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Neo-Latin Theatre in Italy

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Chapter Summary

Latin tragedy, which saw its renaissance in Italy in the early trecento, is not a theatrical show requiring acting. It is rather a text that offers a world view that is both frightening and rich in education. The first Latin tragedies of Italian humanism insist on this fear of a world destined for destruction by human violence: the political tyranny of Ezzelino da Romano, treason and ambush in Achilles, the sexual violence of Tereus and the hateful monstrosity of Progne, the envious hatred of Hiempsal. Latin tragedy reappeared in Rome at the end of the fifteenth century. This resurgence, far from confirming the aesthetic choices of the previous decades, calls into question the very nature of tragedy as it had been seen since 1315. Tragedy renews its inspiration celebrating kings and princes. The popularity of drama in Italian did not put an end to writing plays in Latin.

Keywords: Hiempsal; Italian humanism; Italy; Neo-Latin theatre; Rome; sexual violence

10.1163/9789004257467_003
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