A Double Dovere/Diletto: Using Alessandro Serpieri’s Translations for Bilingual Productions of Shakespeare’s Plays

Eric Nicholson


These director’s notes pay homage to Alessandro Serpieri by explaining how his outstanding

translations of The Tempest and Richard II enabled experimental bilingual productions of these

two plays, the one performed mainly in English in Florence (2004), the other performed mainly

in Italian in Verona (2017). A case is made for appreciating how bilingualism can function as an

enhancement rather than an impediment to interpretation, as part of the double ‘duty and delight’

of the director and cast in mixing and sometimes grafting together distinct verbal utterances,

along with disparate cultural references and styles of performance. Also addressed are

questions of intersemiotic translation, as well as the application of Serpieri’s salient, illuminating

insights into deixis and gestic language.


Keywords: Translation for theatre; Shakespeare; bilingualism; hybridity; experimental mise en scène; intersemiotic translation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/sjtds.v4i1.158


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