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The Shakespeare Guide to Italy

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Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:19 PM
  #1
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The Shakespeare Guide to Italy

I am reading it now and highly recommend it for prospective Italian travelers and lovers of Shakespeare. It is a fascinating look at the ten plays set in Italy from the perspective of the author himself who many say never traveled to Italy. However, this book argues that he undoubtedly did. Fun!
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Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:58 PM
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Once I saw Verona, it did seem hard to believe that Shakespeare never set on his eyes on it. But playwrights are often very good listeners.

But I'm not sure what you mean by "a fascinating look at the ten plays set in Italy from the perspective of the author himself."
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Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:14 PM
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I meant that the author of the book was trying to convey what Shakespeare observed when he allegedly traveled through Italy. I like Shakespeare, just can't write like him.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 01:37 AM
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He also was not at the Senate to see Caeser stabbed.

Shakespeare must have relied on Plutarch and Suetonius, as he wrote about events that occurred 1600 years later.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 05:00 PM
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The Shakespeare Guide to Italy by Richard P. Roe is one of the most beautiful as well as most revelatory books I have ever read about Shakespeare or Italy. You could take it along and find the very spots that he (the true author, I mean, since William Shakspere of Stratford never left England or knew Italian) visited and memorialized.

'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' are of course both set there. The first scene of the first act of R&J mentions "underneath the grove of sycamore/ That westward rooteth from the city's side." Mr. Roe found that grove, reduced to a copse now, in the very spot indicated, visible beyond the western gate. Roe found hundreds of such correspondences, showing that the author was intimately familiar with and loved the landmarks, buildings, canals, roads, and locales he had seen.

I admire the way Mr. Roe wrote the book too, with a soldierly laconic faith that "Shakespeare" was as true in his geography as he was in his psychological insight. He finished the book just before he died, a wonderful cultured folio of photographs and sleuthing, helped along by the local folk who knew the vestigial legends that confirm the Shakespeare canon's words. Fodor could make money using the book for a special Italian tour.
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