Illyria, Italia, Englandia
Like an American on a one week tour of all of Europe, when Viola comes ashore in the second scene of Twelfth Night, she wants to know where she is: ‘What country, friends, is this?’ (I,ii,1). And the captain assures her, ‘This is Illyria, lady’ (I,ii,2). Editors dutifully note that Shakespeare takes his place name from a favourite sourcebook, Golding’s Ovid, and that Illyria is located in present-day Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, all would also agree that the feel and ambience of Orsino’s dukedom of music and love is decidedly Italian — like the settings for a goodly number of other Shakespeare plays.
KeywordsTerra Firma Italian City Roman Ruin English Audience Shakespeare Play
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