The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0563  Friday, 9 March 2001

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 08 Mar 2001 17:26:45 -0800
Subject: 12.0552 Shakespeare and Italy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0552 Shakespeare and Italy

David Schalkwyk asks:

>Does anyone else share my fascination with the
>fact that after Zeffirelli's film of Romeo and Juliet, in which Italy,
>as a he says, became a third protagonist, the country disappears from
>filmed versions of the play?

It is interesting, though in the Luhrman film, another and
geographically untraceable country, was substituted for it.  I suppose
the question becomes one of how Italy is used as a signifier.  Is
Zeffirelli using 'Italy' in the way that Shakespeare might have thought
of it, the Italy of feuding, violence, Papism, and Machiavels?  Or is he
using it to further eroticize the characters, surrounding them with
beautiful landscapes and stone buildings?  To avoid setting the whole
play in a cross between a Merchant Ivory film and a pasta sauce
advertisement, do we have to move the play to another locale?


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