The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1969 Thursday, 9 October 2003
Date: Wednesday, 8 Oct 2003 13:15:06 -0700
Subject: Italian verb: "shakespeareggiare" (shakespearize)
Writing in the Guardian, Gary Taylor (the Sh. scholar who has recently
been a steady contributor) comments not altogether positively on the new
wooden O in the Villa Borghese park in Rome--the column is titled
"Welcome to McBard's." He links this Globe-alization to globalization,
including of both Shakespeare and the English language, but wonders why
there is not a re-created Italian theater in Regent's Park.
The whole column is an interesting read but here is an extract:
"Another such Italian verb is shakespeareggiare. It means, according to
one modern authority (Ludovico Zorzo), 'to represent genuine human
nature, as opposed to conventional patterns and character construction
according to preconceived ideas and moralistic models.' In this
definition--which derives from the German Romantics, and still echoes in
innumerable classrooms--Shakespearian 'life' is set against barren
"The parallel English verb, to Shakespearise, expresses a less
enthusiastic reading of the local totem's cultural significance.
There's a whiff of the ridiculous about the word itself, incongruously
associating an aesthetic effect with an industrial one (like magnetise,
vulcanise, oxidise). It was apparently first used in 1836 by the
American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who complained that 'the
English dramatic poets have Shakespearised now for two hundred years.'
In other words, Shakespearise means 'imitate a conventional pattern.'
"Whether a working replica of the Globe constitutes an example of
positive shakespeareggiando or negative Shakespearising depends on where
you are standing, geographically and linguistically..."
Conveyed by Al Magary
PS--I deny that I am a native Californian; in fact, I have never heard
of the place.
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