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Reviews327 tween the medieval pageants and Shakespeare's plays: "The untrustworthiness ofrulers and other authorityfigures"—a postulated feature ofthe miracle-play genre—"is a qualitythat emerges time and again in Shakespeare's plays,including the second Henriad' (9). One could, however, trace this feature to a number of sources, most of them in nondramatic texts. Finally, David George's "Sons Without Fathers: Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy" (27-55), despite the promise ofits title, addresses its topic onlyat the end ofthe paper's tenth paragraph; the delay is indicative of organizational difficulties. Unrelated historical matters raised by the plays compete with treatment ofthe topic, and George never does give a sustained argumentative edge to raised issues involving fathers and sons in the Second Henriad. Overall, Shakespeare'sSecondHistorical Tetralogy:Some ChristianFeatures is a collection of essays well worth reading, for the useful insights the book both contains and provokes. I conclude thus despite the thinness of Christian allusions and/or analysis in some essays, notably those of Forker and George. Ellen Summers's excellent essay would be even better had she developed her point about Shakespeare's prompting playgoers to want to reform themselves from seeing Hal do so in sustained Christian terms rather than basically moral ones (her middle paragraph on 174 represents an exception). Nevertheless, the latestvolume ofrevised papers oftheWheaton Shakespeare Institute does great credit to Beatrice Batson and her valuable ongoing project of introducing conference registrants to traditional and new Christian dimensions ofall the plays making up the Shakespeare canon. Maurice Hunt Baylor University Jack D'Amico, Shakespeare and Italy: The City and the Stage. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. Pp. 216. $55.00 casebound. For at least two centuries, Northern Europeans have looked longingly across the Alps to a wondrous Italy, soft and languorous, over which hung the sweet scent of citrus blossoms. This is the Italy of the modern tourist, Baedeker (or Blue Guide) in hand, eyes riveted to the glories ofItalian art. Before that, there was a different Italy, that ofthe Grand Tour, opulent and leisurely, and parallel to it, the study-tour ofartists eager to import into their own works something of Italian grace and light. Before that, in turn, was the Italy of Shakespeare's day—or, more accurately, the several Italies, for on this subject, as on so many others, sixteenth-century England was divided. Tudor Englishmen looked 328Comparative Drama southward to a land of learning, particularly classical learning, though science was beginning to have an attraction. They looked as well to papal Italy, seat of the antichrist, of a rapacious clergy, of the Jesuits, and of the prisons of the Inquisition; and they feared that the attractions oflearned Italy might woo the naive toward Roman Catholicism.Anotherlens presented the ItalyofMachiavelli and, perhaps more seductively, that of Castiglione, the Italy of the arts of the prince and the courtier, ofdoubleness and deceit. Shakespeare might have read Machiavelli, though more likely he heard him spoken of; he might have opened the huge folio of Fenton's translation of Guicciardini's History ofItaly, or read some others of Guicciardini's works circulating in London. It is also possible that Shakespeare was in touch with Robert Dallington, who had traveled to Italy in the retinue of the earl of Rutland, Southampton's friend, and who was soon to publish a blistering attack on Medici rule in Florence, and with Thomas Coryat, who haunted the same taverns as Jonson and the other playwrights, and who gloried in the quirkiness of Italian life. Thus,when Shakespeare constructed hisvision ofItaly, he was able to compound it from a variety of sources, constrained only by the realization that his imagined country had to strike echoes from his audience. That said, any analysis of what Shakespeare was doing has also to take into account the familiar point that all his foreign countries have in them some elements ofEngland, and that his foreign cities always bear some resemblance to the London of his own day. Teasing out the various strands, showing how Shakespeare constructed his ideal Italy, could be a herculean task. Though he is fully aware of the scholarship on Shakespeare and Italy, and of much of the work on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 327-329
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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