Staging the Soul
Allegorical Drama as Spiritual Practice in Baroque Italy

Eugenio Refini

Italian Perspectives 48

Legenda

  2021

ISBN: 978-1-781884-37-9 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781884-40-9 (paperback, 2022)

ISBN: 978-1-781884-48-5 (JSTOR ebook)

RenaissanceItalianDramaTheology


As per William Shakespeare, ‘all the world’s a stage’. But what if the human soul was a stage too? What if the stage of the world and the stage of the soul coincided? And what if the soul was also the main character of the play? These questions are at the core of this study, which explores pedagogical uses of allegorical drama in Italy in the decades around 1600, with a focus on the place of theatre in the education of female orphans in the hospitals of Venice. The consumption of morality plays is looked at as a form of spiritual practice modeled on long-lasting theatrical metaphors. In this context, tropes such as the theatrum mundi not only regained their literal meaning by being actually staged, but also turned into rhetorical devices able to promote the inner staging of the ‘world’ on the ‘spiritual’ stage of the soul.

Eugenio Refini is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at New York University.

Bibliography entry:

Refini, Eugenio, Staging the Soul: Allegorical Drama as Spiritual Practice in Baroque Italy, Italian Perspectives, 48 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2021)

First footnote reference: 35 Eugenio Refini, Staging the Soul: Allegorical Drama as Spiritual Practice in Baroque Italy, Italian Perspectives, 48 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2021), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Refini, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Refini, Eugenio. 2021. Staging the Soul: Allegorical Drama as Spiritual Practice in Baroque Italy, Italian Perspectives, 48 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Refini 2021: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Refini 2021: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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