Maria Del Sapio Garbero, Shakespeare’s Ruins and Myth of Rome


  • Keir Douglas Elam English Literature, Bologna



Del Sapio’s book reads Shakespeare’s Rome as a multi-layered and palimpsestic cultural and historical entity, tackling issues of national identity and geopolitical expansion in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England. The author brings to this book a judiciously mixed methodological approach, that marries critical theory, cultural studies, historiography, rhetoric, and the history of art and archeology. The main texts discussed in this volume are all – in different ways and to varying degrees – ‘Roman’: Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Cymbeline and Antony and Cleopatra. The Romanness in play is not merely geographic or temporal: Rome in Shakespeare’s plays and poems is not so much a setting as an existential, moral and ideological condition. Del Sapio discusses the rhetoric of Shakespeare’s Rome putting into performative action the multi-layered historical and literary compositional style of her subject in a pluri-perspectival critical discourse. The result is a critical palimpsest worthy of its topic.

Keywords: myth of Rome; archaeology; anatomy; anthropology; Roman ruins






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