Performance, Print, and the Senses: Aretino and the Spaces of the City

  • Marlene Eberhart Vanier College / Dawson College
Keywords: Senses, Aretino, Comedy, Cortegiana, Marescalco, Talanta, Urban, Space,


This article considers the performance of the sensuous in Aretino’s comedies with particular interest in the spatial relations in the everyday practice of the senses in urban Venice or Rome, for example, and the performative modes through which they are expressed, among them language, movement, and the appeal to the collective experience of the audience. The sensorial concerns of the street – the performance of gender, who sees, hears, touches or smells whom, who has access to public and private spaces – all find a place in Aretino. Matters of public concern are co-opted in the service of Aretino’s sensuous publicity machine as they simultaneously prompt a reconsideration of the role sense plays in connecting space and publics through early modern theatrical performance.

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