This article analyses the significance of Gianfranco Cabiddu's film La stoffa dei sogni [The Stuff of Dreams] (2016) as a transnational Shakespearean appropriation. A palimpsestuous Italian adaptation of The Tempest, La stoffa dei sogni transposes Shakespeare's story to a prison-island setting in 1950s Sardinia. The essay documents the film's literary and historical contexts, exploring its complex array of interwoven visual and literary intertexts – from iconic theatre productions by Giorgio Strehler and Peter Brook to Italian Shakespeare translations, particularly the Neapolitan Tempesta of Eduardo De Filippo. The film's distinctive spatial opposition between prison and theatre creates a carceral reading of The Tempest, focusing issues of power, freedom, and authority as they play out in the conflict between Prospero's hegemony and his subaltern opposites Miranda, Ariel, and Caliban. Further, the Sardinian setting assimilates the play to the postcolonial world of the Mediterranean basin and the complex politics of the area’s local, regional, and national geographies. The film thus exemplifies the process by which Shakespeare's cultural authority is being radically reimagined in the global circulation of non-Anglophone appropriations.


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pp. 309-340
Launched on MUSE
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