A Feast of Strange Opinions: Classical and Early Modern Paradoxes on the English Renaissance Stage


Emanuel Stelzer (ed)
University of Verona
Marco Duranti (ed)
University of Verona


Classical paradoxes, Paradoxes and theatre, Classical receptions, Early modern English drama, Early modern paradoxes


This volume aims at providing a comprehensive view of the performative as well as heuristic potentialities of the theatrical paradox in early modern plays. We are interested in discussing the functions and uses of paradoxes in early modern English drama by investigating how classical paradoxes were received and mediated in the Renaissance and by considering authors’ and playing companies’ purposes in choosing to explore the questions broached by such paradoxes. The book is articulated into three sections: the first, “Paradoxes of the Real”, is devoted to a theoretical investigation of the dramatic uses of paradoxes; the second, “Staging Mock Encomia” looks at the multiple dramatic functions of mock encomia and at the specific situations in which paradoxical praises were inserted in early modern plays; finally, the essays in “Paradoxical Dialogues” examine the connections between a number of early modern mock encomia and ancient or contemporary models.


  • Introduction
    Emanuel Stelzer, Marco Duranti
  • Doing Things with Paradoxes: Shakespearean Impersonations
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • From Speechlessness to Powerful Speech. Coping with Paradoxes of Reality in Euripides’ Helen
    Marco Duranti
  • The Eidolon Paradox: Re-presenting Helen from Euripides to Shakespeare
    Carla Suthren
  • Dramatic Appropriation of the Mock Encomium Genre in Shakespeare’s Comedies
    Beatrice Righetti
  • Performing Mock Encomia in Elizabethan and Jacobean Plays
    Emanuel Stelzer
  • The Paradox of Poverty. Thomas Randolph’s Translation of Aristophanes’ Wealth
    Francesco Morosi
  • “I know not how to take their tirannies”: Marlowe’s Tamburlaine and the Praise of the Tyrant
    Francesco Dall'Olio
  • Thomas and Dudley Digges on the Early Modern Stage: Four Paradoxes and English Renaissance Drama
    Fabio Ciambella
  • Index
    Emanuel Stelzer, Marco Duranti



December 15, 2022

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