|What would Shakespeare have made of Bergamo's walls?|
After this play, which is performed within the main play, one of the actors, Bottom the Weaver, asks the Duke: ‘Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergamask dance between two of our company?’
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to have been written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1596.
Academics believe Shakespeare never travelled abroad. No records exist of him travelling abroad, no friend ever wrote about travelling with him and no foreigner ever wrote about seeing him abroad.
Some scholars believe he could have obtained all his knowledge about Italy from reading, but others say he must have been to Italy since his geographical knowledge is so good.
Shakespeare obviously knew all about Bergamo’s traditional dance because in the stage directions he writes: ‘Here a dance of CLOWNS.’ He must have known the bergamask dance was associated with clowning or buffoonery.
In his writing Shakespeare also refers to sailmaking in Bergamo . Although it seems unlikely as Bergamo is an inland city, it was apparently correct at the time.
Shakespeare obviously had a fascination with Italy as he chose to set many of his plays there. He knew a lot about the geography and politics of Italy, particularly in the areas around Venice and Verona.
I am sure that he would have been impressed with the Città Alta and its imposing walls, which would have been completed when he was a young man.
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