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


Early modern paradoxes, Classical paradoxes, Digital Humanities, Drama, Paradox


This volume originates as a continuation of the previous volume in the CEMP series (1.1) and aims at furthering scholarly interest in the nature and function of theatrical paradox in early modern plays considering how classical paradoxical culture was received in Renaissance England. The book is articulated into three sections: the first, “Paradoxical Culture and Drama”, is devoted to an investigation of classical definitions of paradox and the dramatic uses of paradox in ancient Greek drama; the second, “Paradoxes in/of Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama” looks at the functions and uses of paradox in the play-texts of Shakespeare and his contemporaries; finally, the essays in “Paradoxes in Drama and the Digital” examine how the Digital Humanities can enrich our knowledge of paradoxes in classical and early modern drama.


  • Introduction
    Emanuel Stelzer, Marco Duranti
  • The Paradox of ‘Making the Weaker Speech the Stronger’: on Aristophanes’ Clouds, 889-1114
    Alessandro Stavru
  • Paradoxical Agathon and His Brethren
    Robert Wardy
  • The Incidence of the Speakers’ Gender on Paradoxes in Shakespeare’s Comedies
    Beatrice Righetti
  • The Backshop. Honesty as Paradox in Othello
    Rocco Coronato
  • Paradox in Performance
    Bryan Crockett
  • The Digges’ Family and the Art of War
    Andrew Hadfield
  • “Indiscreet chroniclers and witty play-makers”: William Cornwallis and the Fiction of Richard III
    Francesco Dall'Olio
  • Searching for Ritual Paradoxes in Annotated Ancient Greek Tragedies
    Gloria Mugelli, Federico Boschetti
  • “It Is a Happiness to Be in Debt”. Digital Approaches to the Culture of Paradox in Early Modern Drama
    Alessandra Squeo
  • “Do you see this?”. Ambiguity and Paradox in King Lear
    Michael Best



December 20, 2023

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