Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Shakespeare and Italy: Bate

Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University

Shakespeare and Italy:

Bate, Jonathan. “The Elizabethans in Italy.” Ed. Jean-Pierre Maquerlot and Michèle Willems. Travel and Drama in Shakespeare’s Time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 55-74.

For Sir Henry Wotton, travel was “an extension of book-learning” (56), preparation for civic life.

“To be a ‘true’ Italian is to put on a feigned appearance, to inhabit a role with ease and apparent naturalness. This is the sprezzatura recommended in courtiers’ manuals descending from Castiglione, such as Puttenham’s The Art of English Poesie” (57).

Coryats Crudities comes later (59). Reports with disgust that women are acting in Venice (61).

Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller includes Jack Wilton becoming a page for Lord Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey from the reign of Henry VIII (65). Petrarchan golden age Italy vs. whoring current Italy.

Florence is associated with old-fashioned courtly and chivalric dignities; Rome is a false paradise (68).

Nashe warns against travel, but middle-class motive — no opportunity except through books (69).

Italian Bibliography