chapter  5
14 Pages

Matteo Bandello’s Social Authorship and Paulina as Patroness in The Winter’s Tale

ByMelissa Walter

This chapter discusses the role of the Aretinean intertext and its influence on Shakespeare's comedy. The transgressive mode is yet more evident in the ideological contrasti arising from the disputations on marriage enacted inside the comedy, which seem to rehearse ironically the Neoplatonic model of the Renaissance dialogue in vogue in the period's educational tracts on social behaviour. The linguistic analogy between the phrase 'in this waning age' and that in the Aretinean prologue, 'del nostro pessimo secolo', is noteworthy. The communion between the two lovers is so totally involving that there are no communicative barriers. Under the rhetoric of the Count's misogynistic reasoning lies a case of political gynaephobia, a fear of any social and political space conquered by women. To overcome the bias, we need to offer a historical contextualizing analysis which takes into account both textual and intertextual evidence.