in tone from sober moralism to scurrilous farce, and influenced European dramatists from Shakespeare to Molière and Lope de Vega. This book gives an account of how the new dramatic experiment was born and grew, moving from closed courtly audiences to a wider public. It examines the performing values of these scripts rather than their literary qualities, in order to demonstrate their links with improvised commedia dell'arte, and thus explores a crucial phase in the development of European theatre. It will be of interest to scholars and students in both theatre history and Italian studies.

• Interesting angle on an important area of theatre history • Strong inter-disciplinary interest: will appeal to people in Italian studies but of great importance in the history of theatre as a whole • Accessibly written, with idiomatic translations provided by author


Preface; Introduction: Italy in the sixteenth century; 1. Precedents; 2. The first 'regular' comedies; 3. The second quarter-century, outside Venice; 4. The second quarter-century, Venice and Padua; 5. Improvised comedy; 6. Obstacles to comedy; 7. Scripts and scenarios; Notes; Chronological bibliography of comedies, 1500–1560; General biblography.

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