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Ellis, Anthony
Old age, masculinity, and early modern drama : comic elders on the Italian and Shakespearean stage / Anthony Ellis
Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2009
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 4th Floor  PR658.A43 E66 2009    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Aging in literature
Old age in literature
English drama -- Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 -- History and criticism
English drama -- 17th century -- History and criticism
English drama (Comedy) -- History and criticism
English drama -- Italian influences
Italian drama (Comedy) -- History and criticism
Italian drama -- To 1700 -- History and criticism
Aging -- Public opinion -- History -- 16th century
Aging -- Public opinion -- History -- 17th century
Physical Description 190 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. [171]-184) and index
Contents 'All the world is of this humor': senescence and melancholy in Shakespeare's England and the case of King Lear -- Old age and the uses of comedy: Bibbiena's Calandra and Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor -- Comedy and Florentine politics: the problem of generations -- Andrea Calmo, Renaissance Venice, and the challenge of the gerontocratic ideal -- 'Caso unico nel mondo delle Maschere' the comic mutations of the Pantalone mask in Flaminio Scala's Commedia dell' Arte scenarios -- Jonson's Alchemist and Dekker's Old Fortunatus: magic, mortality and the debasement of (the golden) age -- Old age and the Utopian project: The Tempest and The Old Law
Summary "This first book-length study to trace the evolution of the comic old man in Italian and English Renaissance comedy shows how English dramatists adopted and reimagined an Italian model to reflect native concerns about and attitudes toward growing old. Anthony Ellis provides an in-depth study of the comic old man in the erudite comedy of sixteenth-century Florence; the character's parallel development in early modern Venice, including the commedia dell'arte; and, along with a consideration of Anglo-Italian intertextuality, the character's subsequent flourishing on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage. In outlining the character's development, Ellis identifies and describes the physical and behavioral characteristics of the comic old man and situates these traits within early modern society by considering prevailing medical theories, sexual myths, and intergenerational conflict over political and economic circumstances. The plays examined include Italian dramas by Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena, Niccoḷ Machiavelli, Donato Giannotti, Lorenzino de' Medici, Andrea Calmo, and Flaminio Scala, and English works by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Dekker, along with Middleton, Rowley, and Heywood's The Old Law. Besides providing insight into stage representations of aging, this book illuminates how early modern people conceived of and responded to the experience of growing old and its social, economic, and physical challenges."--Publisher's description
Series Anglo-Italian Renaissance studies series

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