About the author: Deirdre O’Grady is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian, University College Dublin. She is the author of Alexander Pope and Eighteenth-Century Italian Poetry (Lang, Berne/New York, 1987); The Last Troubadours – Poetry and Drama2000 0-7734-7703-9
This study is the first to forge a direct link between the Italian theatre of the post-romantic period, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello by Boito and the theatre of the absurd of Pirandello. It traces the significance of the fusion of genre through the symbolic images appertaining to light-darkness, beauty/ugliness, youth/age. It demonstrates the rediscovery of Evil and its application to psychological manipulation as seen in the poetry of the writers of Scapigliatura Milanese, of the late 19th-century. Emphasis is placed on the externalization of the inner conflict, with the psychological victim assuming the roles of manipulated monster and controlled marionette. Finally, the work is the first to consider in juxtaposition the place of Jester (Piave, Rigoletto) and Puppet (Pirandello, Il berretto a sonagli), and how they provide a link between he tragically comical and the absurd.