Shakespeare’s romances are hybrid and experimental texts displaying tragedy, comedy and wonder. The place of laughter in such peculiar plays thus offers an engaging research topic. The book constitutes an in-depth analysis of the star clown parts given to the actor Robert Armin in Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest and addresses a series of issues: how much of the Armin persona, outlook and acting style is present in the characters? What social, historical and cultural themes do they bring into play? What is their role within the texts? Is the way they raise laughter ambiguous, just as the nature of the texts themselves? How was Shakespeare influenced by earlier comic traditions? The book shows how a handful of usually neglected “fool” characters embody original ways of staging comedy and corroborate the meaning of collaboration in Shakespeare’s company.
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E. Equestri, Alice (2014) "Armine... thou art a foole and knaue": The Fools of Shakespeare's Romances. [Ph.D. thesis] M. Mameli, Beatrice (2014) Wylde and Wode, Wild Madness in Middle English Literature. [Ph.D. thesis] Mella, Stefania (2014) Il fejeton come simbolo dell'identità culturale del dissenso cecoslovacco. [Ph.D. thesis] V. Vellardi, Sara (2014) Hominem pagina nostra sapit. So the second chapter examines the criminal fools in Pericles and The Winter’s Tale, where Boult and Autolycus are respectively a brothel male-bawd and an eclectic rogue. In the third chapter, then, we find Cloten and Caliban from Cymbeline and The Tempest, characters who display or are scorned for their real or alleged natural folly.