Year 17 No. 1 (2009): Issue 1/2009

Ariosto, Gascoigne e The Taming of the Shrew

Published 04/10/2010

How to Cite

Lovascio, D. (2010). Ariosto, Gascoigne e The Taming of the Shrew. L’Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, 17(1), 71–92. Retrieved from


The essay aims to offer a thorough analysis of the influence exerted by Ludovico Ariosto’s I Suppositi on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew through George Gascoigne’s translation, Supposes, and to underscore how crucial a painstaking study of sources can prove to the understanding, in a historical perspective, of the depth and complexity of Shakespeare’s theatre. First, the article briefly introduces the Italian commedia erudita and I Suppositi, and examines the changes to the source text made in translation by Gascoigne. Then, a survey is provided of some of the most important critical stances on the topic. Finally, an analysis of the various elements which Shakespeare borrowed from his source (characters, plot, verbal echoes) shows how he refashioned them in order to expand their dramatic potential as well as to make his comedy an apt ground for reflection on ethical themes of great topicality in Elizabethan society.