© 2016

Shakespeare’s Italy and Italy’s Shakespeare

Place, "Race," Politics


Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare book series (RESH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Shaul Bassi
    Pages 1-18
  3. Race

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Shaul Bassi
      Pages 43-61
  4. Politics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Shaul Bassi
      Pages 121-135
  5. Place

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Shaul Bassi
      Pages 159-180
    3. Shaul Bassi
      Pages 181-201
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 203-231

About this book


Shakespeare’s Italy and Italy’s Shakespeare revisits a classical topic from a new perspective, focusing on Shakespeare’s afterlife in Italy through the lens of place, “race,” and politics. From discussions of a Victorian racialist interpretation of Shakespeare that casts Iago as the archetypal Italian specimen to Fascist appropriations of Shakespeare to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s film Caesar Must Die, Shaul Bassi interrogates how Italy explains Shakespeare and how Shakespeare explains Italy. These peripheral events both illuminate singular potentialities of the plays and turn Shakespeare into a special guide to Italy’s ethos and political unconscious.


Shakespeare Italian culture Politics Shakespeare adaptations Race

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Ca'Foscari University of VeniceItaly

About the authors

Shaul Bassi is Associate Professor of English and postcolonial literature at Ca'Foscari University of Venice, Italy. His publications include Visions of Venice in Shakespeare (with Laura Tosi) and Experiences of Freedom in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (with Annalisa Oboe).

Bibliographic information


“Timely, inventive, and wide-ranging, Bassi has assembled a fascinating collection of encounters between Shakespeare and Italy, most of which will be unfamiliar to Anglophone readers—and to most Italian ones as well. At once a gifted storyteller and an alert commentator on cultural politics and critical theory, Bassi emphasizes the dynamic exchange between past and present and between literature and political philosophy.” (Julia Reinhard Lupton, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine, USA)

“Dozens of books tell us what Shakespeare made of Italy. This book is a dazzling revelation in telling us what Italy has made, and continues to make, of Shakespeare ... . Bassi's historically alert, theoretically acute, and beautifully written account maps this appropriation, showing how Italy's reading, misreading, translating, and owning of Shakespeare is a key to the nation's political unconscious.  If you're interested in global Shakespeare, if you're interested in Italy, this book is a must.” (Carol Chillington Rutter, Professor of English and Director of the CAPITAL Centre, The University of Warwick, UK)