Expanding on existing scholarship, this article explores the Italian reception of Percy Bysshe Shelley with a dual focus on gender and translation. In this regard, I examine "The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts", which Shelley wrote in 1818. In his Preface, the poet offers a visual representation of Beatrice Cenci that is based on the portrait, allegedly by Guido Reni, which he saw at Palazzo Colonna in Rome. However, I suggest that the “beautifully tender and serene” demeanour of the painting does not find its counterpart in Beatrice as depicted by Shelley, who stresses the young woman’s opposition against patriarchal authority and its abuses. Accordingly, I first explore Shelley’s verbal remediation of the portrait he saw in Rome. As a second point, I consider whether the circulation of "The Cenci" in Italy might have been stirred by similar discourses of gender. To this end, I focus on Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s drama Beatrice Cenci (1844) and Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi’s 1854 homonymous novel as paramount examples of Shelley’s reception in the mid nineteenth century.

"The Cenci", or the Complex Reception of Percy Bysshe Shelley in Italy, between Translation and Gender

Marco Canani
2019

Abstract

Expanding on existing scholarship, this article explores the Italian reception of Percy Bysshe Shelley with a dual focus on gender and translation. In this regard, I examine "The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts", which Shelley wrote in 1818. In his Preface, the poet offers a visual representation of Beatrice Cenci that is based on the portrait, allegedly by Guido Reni, which he saw at Palazzo Colonna in Rome. However, I suggest that the “beautifully tender and serene” demeanour of the painting does not find its counterpart in Beatrice as depicted by Shelley, who stresses the young woman’s opposition against patriarchal authority and its abuses. Accordingly, I first explore Shelley’s verbal remediation of the portrait he saw in Rome. As a second point, I consider whether the circulation of "The Cenci" in Italy might have been stirred by similar discourses of gender. To this end, I focus on Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s drama Beatrice Cenci (1844) and Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi’s 1854 homonymous novel as paramount examples of Shelley’s reception in the mid nineteenth century.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/716349
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