Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination

How to Navigate

The archive offers fast and easy navigation. Visitors may jump from the Home to the About to the Shakespeare’s Works, to the Other Authors and to the Glossaries pages by simply clicking on the menu buttons in the header.

By choosing a Shakespearean work you will find on its main page the following navigation options:

1) you can select the diplomatic or modernised edition of the chosen  Shakespearean work or you may click on the links to the following related sections: “Sources” (including “Main Italian Narratives”, “Hypotexts”, “Hypertexts”), “Analogues”, “Paralogues”, “Intertextualities”, “Maps” (see below);

2) or you can navigate by clicking on the authors’ names in the “Intertextual Map”, which visualises the connections between the selected sources contained in the archive or linked to the archive.

Shakespeare’s Works

In the Shakespeare’s works page, by clicking on a Shakespearean play you will be forwarded to the page dedicated to that play where you can access the diplomatic and modernised editions of both play and sources, the modernised editions of relevant hypotexts and hypertexts, as well as the modernised editions of selected analogues and paralogues.

Other Authors

The Other Authors page allows you to select the single authors of Shakespeare’s sources and analogues, as well as of the hypotexts and hypertexts collected in the archive.

Diplomatic, Semidiplomatic and Modernised Editions

The archive offers both diplomatic and semidiplomatic, as well as modernised editions of Shakespeare’s plays and their sources. The diplomatic editions may be downloaded as pdfs, while the semidiplomatic editions may be read and fully searched by scrolling the text; they can also be used for lexical analysis with the aid of online open access tools. For a basic guide click here. All modernised editions have been segmented (see Criteria) and supplemented with interactive pop-ups showing the relevant segments of multiple texts on the same page.

Intertextualities and Maps

The “Intertextualities” page has been set up for each series of ‘sources’ of Shakespeare’s plays and contains selected passages from all of the main sources for a quick and easy comparison.

The “Intertextual Map” offers a conceptual visualization of the possible connections between Shakespeare’s plays and its Italian sources, as well as with selected hypotexts and early hypertexts. It also contains selected analogues of Shakespeare’s plays.

Topographic navigation is offered by a “Map” showing the location of each Shakespearean playalongside selected relevant passages of Shakespeare’s play and its sources.

The map was created by using ArcGIS StoryMaps, a place-based storytelling tool that allows users to create interactive and intermedia digital maps, with the aim of combining literary mapping with philological analysis. Among the many different options offered by StoryMaps (sidecar, slideshow, swipe and map tour), the “map-focused guided tour” option was chosen to highlight the geographical aspect, plotting points on a map while at the same time adding media and textual content to those points in a side panel. Each number on the map corresponds to a location, which is in turn related to text segments from Shakespeare and its sources, as well as to an image. The media content includes both contemporary pictures and old paintings, maps and engravings, portraying the places where the action supposedly took place.

The map offers an alternative perspective on the relationships between Shakespeare and its sources, based on locations rather than on plot. However, it uses the same segmentation as the archive, and the references in square brackets point to the corresponding segments in the archive.


The Glossaries page contains English, Italian, and French glossaries in which words from the works collected in the archive are listed in their base (lemmatic) form along with the occurrences present in each text. Each entry is accompanied by the reference to the author’s name and the date of publication of the diplomatic edition in which the word is found.

Hypertextual links have been added to the following open-access dictionaries and encyclopaedias for easy and quick referencing:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Encyclopedia Britannica:

LEME – Lexicons of Early Modern English:

Grande dizionario della lingua italiana:

Enciclopedia Treccani:

Florio’s 1611 Italian/English Dictionary: Queen Anna’s New World of Words:

Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330-1500)

Cotgrave’s A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues: