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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Shakespeare for Italian actors

A new, 'free and easy' Italian translation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has just been published by Grazia Cavasino (go to the online shop). As indicated in the book flaps, the translation's target is the stage, so as to prove useful, i.e. both flowing and effective, for acting. In order to do so, it plays with the different speech levels, from the still existing refined Renaissance words to the everyday people's, even gross usage via the musical/sung forms.
So, G. Cavasino makes us agree, more and more, with a remark made many decades ago by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: that is that, paradoxically, the true language and manners of Italians in the Renaissance were rendered much better by Shakespeare than by the 16th century Italian poets, who tended to shape their own texts on the basis of classical models. (According to one of the many revisionistic theories, in fact, the real authors of the plays 'under the name' of the Bard should have been two Italian exiles. Or, is this nothing more than our scholars' envy?)