Readers of Dante and Shakespeare have commented through the last two centuries on the parallels between the two writers, but English literary experts have never allowed the claim that Shakespeare may have read Dante. Their reason was always that Dante was not translated in Shakespeare’s time and Shakespeare could not read Italian.
Couldn’t he? What about all the other Italian plays he used as sources – often untranslated?
He hadn’t been to Italy either.
Hadn’t he? What about his detailed knowledge of Italian cities and towns?
And had he read Dante?
Vivienne Robertson takes us on a forensic journey which leads to a startling conclusion.