Edited by Silvia Bigliazzi
[Shakespeare in European Culture 2] 2020
► pp. 149–174
Chapter 4. “A great crisis of identification and understanding of reality”
Strehler’s journey through Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s plays proved crucial in Strehler’s career in many respects as they provided ‘narratives’ through which he could interpret the sequence of cultural, political, and social crises that he acknowledged, experienced personally, and more or less directly addressed in his own theatre. This chapter explores how, through specific Shakespearean plays, these crises – which were both individual and collective – raised in Strehler questions on the nature of history. It also explores Strehler’s interrogation of the role of man in a world dominated by monotonous and nonsensical power games from the perspective of a cyclic view of history. Strehler’s encounter with Shakespeare is examined through his own writings as well as reviews and other related material. This constitutes a second-level focus mapping onto the role of different types of narratives in our reconstruction of Strehler’s own dynamic understanding of Italy within the international context over a time-span of thirty years.