n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - The machiavellian prince in

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



The far-reaching sway of Italy and all things Italian on the recuperation of classical arts and culture in England during the Renaissance is indisputable. Despite the rather limited physical contact between ordinary Italians and Britons during the early modern period, there is overwhelming evidence that Italian literature and culture made a decisive incursion into English thought and practice via both imported writings and word-of-mouth from adventurers, merchants, courtiers and immigrants. Hugh Grady argues that "such influences travelled discursively and need not have been direct to be meaningful" (Grady [A] 121). This influence is, of course, already discernable in Chaucer's , in which he pays a kind of literary homage to the Italian Boccaccio's . It seems that Chaucer pioneered a transnational interchange which continued for centuries after his definitive work.

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