Giulia Abbadessa

English literature in Leopardi’s work: Shakespeare, Milton and Byron

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Keywords: Leopardi; Byron; Shakespeare; Milton; European Literature

This essay studies the presence of Shakespeare, Milton and Byron in Leopardi’s prose and poetry. In the Operette morali both Shakespeare and Milton are mentioned, even if in the first edition these two references only involved Milton, whose name appears for the first time in the Discorso di un italiano intorno alla poesia romantica, where his allegorical style is compared to that of Homer’s and it is judged superior to the allegorical style of Byron, that is described as too much “affected.µ The system of loci paralleli emphasizes the European dimension of Leopardi’s work showing that its lexicon and its themes are strongly influenced by the English authors mentioned.

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