Florian theory of Shakespeare authorship

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Giovanni (John) Florio, 1553 London -1625 Fulham (London)

The Florian theory of Shakespeare authorship holds that John Florio, linguist, poet, writer, translator, lexicographer, and royal language tutor, wrote the plays which were publicly attributed to William Shakespeare. Various explanations are offered for this theory, most commonly that John Florio had the knowledge of Italian authors, culture and language that can be frequently found in Shakespeare’s plays. John Florio and Shakespeare shared the same patrons and friends. Playwright Ben Jonson, Florio's friend, hailed him as "Ayde of his Muses". Moreover, John Florio was also the first translator in English of Montaigne’s Essays, which has been frequently mentioned as major source for Shakespeare’s plays, before and after Florio’s translation. John Florio, like Shakespeare, contributed to create more than one thousands new words for the English language, many of which, with compounds and proverbs, are frequently and erroneously attributed to Shakespeare. John Florio has also been proposed as main editor of the First Folio.

Attribution of Shakespeare's plays
Attribution of Shakespeare's plays

John Florio's words, texts and ideas used in Shakespeare works

John Florio & Leicester's Men: His contacts with the theatre

In 1578 John Florio published his first work, First Fruits, which contains four dedicatory poems written by the whole company of the Leicester’s Men. They are Richard Tarlton, Robert Wilson, Thomas Clarke, and John Bentley. They thank John Florio for having contributed to bring the Italian novelists to the English theatre. The dedications prove that Florio was in contact with the theatre company long before William Shakespeare’s arrival in the town; the poems indicate that Florio was the tutor and master of the theatre company and had a collaboration with them with the plays. Giulia Harding and Chris Stamatakis [1] have argued that John Florio was part of a "theatrical network" with the company of the Leicester's Men. Stephen Greenblatt[2] also asserts that there is evidence that "already in the early 1590s he [Florio] was a man highly familiar with the theater."

The Leicester’s company writing commendatory verses to John Florio.[3]

Richard Tartlon in prayse of Florio

"If we at home, by Florios paynes may win,

to know the things that travailes great would aske:

By openyng that, which heretofore hath bin a daungerous journey,

and a feareful taske.

Why then ech Reader that his Booke doe see,

Give Florio thankes, that tooke such paines for thee."

Robert Wilson in prayse of Florio

The pleasant fruites that FLORIO frankly yeeldes, unseene tyl now, saue in Italian soyle:

May quickly florish in our English fieldes,

if in this woorke we take but easie toyle.

He sets, he sowes, he plants, he proynes with paine,

the seedes, and Cienes farre fet from forraine landes:

And geues vs (idle) both the stocke and graine,

even his firste fruites the ioy of labouring handes.

We geue hym nought, if we can not deuise

to giue him thankes, that may hym wel suffice.

Shakespeare’s proverbs and John Florio’s proverbs

Florio's First Fruits (1578), Second Fruits (1591) and Giardino di Ricreatione (1591) contain proverbs that today are erroneously attributed to Shakespeare but were originally written by John Florio. Clara Longworth de Chambrun, Shakespeare’s scholar, in her book, Shakespeare, Actor-Poet[4] reported the similarities between the two writers concerning proverbs:

John Florio's Giardino di Ricreatione (1591) - A collection of six thousand proverbs, fine sayings, witty comments and quotations from his favourite Italian authors.

Florio: Fast bind fast find (Second Fruits, Folio 31).

Shakespeare: Fast bind fast find, a proverb never stale in thrifty mind (Merchant of Venice, Act II, sc. 5).

Florio: All that glistreth is not gold (SF, Folio 32).

Shakespeare: All that glitters is not gold, golden tombs do dust enfold (Merchant of Venice, Act II, sc. 5).

Florio: More water flows by the mill than the miller knows (SF, Folio 34).

Shakespeare: More water glideth by the mill than wots the miller of (Titus Andronicus, Act II, sc. i).

Florio: When the cat is abroade the mise play (SF, Folio 33).

Shakespeare: Playing the mouse in absence of the cat (Henry IV, Act I, sc. 2).

Florio: He that maketh not marreth not (SF, Folio 27)

Shakespeare: What make you nothing? what mar you then? (As You Like It, Act I, sc. i).

Florio: An ill weed groweth apace (SF, Folio 31).

Shakespeare: Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace (Richard III, Act II, sc. 4).

Florio: Make of necessity virtue (SF, Folio 13).

Shakespeare: Make a virtue of necessity (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, sc. 2).

Florio: Give losers leave to speak (SF, Folio 33).

Shakespeare: But I can give the loser leave to chide, and well such losers may have leave to speak (Henry VI, Part II, Act III, sc. i).

Florio: It is Labour lost to speak of love (SF, Folio 71),

Shakespeare takes as a title: ‘‘Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

Florio: much a doe about nothing (Queen Anna's New World of words, 1611)

Shakespeare takes as a title: Much Ado About Nothing

Florio: Tutto è bene, che riesce bene (Giardino di Ricreazione, 1591)

Shakespeare takes as a title All's Well That Ends Well

Florio: Necessity hath no law (SF, Folio 31).

Shakespeare: Nature must obey necessity (Julius Cesar, Act III, sc. 3).

Florio: Lombardy is the garden of the world (Second Fruits)

Shakespeare: I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy, The pleasant garden of great Italy. (The Taming of the Shrew, 1.1.3–4)

Florio: A gallant death doth honour a whole life (SF, Folio 34).

Shakespeare: Nothing in life became him like the leaving of it (Macbeth, Act I, sc, i).

Florio: The end maketh all men equal (SF, Folios 33).

Shakespeare: One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. (Troilus and Cressida, Act III, sc. 3).

Florio: That is quickly done that is done well.

Shakespeare: If ‘twere done when ‘tis done ‘twere well kwere done quickly (Macbeth, Act I, sc 7).

Florio: Venitia, chi non ti vede non ti pretia ma chi ti vede bene gli costa. (Second Frutes)

(Venice, he who seeth thee not praiseth thee not, but he who seeth thee it costs him dear - First Fruits, Folio 34).

Shakespeare: I may say of thee as the traveller doth of Venice: Venetia Venetia, chi non ti vede non ti pretia. Old Mantuan, who understandeth thee not, loves thee not. (Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, sc 2).

Besides these examples, Shakespeare refers some thirty times to proverbs in such phrases as these:

Thereof comes the proverb: Blessings on your heart, you brew good ale (Two Gentlemen of Verona).

While the Grass grows —The proverb is somewhat musty (Hamlet).

Like the poor cat in the adage {Macbeth) .

I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase {Romeo and Juliet).

There is also, in Henry V, what Shakespeare calls “rapid venew of wit,” which is difficult to understand without Florio’s explanation that ”Four is the Devil’s company” {Compagnia di quatro, compagnia di Diavolo).

The disputants in Shakespeare are four in number:

"ll will never did well," says one.

"I’ll cap that proverb with 'there's flattery in friendship," replies the second.

"And I will take up with: 'Give the Devil his due," retorts the third.

"Well placed, there stands your friend for the devils," and the mysterious reference is explained.

By these parallels, it is obvious that both Shakespeare and Florio used the same conversation techniques, the same method of usin proverbs in colloquial speech, the same witty sayings, syllogisms, philosophical reasonings, and they even had the same opinion on various subjects.[5]

Shakespeare’s and John Florio’s Dialogues, a comparison

The dialogues Florio wrote in First (1578) and Second Fruits (1591), differed from his predecessors. Florio, in fact, did not write language lesson manuals for school children or beginners in the language. He rather aimed at the nobility, writing dramatic dialogues about love, women, theatre, philosophy; arguments that cannot be found in another language lesson manuals. Many Florio’s scholars have pointed out that Florio’s works contain dramatic dialogues which “Owe something to Cinquecento Italian Comedy.”[6]

Shakespeare’s and Florio’s biographer Clara Longworth de Chambrun in the second chapter of her book Giovanni Florio, un apôtre de la renaissance en Angleterre a l'époque de Shakespeare[7] made an extensive analysis of Florio's dramatic dialogues of First Fruits and Second Fruits doing a comparison with Shakespeare's dialogues, and pointing out the similarities between the two writers. The same analysis was made years later by Rinaldo Charles Simonini in his book Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England[8]. Some passages can be read below.

In Two Gentlemen of Verona Valentine discusses his lady with Speed. The whole scene, underlines Simonini[9], is very much like Florio’s dialogue on “Amorous talke” in Chapter 14 of the Firste Fruites[10].

Chapter 17 of First Fruites, “To talke in the darke”[11] recalls the atmosphere of the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Other similarities can be found in the syllogisms and witty sayings found as comic in Shakespeare as in Florio’s manuals.[12] Simonini also underlines how Shakespeare begins his dialogue on nationalities in the Merchant of Venice in the accostumed Florio style:

Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: Por. I pray thee, over name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection.

John Florio, First Fruites, page 70: Tel me of curtesie, if you know the customes of certaine nations, I know you know them.[13]

In Second Frutes, the wordly wisdom given by Stephen to Peter, the neophyte traveller, is much like Polonius’ advice to Laertes in Hamlet,[14] and "the high regard for scholars manifest in this same dialogue is of particular interest because both Florio and Shakespeare's Hamlet show the same respect for actors."[15]

Furthermore, the long dialogue of Chapter 12 of Second Frutes is a kind of compendium of arguments on love and women, both for and against. It would seem that Shakespeare echoes the Second Frutes in his arguments for and against love and sonnet-writing in Love Labour’s Lost. Miss Frances Amelia Yates, Shakespeare's and Florio's scholar, in A Study of Love Labour’s Lost[16], page 24, underlined that Shakespeare not only carefully studied this dialogue but also knew of the history behind it.

Both Florio and Shakespeare also share the same theme of social injustice, and both write anti-feminist literature. For example:

Shakespeare, Iago’s banter with Desdemona in Othello:

Iago. Come on; you are pictures out of doors,Blles in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens,Saints in your injures, devils being offended,Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds. (Othello, II. i. 110-113)

Florio, Second Frutes: Women are purgatory of men’s purses; The paradise of men’s bodies; the hell of men’s souls.Women are in churches saints; abroad angels; at home devils;At windows sirens; at doors pyes; and in gardens goats.

In contrast, there is a discussion of feminine beauty in Second Frutes, partcularly of “the partes that a woman ought to have to be accounted most faire.”


In choyse of faire, are thirtie things required

For which (they saie) faire Hellen was admired,

Three white, three black, three red, three short, three tall,

three thick, three thin, three streight, three wide, three small,

white teeth, white hands, and neck as yvoire white,

black eyes, black browes, black heares that hide delight;

Redd lippes, red cheekes, and tops of nipples red,

Long leggs, long fingers, long locks of hear head,

Short feete, short eares, and teeth in measure short,

Broad front, broade brest, broad hipps in seemely sort,

Streight leegs, streight nose and streight her pleasure place,

Full thighes, full buttocks, full her bellies space,

Thin lipps, thin eylids, and beare thin and fine,

Smale mouth, smale waste, small pupils of her eyne,

Of these who wants, so much of fairest wants,

And who hath all, her beautie perfect vauntes.

The paralles in styructure, phraseology, and unsual sondaic meter between Florio’s poem and Shakespeare’s description of an excellent horse in Venus and Adonis[17] are striking.


Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,

Broad breast, full eye, small head and nostril wide,

High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,

Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:

Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,

Save a proud rider on so proud a back. (lines 295-300)

One further illustration will suffice to point out the variety of remarkable parallels and similarities between Florio’s First and Second Fruits and Shakespeare’s plays. In First Fruites there is a dialogue on the virtues of wine.[18] Falstaff’s speech on the virtues of sack runs very closely to Florio's dialogue. Simonini also notes how "Shakespeare uses the same words or meanings around which he builds the simile: vapors (humors), wit, blood, heart, brain (spirts), and learning (memory)."[19]

John Florio as Johannes Factotum

The Shakespeare authorship question began in the time of William Shakespeare with the publication of Groatsworth in 1592, written by Robert Greene, a very famous writer in 1590 and a friend of Thomas Nashe. In the Groatsworth we find the same criticism of a plagiarist that is reported in the Menaphon, written by Greene and published in 1589, whose introduction was written precisely by Nashe, and it is in this intro by Nashe that we find the criticism of an anonymous plagiarist. The anonymous plagiarist, according to both John Florio's scholars and supporters of the Florian theory of Shakespeare authorship, was John Florio.

John Florio's writing method: A magpie

It is important to underline that Florio's writing method also coincides with the attacks that he received by his enemies, and corresponds to Shakespeare's writing method, which often has been described as "the magpie approach."

Author Dewitt T. Starnes, in his study John Florio Reconsidered[20], analysed Florio's writing technic by concluding that he used a "disingenuous method," borrowing and stealing terms from his predecessors to make them his own. Another important element Starnes considers is the criticism that John Florio received during his career. For him, Florio's foreign origins was not the only reason why he was attached. Another reason of these attacks comes from the fact that his enemies knew that John Florio was receiving credit in his First Fruits, Second Fruits and A World of Words for what other men had done. He ended his analysis by asserting that Florio's genius does not lie in his erudition or in language lessons, but in borrowing and adapting plots of his predecessors:

"John Florio’s talent lies in recognition of his most accomplished predecessors and in borrowing and adapting their work."[21]

Starnes, in his article, analysed Florio's writing technique in A World of Words, but the same analysis can be done with his other works. One example can suffice to understand Florio's writing method and how close it is to Shakespeare's. For example, he used a great amount of different sources for his first language lesson manual First Fruits:

  • Hore di Ricreatione by Lodovico Guicciardini.
  • Guevara's Libro Aureo.
  • James Sanford's translation of Guicciardini's work of 1573.
  • Lord Berners's English translation of Guevara.
  • Thomas North's version The Diall of Princes.

He also used the works of Boccaccio, Ariosto, Ovid, and Plutarch. To avoid plagiarism, he altered them, re-writing his sources by using his unique stylistic trademark: ‘doublings’ of nouns, verbs, and adjectives; pomposity, alliteration, metaphors, parallelism, rhetorical ornament. Another example can be done with his anonymous translation of Boccaccio's Decameron: he didn't just use the original work by Boccaccio, he also used the censored edition of Boccaccio by Salviati. Moreover, while his predecessors censored the most controversial tales, Florio rewrote them. He replaced the tenth novel of the third day about Alibech and Rustico with a story taken from Francois de Belleforest's Histoires tragiques. Tales n. 10 of the 9th and 5th day are also modified.[22]

From Translation all sciences had its off-spring

Another reason that proves John Florio was attacked by his enemies for his writing method can be found in the Epistle to The Reader of his translation of Montaigne's Essays (1603). As himself admitted in the preface to the reader, his "Old fellow Nolano" (Giordano Bruno) taught him that "from translations all sciences had its offspring."[23] So he understood that by borrowing words and contents from other languages, sources and authors, and translating them, re-writing and adapting those works for the English audience, a new beautiful science would have flourished in England. "I am no thief" he wrote "since I said of whom I had it":

"If nothing can be now sayd, but hath beene saide before (as hee sayde well) if there be no new thing under the Sunne. What is that that hath beene? That that shall be: (as he sayde that was wisest) What doe the best then, but gleane after others harvest? borrow their colors, inherite their possessions? What doe they but translate? perhaps, usurpe? at least, collect? if with acknowledgement, it is well; if by stealth, it is too bad: in this, our conscience is our accuser; posteritie our judge: in that our studie is our advocate, and you Readers our jurie."

In his superbe defence of translation in the preface of Montaigne's Essays, John Florio wasn't simply defending the art of translation, but mainly himself from the attacks he had received, the same attacks Shakespeare received by his enemies.

Thomas Nashe & The Italianate Pen

Thomas Nashe (baptised November 1567 – c. 1601) [also Nash] was an Elizabethan playwright, poet, satirist and a significant pamphleteer. The quarrel between John Florio and Thomas Nashe can be traced in everything the two men published during their career.

Thomas Nashe, a very talented author, was part of the famous University Wits and his writings are an important key to understanding who Shakespeare was. In fact, in the Preface to Robert Greene's Groatsworth[24], we find Nashe accusing an upstart-crown that the Stratfordian literary critics associate to the Stratford actor William Shaksper:

"... trust them not, for there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely shake-scene in a countrey".

A famous phrase from this play is quoted in Groatsworth, namely ''O tiger's heart, wrapped in a woman's hide'', taken from Henry VI:

"Thou art as opposite to every good,

As the Antipodes are unto us,

Or as the South to the Septentrion.

O tiger's heart, wrapped in a woman's hide,

How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,

To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,

And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?

Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;

Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless."

John Florio, in his First Fruits (1578), Chapter 14, Amorous Talke, wrote a dialogue about love, in which a man who has fallen in love with a woman, asks his friend some advices on how to court her. Florio writes a reference to the woman's heart of tiger:

"What wil you that I doo?"

"Feede on hope"

"Hope holdeth me alive"

"Know ye not, that tyme the deuourer of al things, with tyme & a drop of water doth peirce the flint stone: so perhaps also your continual louyng of her, wil make her heart of Tiger, to become mercyful. It may be, but I beleeue it not."

This not only confirms Florio's involvement as writer of Shakespeare's plays, but also the fact that he was the pen hiding behind a player. Moreover, in the Preface to Greene's Menaphon, Thomas Nashe also wrote:

"But herein I cannot so fully bequeath them to folly as their idiot art-masters that intrude themselves to our ears as the alchemists of eloquence, who (mounted on the stage of arrogance) think to outbrave better pens with the swelling bombast of bragging blank verse. [...] and, to conclude, their whole method of writing from the liberty of comical fictions that have succeeded to our rhetoricians by a second imitation, so that well may the adage Nil dictum quod non dictum prius..."

Sir William Vaughan, writing about the literary controversies of his time, mentioned in his The Spirit of Detraction (1611) what Nashe, in the Menaphon, wrote about John Florio, and in particular that Latin phrase quoted by Nashe that says ''Nihil dictum quod non dictum prius'':

''At which last imputation, though I confesse this auncient saying makes for them: nihil dictum, quod non est dictum prius: that nothing can be spoken, but what is spoken of before...''

Miss Frances Yates, in her book A Study in Love's Labour's Lost[25],writes that Sir William Vaughan in The Spirit of Detraction defends John Florio for that quotation that presents him as an empty head, who just copies, and apostrophises him with the Latin saying "nihil dictum, quod non est dictum prius''. Miss Frances Yates confirmed that Nashe's target in the Menaphon is John Florio, since it is precisely on this occasion that we find this phrase. Moreover, Nashe, in the Menaphon, also writes:

‘’I can but engross some deep-read schoolmen or grammarians."

We understand that the subject in question is a man who teaches and is a man of letters who knows grammar well. In this passage he becomes even more precise in making the sketch of the person he has in mind:

‘’…or the Italianate pen that, of a packet of pilferies, affords the press a pamphlet or two in an age, and then, in disguised array, vaunts Ovid's and Plutarch's plumes as their own…’’

So the man attacked by Nashe is someone who either is Italianate or love Italian literature. The circle narrows in terms of identifying who Nashe is talking about:

"Indeed, I must needs say the descending years from the philosophers' Athens have not been supplied with such present orators as were able in any English vein to be eloquent of their own, but either they must borrow invention of Ariosto & his countrymen, take up choice of words by exchange in Tully's Tusculans & the Latin historiographers' storehouses."

Here the criticism is of those who use material from both classical antiquity and the Renaissance productions of Italian artists, such as Ariosto for example and ''his countrymen''. Since the reference is to the Italian Renaissance, Ariosto's compatriots are many and are used (but either they must borrow invention of Ariosto & his countrymen...) by those who ''repose eternity in the mouth of an actor'' who borrow their ''inventiveness''. Among them are Aretino, Bandello, Boccacio and many others. Many of these authors ended up in Shakespeare's texts, since he put ''eternity in the mouths of actors who mounted the stage of arrogance'.' Nashe did not agree with all this and even less with the translators who flooded England with dangerous readings. One of these translators was John Florio.

Robert Greene & Thomas Nashe in Florio's Second Fruits

Florio's scholar Miss Frances Amelia Yates pointed out that John Florio's introduction of Second Fruits is "a rewiew of current production in different departments of Journalism, lyric poetry, and Drama.’’[26] She also points out that Florio mentioned Greene's work, Mourning Garment (1590).

In The Epistle Dedicatorie of Second Frutes (1591) John Florio in fact attacks Robert Greene by mentioning his work:

"Sir in this stirring time, and pregnant prime of invention when everie 'bramble is fruiteful, when everie mol-hill hath cast of the winters mourning garment...’’

In the same Epistle, Florio also attacks Thomas Nashe. Two years earlier, in fact, in his work Anatomy of Absurdity (1589), Thomas Nashe analysed all the absurdities, according to him, that ruin the art of writing and in doing so he attacks many authors, above all, John Florio's works:

‘’This green fruit, being gathered before it be ripe, is rotten before it be mellow and infected with schisms before they have learned to bridle their affections.’’

In Second Fruits, John Florio replied by writing:

"I, but (peradventure), thou wilt say my frutes are wyndie, I pray thee keepe thy winde to coole thy potage. I, but they are rotten: what, and so greene?"

He also continues his attack toward Nashe, that according to Florio, is someone who:

'[...] bestow three yeares toyle in manuring a barraine plot, and have nothing for their labor but their travel: the reason why, because they leave the lowe dales, to seeke thrift in the hill countries; and dig for gold on the top of the Alpes, when Esops cock found a pearle in a lower place."

Florio here is attacking Nashe, who often quotes Aesop in his attacks on his enemies, and had been at Cambridge for three years but had not completed his studies. Nashe, in the Menaphon, had railed against those who do not drink, since he was a heavy drinker, and writes that poets are heavy drinkers:

"Which their dagger drunkenness, although it might be excused with Tam Marti, quam Mercurio'"

And again Nashe criticises those scholars, like Florio, who prefer moderation:

"Tush, say our English Italians, the finest wits our climate sends forth are but dry-brained dolts in comparison of other countries."

These are all statements by Nashe, in the Menaphon, to which Florio responds in his Second Fruits:

"...Who among manie that beare their crests hie, and mingle their titles with TAM MARTI QUAM MERCURIO... are an unfayned embracer of virtues, and nourisher of knowledge and learning."

This quarrel, "Tam Marti Quam Mercurio", punctuates the banter that Nashe and Florio alternate between one in the Menaphon and the other in the Second Fruits. This makes it clear, if it were still necessary, that there was no friendship between Nashe and Florio and that they did not belong to the same intellectual circle. John Florio also attacks John Elliot who had criticised him in his Ortho-Epia Gallica[27]. From what Florio says here we understand that this group of people was very aggressive towards Florio and the group included Greene, Nashe and Eliot, mainly. And after so much venting, here is one of the reasons for so much nastiness towards him:

"As for me, for it is I, and I am an Englishman in Italian."

Which solves the problem of finding out who is the "Italianate pen" mentioned in the Menaphon. In addition, Florio adds a sentence that gives the dimension of the dangerousness of these individuals in its counterfactuals:

"I know they have a knife at command to cut my throate An English Italianate, is a Devil incarnate."

Moreover, In the Second Fruits (1591) the only sonnet dedicated to Florio is Phaeton's sonnet which reads as follows:

Florio's Second Frutes (1591). He signed this work as "Resolute J.F." (Resolute Johannes Florius.) Later, in A World of Words (1598), Florio accused Hugh Sanford to have insulted his last name F. with an offensive Latin nickname.

Sweet friend, whose name agrees with thy increase

How fit a rival art thou of the spring!

For when each branch hath left his flourishing,

And green-locked summer’s shady pleasures cease,

She makes the winter’s storms repose in peace

And spends her franchise on each living thing:

The daisies spout, the little birds do sing,

Herbs, gums, and plants do vaunt of their release.

So when that all our English wits lay dead

(Except the laurel that is evergreen)

Thou with thy fruits our barrenness o’erspread

And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen.

Such fruits, such flowerets of morality

Were ne’er before brought out of Italy.

On lines 9 and 10 of this sonnet we find: "So when that all our English wits lay dead (Except the laurel that is evergreen)", which seems to be a mockery of the Wits, especially Greene, who is indirectly but clearly pointed out. The fact that Florio, at the beginning of his Second Fruits, first attacks Greene and his Mourning Garment accentuates the suspicion that Phaeton is speaking of Greene in line 10 of this sonnet. Thus, we find Florio, allied with Essex and Southampton, at war with Nashe and Greene. Florio ends his Epistle by signing himself as "Resolute J. F."

From Resolute Johannes Florius to Absolute Johannes factotum

Why is Shakespeare referred to as Johannes Factotum? And above all, why even Absolute Johannes Factotum and not simply Johannes Factotum? For Florio, the name Johannes Factotum was given to him by Hugh Sanford, in 1591, when it became known that Florio had been the editor of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, printed by Richard Field. Moreover, John Florio was known among his circles to be a real "factotum". When he worked at the French Embassy, between 1583 and 1585, John Florio worked as Italian tutor to the French ambassador's daughter, Catherine Marie. He also worked as secretary, legal representative of the ambassador, and as spy for Francis Walsingham. It is also known that between 1586 and 1589 Florio worked as agent between the Italian community in London, the Oxford literary circles, and the "Italianate" progressive gentry, such as Dymock.[28] When he entered the patronage of Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton, John Florio worked as his tutor, personal secretary, and got involved in the murder of the Danvers-Long Feud, backing Henry's friends in their effort to escape, and threatening the sheriff Grose who was investigating on the case. For this reason too, John Florio was seen, by his enemies, as a real "Factotum."

A World of Words: "A Familiar a Word"

In Florio's Epistle to the Reader of A World Of Words (1598) it is definitely clear that Florio is the Johannes factotum mentioned in Groatsworth. First of all Florio writes:

''I knowe not how I may again adventure an Epistle to the Reader'.'

He beings his epistle in this way because the last time he published something, namely in Second Fruits of 1591, it was a disaster:

''So should I fear the fire who have felt the flame so lately, and flìe from the sea, that have yet a vow' to pay for escaping my last ship wracke. Then what will the world say for ventring againe? A suo danno, will one say. E a torto si lamenta del mare, chi due volte ci vuoi tornare will another say. Good counsel! Indeede, but who followeth it? Doe we not daily see the contrarie in practise? Who loves to be more on the sea, than they that have bin most on it?"

Florio here recalls his "Old danger," the attacks of his enemies. Then he starts making a long list of people who have harassed him in recent years, i.e. from Menaphon onwards, that he defines as:

"[...] those notable Pirates on this our paper-sea, those seadogs, or lande-Critickes, monsters of men, if not beastes rather than men; whose teeth are Canibals, their toongs adder-forkes, their lips aspes- poyson, their eies basiliskes, their breath the breath of a grave, their wordes the swordes of Turkes, that strive which shall dive deepest into a Christian lying bound before them. But for these barking and biting dogs they as well knowne as Scylla and Charybdis."

He then procedees to name "H.S.", for most of Florio's scholars Hugh Sanford:

"But my quarrell is to a roorh-lesse dog that hateth where he cannot hurt, and would faine bite, when he hath no teeth, His name is H.S."

Florio writes that this man:

"Under my last epistle to the reader I.F. made as familiar a word of F. as if I had been his brother."

Florio is underling that this H.S., under the last epistle of his Second Fruits, in which he signed himself as Resolute J.F., made a "familiar" a word of his last name F. as he had been "his brother." Florio frequently signed his works as Johannes Florius. The fact that he mentions the last name, F. means that Hugh Sanford had mocked his last name, because the first name, Johannes, was the same. Florio then continues by writing, in the same mocking tone used by Sanford, Latin insults with Hugh Sanford's initials, which confirms, once again, that Hugh Sanford had made of Florio's last name, a Latin insult:

"And might not a man that can do as much as you (that is, read) find as much matter out of H.S. as you did out of I. F.? As for example H. S. why may it not stand as well for Haeres Stultitiae, as for Homo Simplex? or for Hara Suillina, as for Hostis Studiosorum? or for Hircus Satiricus, as well as for any of them? And this in Latin, besides Hedera Seguace, Harpia Subata, Humore Superbo, Hipocrito Simulatore in Italian. And in English world without end. Huffe Snuffe, Horse Stealer, Hob Sowter, Hugh Sot, Humphrey Swineshead, Hodge Sowgelder." [29]

Florio ends his attack by writing:

"How then will scoffing readers scape this marke of a maledizant?"

Nashe would not have missed the opportunity to take the name given by Sanford to Florio, i.e. Johannes Factotum, as we have seen, and turning Resolute into Absolute, which have the same meaning, and apostrophising him as Absolute Johannes Factotum removes the doubt that he is really talking about Resolute Johannes Florius. John Florio is the only author who replied to all the attacks made by Nashe and Greene, that are widely known as the main focus of Shakespeare's authorship. John Eliot and Hugh Sanford didn't just see John Florio as an Italian who had success among the most important London literary circles, but also as a magpie who nicked stuff from everywhere: dictionaries, prose narratives, history books, and other manuals. A social climber who wrote his works by translating, borrowing, re-writing, and adapting European works for the English audience. Arundel Del Re, Florio's scholar, underlined that John Florio was involved in a quarrel with Nashe[30], but didn't specify what the quarrel was about.

"A knife at command to cut my throat": Why John Florio wrote anonymously

It is important to consider that from 1517 onwards, after that famous Evil May Day in which many foreigners were killed, foreigners in England were often subjected to violence by the English who saw foreigners as a threat to their jobs. The play Thomas More, where Shakespeare wrote an act, deals with precisely these problems. When Shakespeare wrote his part in Thomas More it was 1592, the time when Florio was most under attack from his enemies. For him, acting discreetly, if not anonymously, was a matter of life and death, as it is stressed by Florio himself in the following sentence, which sums up the dangerous situation he was in:

''I know they have a knife at command to cut my throate."

Shakespeare & Italy: Settings, authors, culture and language

The presence of Italian culture, language, characters and places dominates the entire Shakespeare’s body of work. This confirms the fact that Italy is everywhere in Shakespeare, at every level—stylistic, linguistic, historical, artistic, geographic, topographic, emotive. In no other Elizabethan writer do Italy and Italian culture, which do have a recurring presence in that literature, play so large a part as they do in Shakespeare.

Italian Settings and culture in Shakespeare's plays

No fewer than twelve Shakespeare’s plays have Italian locations as main or secondary setting: from Venice (The merchant of Venice and Othello) and Sicily (Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale) to Padua (The Taming of the Shrew), Verona (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet) and Messina (Much ado about nothing). Other plays are set in the Ancient Roman Empire and they have as a main or secondary setting Rome and his colonies: Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus and Antony and Cleopatra.[31] Even when the setting is not in an Italian city, Shakespeare uses Italian characters, like in Cymbeline or The comedy of errors. In All’s Well That Ends Well, Italy is the destination for the the character Bertram, eager to escape an unwanted marriage. In Richard II, “the foppish Richard and his flattering followers are condemned for being obsessed with ‘fashions in proud Italy”[32] A play like The Tempest, despite having an imaginary setting (but with Italian characters), it takes inspiration from Italian locations.

In his plays, Shakespeare doesn't just use Italian settings, but he describes Italian traditions and customs. In Othello and The Merchant of Venice, for example, he mentions the “Sagittary,” a street where the arrow makers lived (now called the Frezzaria); he mentions the “penthouse” in the Ghetto Nuovo; the Venetian clogs, or zoccoli; he mentions the “common ferry,” (the traghetti which brought passengers from the “tranect” to Venice); he talks about the gondola or the Venetian custom of presenting “a dish of doves” as a gift or peace offering. In Much Ado about Nothing, he describes a masked ball (Act 2), which “allows for flirtation and comic mistaking of identity, yet, in a darker vein, disguise also allows Don John to trick Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to him. Shakespeare clearly wanted to use the association of Italy with carnival-like entertainments.”[33]

Shakespeare is aware also of the cultural differences between Italian cities-states. For example, he knows that in Venice, there was a presence of different ethnic groups. The character of Shylock (a Jewish man depicted in The Merchant of Venice) “would simply not have been possible in an English setting: Jews had been expelled from England at the end of the 13th century. There were a small number in Elizabethan London, though they could not openly avow their religion. There were also some so-called Marranos, descendants of Jews from Spain or Portugal who had been forced to convert to Christianity (as Shylock eventually is)”[34]

Richard Paul Roe, in his book The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels[35], uncovers the depth of Shakespeare's knowledge of the places, the language, the culture of Italy that so deeply permeate his works. Roe finds out that Shakespeare's plays regarding Italy do not have a setting only suggested by fantasy, as Stratfordian schollers propose, but also grounded in the places that he describes. Thus, in this book, Roe demonstrates that Shakespeare knowledge of Italy was not 'patchy' at all but, instead, deep and profound.

In Shakespeare and Italy[36], Ernesto Grillo states that Shakespeare set 106 scenes in Italy and used over 800 references to Italy in general: precisely 400 references to Rome; 52 to Venice; 34 to Naples; 25 to Milan; 23 to Florence; 22 to Padua and 20 to Verona.

John Florio’s Italian origins, and his works, are the reasons behind Shakespeare’s deep knowledge of Italian language, culture and traditions. In his works, in fact, he mentions many Italian cities, showing not only his deep knowledge of them, but describes their history and culture. In Second Fruits, for example, he mentions many North Italian cities, like Mantua, Ferrara, Padoa and Venice, describing with proverbs and fine sayings their customs and traditions.[37] In A World of Words (1598) and Queen Anna’s New World of Words (1613), Florio lists a huge number of Italian cities describing their dialect and traditions.[38]

Italian authors: Shakespeare's sources translated into English by John Florio

Shakespeare uses different Italian sources as inspiration for the storylines of his plays. Most of these sources were not translated in English. They are works written in Italian, Italian vernacular, and in Paduan dialect and Neapolitan dialect. It is proved that Shakespeare not only could read the original works in Italian, but he was able to translate and readapt these sources in English. One observes how, whenever a Shakespeare’ scholar can't explain how could Shakespeare read the original work in Italian and translate it, the name of Florio constantly and inevitably appears.

Portrait of Machiavelli by Santi di Tito.

NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI: Shakespeare's later history plays, and those tragedies that deal with political power, explore a more complex interplay of political realism and idealism. Characters such as Richard II and Richard III show evidence of Machiavellian influence. For example, when Richard II is deposed, he prophesies that those who deposed him will in turn be scorned by the new King -- and in the process echoes Machiavelli.[39]

John Roe[40] made a detailed comparative study on Shakespeare and Machiavelli, and argued there was a remarkable similarity in their fascination with the motives and morality of political action as well as differences over the question of magnanimity.[41] There was no English translation of Machiavelli published in Shakespeare's lifetime, The Prince and the Discourses were widely read in Italian, French and Latin during the 16th century. Shakespeare's knowledge of Machiavelli has been often explained through John Florio, who either acted as translator of Machiavelli's works for Shakespeare or as his personal tutor.[42] Frances Yates underlined Florio's deep knowledge of Machiavelli's works[43]. For example, she cites how well-skilled he was in Machiavelli when citing the word "Eruditione" in his dictionary:

Eruditione, erudition, teaching, instruction, nurture, bringing up, education. Yet I finde this word used by Machieuell in another sense towards the end of the last Chapter of the second booke of his Decades upon Liuie, conster it as thou please, hee useth it thus, restaua il campo per tutto debole a potere resistere ad una eruditione che quelli di dentro hauessino fatta, some thinke it shoud bee eruttione.

John Florio also owned all Macchiavelli's works in his library.

GIRALDI CINTHIO: The main narrative of Othello is borrowed from the tragicomic tale ‘Disdemona and the Moor’ from Gli Hecatommithi (1565) by Giovanni Battista Giraldi, nicknamed Cinthio, while the motif of the corrupt magistrate who propositions an eloquent young woman in Measure for Measure comes from another Cinthio story, Epitia. Thanks to Gary Taylor’s book, Shakespeare's Mediterranean Measure for Measure,[44] we know that the comedy was set in Ferrara, not Vienna. And indeed, everything in the plot and the atmosphere is Italian, even the names of the characters, while Austria is never mentioned in the text. Taylor arrives at the totally convincing conclusion that the city in Measure is Ferrara. Among the arguments presented is this: “Ferrara is the first Italian city mentioned in John Florio’s Second Frutes[45]

GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO: Another key source for Shakespeare’s plays is the famous collection of stories Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio, translated and published anonymously by John Florio, for the first time in English in 1620[46]. The Decameron provides Cymbeline with Iachimo's description of Imogen's room as proof of her infidelity, and the main story of All’s Well That Ends Well, based on tale nine of day three of the Decameron.

LUIGI GROTO: Shakespeare's scholar Barbara Spiaggiari in her book, Studi su Luigi Groto e sull'epigramma nei "Shakespeare's Sonnets[47], underlined that Shakespeare not only borrowed from Luigi Groto’s works, like Hadriana, which was not translated at the time, but that he also translated from the Italian to English some verses of his work from Italian to English without the slightest alteration. In her book, Spiaggiari tries to prove Shakespeare’s knowledge of Groto through John Florio as “Intermediary” and “linguistic mediator” for Shakespeare’s knowledge of Italian works.

MATTEO BANDELLO: The main source for Much Ado About Nothing, are the untranslated Novelle of Matteo Bandello. One of the tale, published in Matteo Bandello’s Novelle (Giulietta e Romeo) influenced also the story of Romeo and Juliet. But the main story of Romeo and Juliet can be traced back to Luigi da Porto’s Historia novellamente ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti, published posthumously in 1531[48]. Bandello’s Novelle (1554) along with Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso have also influenced the storyline in Much Ado About Nothing. John Florio owned Bandello’s Novelle in his library.

GIOVANNI FIORENTINO: Giovanni Fiorentino’s Il Pecorone influenced some of the stories in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Fiorentino’s Il Pecorone influenced also the stories in The Merchant of Venice: in particular the scenes about the test of the suitors, the merchant's rescue (with a “pound of flesh”) by his friend's new wife disguised as a lawyer and her request for the betrothal ring as a payment.[49]

Pietro Aretino, Titian Portrait of Pietro Aretino Kunstmuseum Basel inv1351 cropped.jpg. Pietro Aretino is an important source for Shakespeare's plays. All his works had not yet been translated into English. John Florio not only owned the whole collection of Pietro Aretino’s works, but his father, Michelangelo Florio, was also a close friend of Aretino, and they exchanged letters during their career.

PIETRO ARETINO: Many Shakespeare’s scholars have pointed out the influence of Aretino’s works in Shakespeare’s plays.[16] According to John M. Lothian,[17] the author of the Bard's English plays (whoever he was) had to have a perfect knowledge of Italian, considering that Aretino's works (from which he drew inspiration, according to the above-mentioned study) had not yet been translated into English, and considering that the analysis of the creative composition in English is shown to have taken place only on the basis of a creative reworking and transposition of the words and concepts written in Italian; which had to be very clear, in writing, in the mind of the playwright, at the moment when he was creatively expressing himself in another language, at the moment, that is, of "composition" and poetic inspiration. It is important to note that John Florio not only owned the whole collection of Pietro Aretino’s works, but his father, Michelangelo, was also a close friend of Aretino, and they exchanged letters during their career.

TORQUATO TASSO: In 2004 Roger Prior, in his work Tasso’s Aminta in Two Shakespearian Comedies[50] established just how extensive (and refined) his familiarity was with Italian contemporary writers. The article carries special weight, for in it the critic reveals how deeply Shakespeare drew upon Torquato Tasso. Roger Prior shows that Shakespeare used a very rare edition of Tasso’s verse drama Aminta (the fact that he could lay hands on it at all in London at that time is quite exceptional in itself)—an edition or manuscript that must have contained the Epilogue and the musical Interludes, which are rarely reproduced. Shakespeare, Prior concludes, “had available, therefore, a text of the Aminta which was more ‘complete’ than any that has come down to us from that time. This means that he is likely to have obtained it from an unusually privileged and knowledgeable source.” John Florio frequently mentioned Tasso in his works, he owned Tasso’s works and he also composed a pastoral dialogue inspired by Torquato Tasso.[51]

Saviolo, his Practise. This book was written by John Florio in collaboration with Vincentio Saviolo. Many passages of the duels in Romeo and Juliet are borrowed from Saviolo's manual. John Florio mentioned Vincentio Saviolo in his Second Fruits (1591).

VINCENTIO SAVIOLO: One of the masters of the Italian school of fencing in London then was Vincentio Saviolo, author of the fencing manual, Saviolo, His Practise (1595). Florio refers to Saviolo in his Second Fruits, and it has been proved by Florio’s scholar Marianna Iannaccone that the one who actually wrote and published this manual was “the ceaselessly active John Florio.”[52] It is certain that in Romeo and Juliet the description of the fights draws upon Saviolo. Florio's scholar Sergio Rossi explained that “Shakespeare used the manual attributed to Saviolo for his technical terminology as well as to explain the situations in which the contestants find themselves”[53]


Over the years, many scholars and critics have pointed out the similar thoughts between Giordano Bruno and Shakespeare, and this brought them to explore their relationship, trying to discover how Shakespeare was so influenced by Bruno’s works. Above all, the two authors share the thesis upon the infinite universe, the post-Copernican, heliocentric theory and the possibility of life on other planets.

Shakespeare's Hamlet & Giordano Bruno

Shakespeare’s scholars Benno Tschischwitz[54] and Christian Bartholmess[55] have analysed the connection between Shakespeare’s work “Hamlet” and Bruno’s thesis, mostly the theme of death as a simple passage from one form of animated matter to another, present both in Hamlet and in the second dialogue of De la causa, principio et uno. William Konig[56] is another Shakespeare scholar who analysed the similarity between Bruno and Shakespeare, and most importantly, he underlined: the influence in Shakespeare of Bruno's post-Copernican universal theory, the thematic and structural similarity of Bruno Il Candelaio drama with those of Shakespeare, for example, Love Labour’s lost. The influence of Gli Eroici furori, composed of a series of sonnets, on Shakespeare's sonnets.

Bruno's scholar Julia Jones[57] pointed out that in De l'infinito universo et mondi, Elpinus, a follower of Bruno, states that "There are innumerable suns and an infinite number of earths revolving around these suns:" Giordano Bruno underlines that there are as many solar systems as the stars; and the sun is one of the many stars made of fire. Jones[58] also points out that in the poem Hamlet composed for Ophelia[59], it is stated that 'the stars are fire'; for Jones “a perfect module of pure Brunian thought.” She also underlines that Hamlet will be 'a King of infinite space' (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2), as opposed to Aristotle's and the Oxford Doctors' thesis, who conceived of the Universe as something 'finite'.

Jones again[60] points out that, in Act I, Scene ii of Hamlet, it emerges that Wittenberg was the place where Hamlet and Horatio, Hamlet's trusted friend, had studied; the same place where Bruno had also been registered on the 20th of August 1586 as "doctor italus" and where he was a lecturer for about two years. Jones again mentions, among other things, “the famous verse with strong Brunian accents,” in which Hamlet addresses Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy'.[61]

In Act I, Scene ii, Hamlet, Horatio's fellow-student at the University of Wittenberg, calls Horatio his “fellow-student'; similarly John Florio, the year after Hamlet's entry in the Stationers' Register, in his dedication to the reader of the translation of Montaigne's Essays in 1603, will describe Bruno 'my olde fellow Nolan'.

Giordano Bruno, Modern portrait based on a woodcut from "Livre du recteur", 1578. Giordano Bruno is considered a major source for Shakespeare's Hamlet. John Florio and Giordano Bruno lived together at the French Embassy from 1583 to 1585.

Shakespeare's Love Labour's Lost & Giordano Bruno's Il Candelaio

Many Shakespeare’s scholars have underlined the similarities between Shakespeare’s works and Giordano Bruno’s Il Candelaio, a comedy written in vernacular Italian and Neapolitan dialect.

Julia Jones has demonstrated the undoubted presence of Bruno's Il Candelaio in Hamlet. She pointed out that a passage from Hamlet[62] was taken from Bruno's Il Candelaio.[63] In the passage, also examined by Bruno's scholar Hilary Gatti[64] Hamlet is reading a book. Jones asks: "What is the book he is reading? The answer? The book Hamlet is reading is Bruno's work Il Candelaio! And how do we know this?"[65]

Jones explains that, in Bruno's play[66] Ottaviano asks the pedantic Manfurio:

Ottaviano: Che è la materia di vostri versi? [What is the matter of your verses?]

Manfurio : Litterae, syllabae, dictio et oratio, partes propinquae et remotae [“Letters, syllables, diction, power of speech, the parts related directly or indirectly to the whole]

Ottaviano: Io dico: quale è il suggetto ed il proposito? [I say: what is the subject and the purpose?]

Manfurio: Volete dire: de quo agitur? materia de qua? circa quam?[Do you mean the matter that I read?]

In Hamlet, as Jones notes “Manfurio's Letterae, sillabae, diction et oratio, become less formally, 'Words, words, words" as Hamlet, in Shakespeare's play, responds to Polonius's question:

"What is the matter, my Lord ... I mean the matter that you read , my Lord"

Bruno's scholar Amalia Buono Hodghart also pointed out the similarities between Giordano Bruno and Shakespeare in Love's Labour's Lost di William Shakespeare e il Candelaio di Giordano Bruno[67]. In the play, Shakespeare even writes a character named Berowne, Giordano Bruno’s namesake, therefore he read the original works in Italian vernacular, Neapolitan dialect, and translated, readapting Bruno’s works in English.

John Florio & Giordano Bruno at the French Embassy (1583-1585)

These series of parallels of primary importance in the Shakespearean tragedy are linked to the works of Giordano Bruno and in particular to the Italian writings and dialogues published in London between 1583 and 1585 at the French Embassy. Giordano Bruno and John Florio lived together at the French Embassy, under the same roof, for two years. John Florio, was the tutor of the french ambassador Michel De Castelnau’s daughter, and also his secretary and legal representative. It’s not possible to believe that Shakespeare could read the original works in Italian and Neapolitan dialect of Bruno, and even in this case, Shakespeare’s scholars are able to demonstrate Shakespeare’s deep knowledge of Bruno’s works through John Florio, who once again, becomes his translator, reader, and who is able to rewrite his works. John Florio, who lived with Bruno for two years, saw him writing the works that influenced Shakespeare’s works:

  • La Cena de le Ceneri (The Ash Wednesday Supper, 1584)
  • De la Causa, Principio et Uno (On Cause, Principle and Unity,1584)
  • De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi (On the Infinite, Universe and Worlds,1584)
  • Lo Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante (The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, 1584)
  • De gl'Heroici Furori (On the Heroic Frenzies, 1585).
  • La Cabala del Cavallo Pegaseo (The Cabala of Pegasus, 1585.)

Bruno’s works are also listed in John Florio’s library. The friendship that linked Bruno and Florio is particularly rich and significant[68]. Florio in fact appears in La Cena delle Ceneri as one of the messengers that brings to Bruno the invitation to dinner by Fulke Greville. In another scene Bruno and Florio are on a boat at night. They burst into song chanting stanzas from Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Later, Bruno will portray him as "Eliotropo" in De La Causa, Principio et Uno.

Similarly, Florio returned the compliment by introducing the figure of Bruno, ‘Il Nolano’, in Second Fruits (1591). He portrayed Bruno lounging on a window-seat, leafing through a book and poking fun at his friend John for taking too much time over getting dressed in the morning. The portrait painted by Florio is undoubtedly that of a friend. Bruno surely appears in his pages in a positive light, like a satirical and healthy whip of pedants. Florio will never forget Bruno, even after the long years of the trial and their tragic outcome at the stake. For instance, in 1603, John Florio recalled his old "fellow Nolano", who had taught him the cultural value of translations:

“'Yea but my olde fellow Nolano tolde me, and taught publikely, that from translation all Science had its of-spring.”[69]

Moreover, in 1611, Florio listed Bruno's Italian works among the texts he used for the composition of the dictionary. Bruno scholars Giovanni Gentile[70] and Vincenzo Spampanato[71] have both proved Florio's indebtedness to the philosopher's writings. A World of Words, for example, is for Gentile and Spampanato the product of Florio and Bruno’s collaboration, and Florio’s knowledge of the art of memory of Bruno. Florio mentions also the art of memory in his Second Fruits, in the first dialogue. Many of Bruno's thoughts are undeniably shaped in Florio's works. Also, in his two dictionaries Florio added many terms as well as Neapolitan dialect words taken from Bruno's works.[72] The only writer who could read, understand, tanslate and re-wrote Bruno’s works is John Florio, who not only lived for two years with the Nolan philosopher, but could read his works, translate and readapt them,embracing his philosophy.

Shakespeare & Commedia dell'Arte

Mary scholars agree that Shakespeare incorporated Commedia dell’Arte, an Italian form of comedy that was often improvised, into many of his plays, using plots and characters from Italian sources[73]. For example, the first appearance of the word “pantaloon”, a famous character from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte, appeared in the English language in The Taming of the Shrew[74]. Twelfth Night’s plot derives extensively from the Italian production Gl'ingannati, collectively written by the Accademia degli Intronati in 1531. Viola/Cesario relationship is the same exact relationship of Lelia and Fabio of the Gli Ingannati.

Angelo Beolco, known as Ruzzante, was an actor, a singer, an author and director of comic plays, among the most famous figures in Italy in his role of the Zanni in the Commedia dell’arte. His works are written solely in dialect and made the role of the peasant an extraordinary comic spirit, which made him one of the most famous celebrities of the Italian 16th century.

RUZZANTE: Many Shakespeare scholars have pointed out the similarity between the characters Launce (Two Gentlemen’s) and Launcelot (Merchant of Venice) with their original source: Ruzzante, Angelo Beolco.

Dario Fo, one of the most prominent leading figure of Italian theatre and expert of Ruzzante, in his shows throughout the world has always underlined the similarity between the Shakespeare and Ruzzante. Like the scene from Anconitana of Ruzzante, that for Dario Fo inspired Shakespeare for his Midsummer Night’s dream. Love labour’s lost contains one of the earliest examples in English of the use of the word ‘zany’ from zanni. Clearly Shakespeare takes the word to mean ‘servant’ ‘follower’ or ‘imitator’ as well as ‘clown’.

In the following video, Dario Fo explains the diaspora of Italian theater at the time of the Counter-Reformation. Florio knew the ancient Paduan language with which Ruzzante wrote his plays and King Lear took phrases from Ruzzante's plays (credits to @ Archivio Rame Fo - Fondazione Fo Rame)

File:Ruzante Shakespeare v3.mp4

Robert Henke, professor of Comparative Literature and Performing arts of Berkley university in California, expert in Shakespeare and the study of Renaissance and Commedia dell’arte, has found connections between Shakespeare and Ruzzante in relation to the representation of poverty in 16th century. In his work Ruzante and Shakespeare: A comparative case study[75] Henke discusses the similarity between Shakespeare and Ruzante. Ruzante’s monologue in Moscheta in which he jokes with his shoes talking about death and love and his monologue in Anconitana with a dog has been compared with Launce’s monologue in Two Gentlemen’s in which the character uses the same devices and humoristic style of Ruzzante. Robert Henke demonstrated that Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Italian Commedia dell’arte and particularly Ruzzante’s works[76], written in Italian and Paduan dialect and not translated in English at the time. Shakespeare even borrows from Ruzzante the Italian curse word “Cancaro”, that John Florio translates as “Crab”, the name of Launce’s dog in Two Gentlemen, the same character inspired by Ruzzante’s work. Robert Henke explains that John Florio is the most likely candidate to be the source of Shakespeare’s knowledge of commedia dell’arte and Ruzzante.

Another book, Shakespeare and Commedia dell’arte: play by play by Artemis Preeshl[77] analyses each Shakespeare’s play and the influence of Commedia dell’arte and Ruzzante in them, like Winter’s tale: the author compares Ruzante who played a rustic clown with the disguised prince Florizel who played the romantic sheered with Perdita.

It is impossible to believe that Shakespeare could read not only Italian vernacular but the Paduan dialect of Ruzzante and of the Commedia dell’arte plays. In First Fruits, published in 1578, we have an example of an entire company of players, Leicester’s Men, praising and thanking Florio for having worked with them. This mean that John Florio was hired to teach the actors, a very mixed crew, to perform Italian comedies for the delight of the Queen and her guests. Some of her guests were foreign ambassadors Robert Dudley who spoke almost no English, so Italian comedies would be just the thing to impress them, and , John Florio's patron, was very keen to impress foreign visitors.

Commedia dell'Arte Characters in Shakespeare's Plays

Valentina Capocci, translator and Shakespeare's scholar, in her book, Shakespeare and Commedia dell’arte[78], analysed Shakespeare’s plays and points out that some comic parts in Shakespeare's plays were most likely improvised by the actors that used the canovaccio, a scenario used by commedia dell'arte players. Richard Whalen, in his Commedia dell’arte in Othello: A satiric comedy ending in tragedy[79] underlines that Commedia dell’arte strongly influenced Shakespeare. For Whalen, an evidence can be found in the characters of Othello that have their prototypes in characters of commedia dell’arte: Iago is the zanni, Othello is Capitano, Roderigo is the second zanni, Brabantio is Pantalone, Cassio is Pedrolino.

Shakespeare’s only other direct references to the Commedia dell’arte masks shows most clearly his acquaintance with them. It is found, of course, in As you like it, in Jacque’s well-known depiction of the Seven ages of man.

Shakespeare scholar Kevin Gilvary[80] argues that while the plays Much Ado and Two Gentlemen of Verona are classified as Italian comedies, The Tempest should also be classified in this category, defining it as a ‘pastoral comedy derived from Commedia dell’arte’. Gilvary also correlates the characters of The Tempest with Italian comedy roles: Alonso with Pantalone, Ferdinand with Fausto, Antonio with Gratiano, Stephano with Pulcinella, Trinculo with Brighella, Miranda with Filli, and Prospero with the magician, and has pointed out the similarities in plot conventions in Shakespeare’s comedies and romances to those in the Commedia dell’arte, and their relation to popular folklore and myth.

John Florio's Library

In his testament, John Florio bequeathed to William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke his whole library and an unbound volume of divers written collections and rapsodies:

“All my Italian, French and Spanish bookees, as well printed as unprinted, being in number about Three hundred and Fortie, namefy my new and perfect Dictionary, as also my, tenn Dialogues in Italian and English, and my unbound volume of diuers written Collections and rapsodies”[81]

John Florio’s entire library, his Italian, French and Spanish books, along with his manuscripts, the unbound volume of written collections and rapsodies, have since disappeared. And not a single scholar has paid the slightest attention to such an unhappy loss. The whole list of books can be found in Florio's A World of Words (1598) and Queen Anna's New World of Words (1613). Below, you can read some of the books owned by John Florio: a list of Italian sources used by Shakespeare for his plays, along with many other comedies, tragedies, and Commedia dell'arte plays.

Italian language in Shakespeare's plays

Naseeb Shaheen in 1994 in his book Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Italian[82], proved beyond all doubt that Shakespeare had a very strong knowledge of the Italian language. In 2005, Christophe Camard[83], explained that Shakespeare treats the Italian language in a curious and intimate manner, and is capable of creating new meanings in English, of playing with a foreign language in a way quite different to other English dramatists, whose relation to Italian is external, a simple question of exoticism and color.

The best evidence that Shakespeare could read Italian, however, comes from the close adherence of his plays to his Italian sources. For some plays, those Italian sources had not been translated into any other language, and the only logical conclusion is that Shakespeare must have read the source in Italian and translated them in English. In other instances, although the Italian source had been translated into French or English, Shakespeare’s play is often closer to the Italian original than to the translations or adaptations of the original. At times, there is also a verbal similarity which adds to the evidence that Shakespeare had read the original Italian.[84] For example, Shaheen shows that the expression “prophetic fury” in Othello is borrowed from a line in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, “C’havea il furor profetico congiunto.” The logical deduction follows:

“A person able to read Ariosto would be able to read not only the prose narratives of Cinthio and Bandello, but also the much more difficult and highly structured poetry of one of Italy’s greatest poets.”

And he concludes:

“It seems clear . . . that Shakespeare could read Italian, and that for a surprising number of plays he read those sources in Italian."[85]

In all these cases and instances, Shakespeare’s scholars are not able to prove that Shakespeare could read Italian poetry, vernacular Italian and Italian dialect, and translate, reealaborate and re write his sources in English. In all these cases it’s John Florio the “intermediator”, “tutor”, the constant helper of Shakespeare who reads him the Italian books, translate them for him, and re-write the sources for Shakespeare’s plays.

Lawrence: “The principal advantage in advocating a direct relationship between Florio and Shakespeare is to offer a plausible explanation for how the playwright might have gained access to his Italian materials.”[86]

“In Shakespeare, the Italian language is utilized in a manner, so to speak, more subtle and also more rare,” for we see the playwright using Italian to enrich and add depth to the English language"[87]

“Florio provides not only the venues but some of the actual dialogic material that Shakespeare employs in his representations of Italy in The Shrew and in later comedies, thereby rendering superfluous any mere physical journey to the peninsula. Shakespeare’s explorations of Italy, its language and culture begin and end within – although they are certainly not limited to – the confines of Florio’s texts.”[88]

Language & Style: Shakespeare and Florio's osmosis

Florio consciously experimented with English like Shakespeare, grafting into it words and phrases from other languages. This led him to create not just new words, but also new grammatical constructions. For example, he was the first writer to use the genitive neuter pronoun "its"[89]. Florio, like Shakespeare, created more than one thousands new words, compounds and proverbs for the English language. Stanford professor John Willinsky in his Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED states John Florio contributed to the English language with over a thousand words, placing third after Chaucer and Shakespeare, the Oxford English Dictionary ascribes the first usages of 1,224 words to Florio.[90]

According to Wiliam Hamlin[91], in his translation of Montaigne's Essays, Florio captures his inquisitive, meandering style with astonishing verbal exuberance. Apart from Shakespearean drama itself, there’s scarcely another work from Elizabethan England that offers a similar display of lexical brio. Hundreds of words make their first appearance in English, including “criticism,” “masturbation,” “judicatory,” and “dogmatism.” Florio experiments with verbs such as “fantastiquize,” “attediate,” and “dis-wench”; he serves up nouns like “profluvion,” “codburst,” “ubertie,” and “supputation”; and he coins dozens of compound terms, among them “cup-shotten,” “ninny-hammer,” “sinnewe-shrunken,” “wedlocke-friendship,” “greedy-covetous,” and “wit-besotting.”

John Florio's scholar Laura Orsi[92] provided a comparative linguistic analysis, lexical and stylistic, of Shakespeare and John Florio with a focus on their linguistic creativity, specifically in the creation of new words. The words are drawn from Shakespeare’s plays and Florio’s major works, namely his Italian-English dictionaries A Worlde of Wordes (1598) and Queen Anna’s New World of Words (1611) his translation of Michel de Montaigne’s Essais (Essays, 1603) and the anonymous English translation of the Decameron which was published in London in 1620. Laura Orsi’s study further confirms the Florian attribution and connects it to Shakespeare. The first comparative study of Shakespeare, John Florio and Florio’s Decameron brings to light a number of revealing lexical and stylistic concordances which point straight to Shakespeare. It emerges that Shakespeare’s and Florio’s linguistic contributions are elaborated upon their understanding of words’ etymons and show a mutually interchangeable grammatical mind-set. Additionally, it emerges that Shakespeare and Florio create new words by utilizing the same inventive modes. This first linguistic-stylistic comparative analysis demonstrates the following: first, the etymological and grammatical structure of Shakespeare’s linguistic creativity; secondly, Shakespeare’s non-sporadic indebtedness to ancient and Romance languages, and finally, the perfect compatibility of Shakespeare’s linguistic creativity with that of John Florio – their osmosis.

The theme of exile in Shakespeare's plays and Florio as an exile

John Florio's life was dramatically affected by his identity as an exile. His father Michelangelo Florio was a Franciscan friar who turned Protestant and for this reason he was arrested for heresy, and subsequently imprisoned in Rome. After two years of imprisonment, he was brought to trial and condemned to death. But he managed to avoid execution by escaping from prison on 6 May 1550. Searching for a safe refuge, he left his native Italy and settled in France, travelling through Lyon. After arriving in Paris, he managed to get passage on a ship to reach the safety of England and on 1 November 1550, he arrived in the City of London. John Florio was born two years later. In 1154, Mary Tudor ascended to the throne and she re-established Catholicism in England and Ireland. Consequently, on 4 March 1554, Michelangelo and his family, which included infant John, were forced to leave England, living for a short time in Strasbourg and finally settling in Soglio. John Florio returned to England almost two decades later, but his identity as an exile would mark his life forever.

Different researches[93] and studies[94] have highlighted how the theme of exile and banishment is present in many Shakespeare's plays, like in The Tempest, Coriolanus, As you like it, Henry IV, Richard III. British scholar Jane Kingsley-Smith, in her Shakespeare’s Drama of Exile examines the theme of exile in Shakespeare, noting that 14 of the 38 plays "represent the banishment of one or more central characters. If we include minor characters and self-imposed exile, that number is considerably increased"[95]. Lamberto Tassinari[96] states that "any reader of the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare is compelled to wonder why the theme of exile is so prominent. Even at a quick glance, exile appears to be much more than a simple motif or literary topos for the author".

Shakespeare's patrons & John Florio's patrons: their friends and acquaintances

Shakespeare and Florio also shared the same circle of friend and acquaintances. Both men were intimate with Ben Jonson and Samuel Daniel; Edward Blount published works for both Shakespeare and the Florio. The First Folio portrait of Shakespeare and Florio’s portrait for the 1613 edition of Montaigne were done by Martin Droeshout. Both Shakespeare and Florio began under a common patron, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and ended with a common patron, William Herbert, Lord Pembroke, with their association with Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton coming in between.[97] Even in their official court connections, Shakespeare and Florio shared the same rank as Groom of the Privy Chamber.

John Florio & Ben Jonson

Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. John Florio played a fundamental part in Jonson's plays and career. He will be described by Jonson as his "loving father" and the "ayde of his Muses." It has been suggested by some Shakespeare's scholars that The First Folio was a project made by Ben Jonson and John Florio.

John Florio's friendship with Ben Jonson is of great interest and importance. It is well-attested by an inscription written in Jonson's own hand upon the fly-leaf of a copy of Volpone which is now in the British Museum:

"To his louing Father, & worthy Freind, Mr John Florio: The ayde of his Muses. Ben: Jonson seales this testemony of Freindship, & Loue."

The word "Father" which the dramatist uses in addressing his friend, suggests not only the disparity in their ages. It most importantly implies some suggestion of discipleship, with a more striking tribute by speaking of him as "The ayde of his Muses". This dedication implies that Florio played a fundamental part in Jonson’s theatre writing which has not been fully investigated. The dedication certainly implies that the comedy Volpone was written in collaboration with John Florio.

John Florio, Ben Jonson & The First Folio

It has been suggested by some Shakespeare's scholars that The First Folio was a project organised by Ben Jonson and John Florio.

In an article published in The Guardian, Saul Frampton set out a case that John Florio may have anonymously played a role in producing the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays.[98] Modern scholars agree that actors John Heminges and Henry Condell, traditionally considered the Folio’s assemblers, were unlikely to have been entrusted with editing the expensive, 900+ page volume. Frampton quotes scholar Eleanor Prosser:

“Somewhere behind the Folio … lies a conscientious and exacting editor with literary pretensions,” one “more experienced in the transcription of literary than of theatrical works.”

Frampton, author of a book on Montaigne (whose Essays Florio translated into English) and an upcoming work on Shakespeare and Florio, finds significant correspondences between words Florio used in his writings of the 1570s-1610s and revisions made to the 1623 Folio versions of Shakespeare’s plays. Frampton notes:

"Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Florio’s possible involvement with the Folio is that we may never know its true extent."

While earlier editions of many Shakespeare plays exist for comparison, about half the plays had never previously been published, and:

"We cannot tell for certain whether the words were written by John Florio or by William Shakespeare."

Eric Rasmussen, University of Nevada, in his article Who edited the Shakespeare First Folio?[99] examined two possible candidates as editors of the First Folio: Leonard Digges and John Florio.[100] Rasmussen ended his analysis by stating that he undertook this study intento upon "proving that Leonard Digges was a more viable candidate than was John Florio" but "the data, preliminary though it is, does not support this conclusion":

"Indeed this proto-study in editorial attribution provides evidence that Florio's stylistic habit more closely resemble those of the editor of First Folio than do Digges's."

Stuart Kells, Shakespeare's scholar, in his book Shakespeare's Library: Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature, has suggested that The First Folio was edited by both Florio and Ben Jonson,[101] describing John Florio and Ben Jonson as Shakespeare's editors, "master polishers and serial neologists."

Donatella Montini, Florio's scholar, noted that:

"In 1620, John Florio translated Boccaccio's Decameron anonymously. The printer, Isaac Jaggard, and the dedicatee, Sir Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery, will be the same protagonists of the publication, in three years time, of Shakespeare's celebrated Folio."[102]

Writer and professor at Ca' Foscari in Venice and at Hautes études Internationales et politiques in Paris, Jeremy Lester suggested that John Florio was not just the editor of Shakespeare's First Folio, "but perhaps the author of these works himself? Might this explain why he had the temerity and the confidence to make wholesale changes in his editorial work precisely because he was at the end of the day editing his own work?"[103]

John Florio's 1623 letter: "A Laborious Work."

A document that proves John Florio was involved in the production of the First Folio is a letter he wrote in 1623 to Lord Cranfield, Lord Treasurer, asking to have some money to "finish and publish my greate and laborious worke, for which my Contrie and posteritie so long as English is spoken, shall have cause to thank, and remember your Lordships Honorable name, that fostered the Muse of your most humble poor servant J. Florio."[104]

Some Florio's scholars, like Miss Frances Yates, have erroneously tried to suggest that in this letter Florio is referring to his third dictionary. This is not correct for a great number of reasons: A note attached in the 1623 letter[105] confirms that John Florio received the money he asked to Lord Cranfield, but he never published a third dictionary between 1623 and his death,1625. A third dictionary was published by Giovanni Torriano in 1659. In the preface, Torriano wrote that he had taken some of the pages published from Florio's old draft. It is absurd to believe that John Florio, who asked to receive money in 1623, and received them in the same year, waited more than thirty years to release a third dictionary who wasn't even published under his own name, but by Torriano, that in 1623 Florio didn't even know personally. Furthermore, John Florio, in the 1623 letter, doesn't cite the work as "dictionary", he cites it as "laborious work", implying an important task he had undertaken anonymously and couldn't mention in a letter, perfectly knowing he was working as ghostwriter. This letter should serve as proof of Florio's involvement in the editorship of the First Folio. The fact that he refers to the First Folio as "my greate and laborious worke" means without any doubt that he was revising his own work.

John Florio & Thomas Thorpe

Thomas Thorpe, in 1610, published a translation from Epictetus his Manuall. He dedicated this work to John Florio, reminding him that he had procured a patron for an earlier work of John Healey's His apprentises essay, and hoping that he would do the same by this one. In the three existing dedications by Thorpe, other than that to W. H., the first is addressed to John Florio, the two others to the Earl of Pembroke, while the other, some years before, is addressed to the editor, Edward Blount. We thus have Thorpe's evidence that Florio procured him the Pembroke's patronage. He also did the same for John Healey. Florio secured the patronage of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke for Healey's The Discovery of a New World. This work was an extremely free and humour version of the "Latin Mundus Alter ed Idem", a satire of England.

John Florio in William Vaughan's Golden Fleece: Shakespeare's Sonnets

A year after John Florio’s death, in 1626, his old friend William Vaughan published three volumes of cryptic memoirs about events at the Court of James and Anne. Golden Fleece is an assortment of memoirs from James and Anne’s court, told in a cryptic language. But behind apparently apocryphal yarns, Vaughan recounts real stories and gossips from the period of Florio's presence at court. He uses for Queen Anna the pseudyonym Princess Thalia while for James I Apollo. When it comes to John Florio however, Vaughan has no problem giving us the real name and a few stories about him.[106] Hugh Broughton, who was an English divine and rabbinical scholar, was aspiring at the same position of Groom of the Privy chamber. Jealous of Florio's prestigious position at court, Broughton tried to make trouble when he discovered Florio had been instrumental in producing some verses that Vaughan defines “a strange morall letany”, which was released during a royal birthday. As a result, Florio had to appear before James I to defend himself from this charge which has been brought against him, having been accused to have descended to a frivolity of tone and matter unsuited to a person of his gravity. Broughton considered himself a superior and more serious scholar to the “Novelist Italian” and resented his appointment. For this reason, Broughton hoped to bring John Florio down by revealing his involvement in this poetic production. Florio is described performing salacious and obscene verses during the royal birthday. Florio defended himself by arguing that it is sometimes necessary to temper gravity with brightness to suit the tastes of one's pupils and patrons. There are several sexual puns that Florio used to make his own "apology". He, for example, refers to the Queen Anna as "The great lady". This throws a light upon the level of confidence which Florio had with the aristocracy.

Giulia Harding, Florio's scholar, has pointed out that Vuaghan, in his work, was referring to Shakespeare's sonnets.[107]:

"We know the precise date the Sonnets went on sale. Edward Alleyn was the leading actor in ‘The Lord Admiral’s Men’, a well known theatre company and chief rival to Shakespeare’s group ‘The King’s Men’. We know he went to John Wright’s bookshop on June 19th, 1609 and paid five pence for a copy of “Shakespeare’s Sonnets”. He would have ordered the book when it was first registered at the Stationers’ Company and advertised as a forthcoming publication and arranged to collect it as soon as it arrived. The Sonnets had been registered by Thomas Thorpe on May 20th, barely a month before the book appeared. If you had been living in the early seventeenth century you would probably have known why June 19th was an important date. It was the King’s birthday. In 1609 James the First turned forty three years old. The publication of the Sonnets on this exact date was no coincidence and to discover the link we must consult the gossipy anecdotes recounted in William Vaughan’s “Golden Fleece”.

William Vaughan was therefore describing John Florio as deeply involved in the production of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Miss Frances Yates also pointed out that John Florio was connected with the publication of Shakespeare's Sonnets:

"It might be interesting to inquire why Thorpe was so keen on publishing old material in this year. [...] Yet in that year Thorpe addressed to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke - via Florio - a translated satire, Healey's Discovery of the new World, and to a "Mr W.H." a sonnet-sequence by William Shakespeare."[108]

Marianna Iannaccone, Florio’s scholar, in her monograph, John Florio’s Italian & English Sonnets[109], demonstrates that Florio was both a highly-skilled verse-maker and a poetry artist of imaginative power. The book also unveils an English sonnet attributed to Shakespeare, later shown to have been by Florio.[110] The reasons for this attribution were due to striking similarities in language register and poetic voice. While Shakespeare’s scholars have tried to dismiss Florio’s stylistic closeness to Shakespeare by asserting that he was “no poet”[111], this monograph shows that he was an “acrobat of words”[112], able to pen sonnets in both Italian and English, using different styles, from the Petrarchan structure to the English iambic pentameter.

John Florio & Henry Wriothesley

Miniature of Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton, the "fair youth" of Shakespeare's Sonnets. William Vaughan, in his Golden Fleece, wrote that John Florio was involved in the production of Shakespeare's sonnets. John Florio also lived at Titchfield with the young Earl from 1590 to 1598. Florio's dedication to Henry in his A World of Words has been compared to Shakespeare's dedication in The Rape of Lucrece. "There is no essential difference between these two texts, either in form or matter." declared Shakespeare's and Florio's scholar Clara Longworth de Chambrun.[113]

Henry Wriothesley, The Third Earl of Southampton, has been frequently identified as the Fair Youth of Shakespeare's Sonnets. John Florio became tutor, secretary and close friend of Henry Wriothesley from 1590 to 1598. Countess Longworth de Chambrun pointed out that in Second Fruits (1591), there is a dialogue between John Florio and Henry. They play at tennis together and go to see a play at theatre.[114] For Frances Yates too, this identification meets with some support from the fact that in the dialogue John quotes the proverb "Chi si contenta gode", which is the motto on Florio's portrait. Moreover, the topics touched on in the Second Fruits, like primero, theatre, love, and tennis, represent Southampton's tastes.[115]

John Florio's dedication & Shakespeare's dedication

John Florio and Shakespeare also wrote the same dedications to the same patron. In Venus and Adonis (1593), Shakespeare wrote to Henry:

"If this first child of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a Godfather."

Florio, likewise, in the dedication to Henry in A World of Words, declares himself:

"over presumptuous to entreat so high a presence to the christening of his brain-babe."

And continues:

"To me and many others the glorious and gracious sunshine of your Honour hath infused light and life; so, may my lesser borrowed light, after a principal respect to your benign aspect and influence, afford some lustre to others. Good parts imparted, are not impaired. Your springs are first to serve yourself yet may yield your neighbours sweet water: Your taper is to light you first, and yet it may light your neighbour's candle."

But the parallel with Shakespeare's second dedication which accompanied Lucrece in 1594 is still more striking[116]

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Titchfield.

The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet without beginning is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your honorable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would show greater; meantime, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with all happiness.

Your lordship's in all duty,

William Shakespeare.

Florio says:

"In truth I acknowledge an entyre debt, not onely of my best knowledge, but of all, yea of more then I know or can, to your bounteous Lordship most noble, most vertuous, and most Honorable Earle of Southampton, in whose paie and patronage I have lived some yeeres; to whom I owe and vowe the yeeres I have to live."

There is no essential difference between these two texts. It is clear that John Florio is the same pen that wrote Shakespeare's dedication to the young Earl.

John Florio & The Danvers-Long Feud: Romeo and Juliet

Charles Danvers, brother of Henry Danvers.

It has been suggested by many Shakespeare's scholars[117] that the famous Danvers-Long feud inspired Shakespeare for the plot of Romeo and Juliet. On Friday 4th October 1594, John Florio took part in the famous Danvers case, backing Henry Wriothesley's friends in their efforts to escape. Henry Danvers and Sir Charles Denvers were the two elder sons of Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey. Both close friend to Henry Wriothesley, they committed a crime in Wiltshire. According to one account, Henry Long was dining in the middle of the day with a party of friends in Corsham, when Henry Danvers, followed by his brother Charles and a number of retainers, burst into the room, and shot Long dead on the spot. Master Lawrence Grose, Sheriff, was informed on the murder, and on the evening of October 12th the following scene took place at Itchen's Ferry:

“The said Grose, passing over Itchen’s Ferry with his wife that Saturday 12th, one Florio an Italian, and one Humphrey Drewell a servant of the Earl, being in the said passage boat threatened to cast Grose overboard, and said they would teach him to meddle with their fellows, with many other threatening words.”[118]

This incident involved two feuding families, a scuffle among servants, earlier violence, insults, and a quarrel escalated into a murder, which contains many similarities with the plot of Romeo and Juliet. While there's no prove that Shakespeare lived at Titchfield and was involved in this case, these documents prove that John Florio took part in the Danvers-Long feud while he was living at Titchfield with the young Earl. Furthermore, it has also been suggested that Vincentio Saviolo's manual played a fundamental role for some dialogues written in Romeo and Juliet, specially the duels between Mercutio and Tybalt.[119] In fact, Shakespeare uses Saviolo's Italian fencing vocabulary. J.D. Aylward was the first scholar to point out that John Florio was the most likely author of Saviolo's fencing manual, describing Florio as "Saviolo's ghost."[120] Marianna Iannaccone, John Florio's scholar, has enlarged Aylward's thesis by doing a linguistic-stylistic analysis of Saviolo's manual, demonstrating that Saviolo's manual was the result of a collaboration between Florio, who translated and re-wrote an Italian fencing manual in the first book and the dialogues between the Master and the student in the second book, and Saviolo's technical knowledge on fencing.[121] John Florio also refers to Vincentio Saviolo in his Second Fruits, by using, like Shakespeare, Saviolo's Italian fencing vocabulary.[122]

The knowledge of the Danver-Long feud and Saviolo's fencing manual in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet cannot be explained, once again, without John Florio's knowledge of Saviolo's manual and his involvement in the Danvers-Long feud.

Shakespeare, Florio & Montaigne

Shakespeare, Florio and The Tempest

Florio was the first translator of Montaigne’s Essays in English. Numerous scholars have highlighted the great influence of John Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays in Shakespeare's plays. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that "Shakespeare was Montaigne’s best reader"[123].

It is widely known that Gonzalo's speech in The Tempest[124] corresponds to Florio's translation of Montaigne, specifically the essay “Des Cannibales”:

“It is a nation, would I answer Plato, that hath no kinde of traffike, no knowledge of Letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politike superioritie; no use of service, or riches or of povertie; no contracts, no successions, no partitions, no occupation but idle; no respect of kindred, no use of wine, corne, or mettle. The very words that import lying, falsehood, treason, dissimulations, covetousness, envie, detraction, and pardon, were never heard of amongst them. How dissonant would hee finde his imaginarie common-wealth from this perfection?”[125]

Michel de Montaigne-Delecroix (1533–1592), French author. John Florio translated Montaigne's Essays in English, considered the greatest work in prose of the Elizabethan period. It has been proved that Shakespeare was influenced by Florio's Montaigne both before and after its publication.


I’th’commonwealth I would by contraries

Execute all things. For no kind of traffic

Would I admit, no name of magistrate.

Letters should not be known. Riches, poverty,

And use of service, none. Contract, succession,

Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none.

No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil.

No occupation: all men idle, all,


........Treason, felony,

Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine

Would I not have;”[126]

There are also other moments, notably in King Lear, that make it clear that Shakespeare had read him. In King Lear it's Edmund – the bad one, remember – who borrows from Montaigne's thoughts on fatherhood; while in Hamlet Polonius – some of whose advice echoes Montaigne – is a windbag.[127] Both Shakespeare and Florio employ a "similar emphatic, spare style to outline the characteristics and merits of a kind of Utopian society, rich in natural abundance and with no need of artificial constructs, even down to word for word correspondence between the two texts."[128]

George Coffin Taylor

In 1925, George Coffin Taylor published the book Shakspere’s Debt to Montaigne[129] presenting parallels between Shakespeare and Florio’s Montaigne. It notes overlaps in ‘vocabulary, phrases, short and long passages, and, after a fashion . . . also in thought[130]’.

Taylor divides the key passages into three groups:

"First, that . . . group of passages in the Florio Montaigne and in the plays of Shakspere written during 1603 and after, so similar in phraseology as practically to preclude all possibility of doubt. Second, another group of passages and phrases in the Florio Montaigne and in Shakespeare’s plays written during and after 1603, which, though not so strikingly similar in phraseology as to preclude all doubt, are yet similar enough to make one feel that the Shakspere passage could not have taken on its final form unless Shakspere had made the acquaintance of the Montaigne passage. Third, a list of approximately seven hundred and fifty words and phrases from the Florio Montaigne used also by Shakespere, but never in any composition of his antedating 1603 – many of them, if one may judge from the Oxford Dictionary, never used by anyone before 1603."[131]

For Coffin Taylor:

"When the number of expressions in Shakspere, and the number of the thoughts in Shakspere, which could never have taken on their final form but for a previous reading of Montaigne, [translated by John Florio] are borne in mind, it may well be asked whether any other single work that Shakspere read influenced him in so many differerent plays and in so great a variety of ways – words, phrases, passages, thoughts."[132]

In an early review of Taylor’s book, T. S. Eliot was particularly impressed by the third list of Taylor, consisting of ‘words and phrases numerous enough to create a presumption that Shakespeare picked them up from Florio’.[133] Eliot also praised Taylor for focusing on parallel words rather than on thoughts.

Shakespeare's acquaintance with Montaigne before Florio's publication

Shakespeare's scholar Jonathan Bate has claimed that ‘it was this [Montaigne’s] book, perhaps above all others, that shaped the mind of Shakespeare in the second half of his career[134]’. In his article Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind.[135], Bate also asserted that Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays had an impact on Shakespeare's plays even before the publication:

"His reading of Montaigne in Florio’s translation some time before the writing of Lear gave him a philosophically articulated basis for his own long-standing practice."[136]

Jonathan Bate doesn't explain how Shakespeare knew the translated work before the publication:

"Scholars debate whether or not Shakespeare saw Florio’s translation in manuscript before it was published in 1603. The balance of evidence suggests that he probably did not, but rather that his mind and Montaigne’s worked in such similar ways that the character of Hamlet, created before 1600, seems like a reader of Montaigne even though he could not have been."[137]

In his recent book, How the Classics made Shakespeare, Jonathan Bate asserts that it is possible Shakespeare knew Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays before its publication thanks to some manuscripts.[138]

William M. Hamlin[139] has pointed out that Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays had an impact on Shakespeare's plays, before the published translation appeared and they claim Shakespeare knew the translation before publication, but not providing any explanation or proof how it was possible that Shakespeare knew the translated work before the publication. For Hamlin, Florio captures his inquisitive, meandering style with astonishing verbal exuberance.

Florio's Montaigne: The work of a dramatist

Stephen Greenblatt notes, in his introduction to his edition of Florio’s translation of Montaigne, that there is often a Shakespearean feel to Florio’s prose style[140]. Francis Otto Matthiessen, in 1931, published Translation: an Elizabethan art[141], making an extensive analysis of Florio's translating method, pointing out the similarities between the Anglo-Italian and Shakespeare's style. For Matthiessen, Florio alters Montaigne for the sake of a fuller picture, the desire for a feeling of motion is the force underlying nearly all Florio's additions, and he always wants to increase the emphasis, to heighten and magnify. In practically every case these alterations of Florio's are dictated by a theatrical sense.[142]

Florio's habit of seeing and saying things dramatically is one of his most distinctive qualities:

"The dramatist' method, therefore, consists in taking a situation and heightening its pitch by a skillful exaggeration of tone and by a hint of action in the swing and cadence of his words. Such also is Florio's method, and it permeates his treatment of Montaigne."[143]

Matthienssen also points out that:

"Florio's sense of the dramatic is the central force molding his prose. It determines not only the manner in which he builds upon Montaigne's situations, but also his addition of words, not for their meaning, but for their rhythm. When Florio heightens the content, sometimes it is the splendor, sometimes the pathos, more often the sheer excitement of the situation that catches him."

For Matthiessen, sometimes Florio is no longer translating, but envisaging the scene anew. In any situation it is the element of contrast that focus his attention, and he develops them "with the instinct of the dramatist, doing everything he can to heighten the effect."[144]

With his analysis, Matthiessen underlined the stylistic similarities between the Anglo-Italian and Shakespeare, and asserted that "it would be dangerous to press too far the striking similarities in speech and thought"[145], and concluded his analysis by stating that Florio and Shakespeare "were constantly talking with the same people, hearing the same theories, breathing the same air.”[146]

History of Florian Theory of Shakespeare authorship

1902 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Shakespeare, his connection with Florio”

Portrait of Thomas Spencer Baynes, painted in 1888.

The first to suggest that there was a link between John Florio and Shakespeare was Thomas Spencer Baynes, English philosopher, author and editor of the Ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He wrote, in 1902, the Britannica article on Shakespeare, divided in 46 parts. Part 31 is dedicated to John Florio, and his connection with Shakespeare, titled "Shakespeare Goes to London (cont.): Shakespeare Continues his Education. His Connection with Florio[147]." He also included this chapter in his book Shakespeare studies, and essay on English dictionaries[148]. This chapter related to Shakespeare connection with Florio disappeared inexplicably at the Eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Baynes was instrumental in explaining the numerous (otherwise inexplicable) "connections" between the works of Shakespeare and Florio: Baynes suggests that Shakespeare was well acquainted with Florio's First Fruits, in which there are many proverbs and dialogues Shakespeare used in his works. Same with Second Fruits, in which there is also one of the earliest Elizabethan sonnet to be printed: "Phaeton to his friend Florio". For Baynes, Shakespeare is also well aware of Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays, as well as his two dictionaries that he frequently used in his plays. For Baynes, Florio was also instrumental for Shakespeare’s great knowledge of Italy, its cities, its dialects, and its literature, which constitute an important part of his work.

Baynes also underlined that both Shakespeare and Florio had the same patron, Henry Wriothesley: Shakespeare dedicated his Venus and Adonis and his Lucrece to this young nobleman; and three years later, in 1598, Florio dedicated the first edition of his Italian dictionary to the earl in terms that almost recall Shakespeare's words. Baynes also notices that both Shakespeare and Florio also knew Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, and became Groom of the privy chamber in 1604. He, then, concludes dismantling the old legend of Florio as Holofernes - labelled as "the climax of reckless guesswork and absurd suggestion" - that Florio was a friend and literary associate “to whom Shakespeare felt personally indebted.”

Santi Paladino

The long passage from the Encyclopædia Britannica was translated into Italian by the journalist Santi Paladino in the book Un Italiano autore delle opere Shakespeariane.[149] Paladino pointed out that there are too many similarities between the two writers, and concluded his work by assering that Shakespeare was the pseudonym of an Italian author. He argued that Shakespeare’s works are the result of a collaboration between John Florio and his father, Michelangelo. He continued to publish on the subject into the 1950s; in his later writings he argued that Michelangelo Florio wrote the works in Italian, and his son John rendered them into English.

Clara Longworth de Chambrun & Frances Yates

Clara Longworth de Chambrun, Shakespeare's scholar, wrote John Florio's first biography, Giovanni Florio, un apôtre de la renaissance en Angleterre a l'époque de Shakespeare. She was the first scholar to make an extensive analysis of the similarities between the works of John Florio and Shakespeare.

After Baynes's article, Clara Longworth de Chambrun, Shakespeare' scholar, published her biography on John Florio, Giovanni Florio un apôtre de la renaissance en Angleterre à l'époque de Shakespeare[150], in which she pointed out, for the first time, the many similarties between Florio's works and Shakespeare's plays. At that point, a vexed question arose on the relationship between Shakespeare and Florio, evidently following the in-depth study of the works of John Florio.

Subsequently, in 1934, Frances Amelia Yates wrote a biography on John Florio titled John Florio: The Life of an Italian in Shakespeare's England[151] with the aim to "throw light upon the vexed question of Florio's relations with Shakespeare."

Referring to Santi Paladino's articles, Yates stated, in a note, that there 'may be some truth' in Paladino's words. She concluded her biography by asserting:

One is again and again reminded that Florio was Shakespeare’s contemporary and that they had the taste for words in common. (…) The way is now clear for an entirely fresh consideration of the whole problem of Florio’s relations with Shakespeare. This book, which is dedicated to the impartial consideration of the facts of Florio’s life, is not the place for such a study, which must contain some controversial elements, but the following is a brief outline of an argument which I hope to develop at length elsewhere.”

Inexplicably, she decided to abandon this project and she didn't publish the planned book.

Erik Reger

John Florio was later proposed by German journalist Erik Reger, in a review of Paladino's pamphlet entitled "Der Italiener Shakespeare" contributed during 1927 to the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

Franz Maximilian Saalbach

In 1954, Franz Maximilian Saalbach published William Shakespeare, alias Mercutio Florio[152] promoting John Florio as the most likely author of Shakespeare's plays.

Saul Gerevini & Giulia Harding

In 2007, Florio's independent scholar Saul Gerevini founded Shakespeare's and Florio's website[153] by publishing numerous articles on the similarities in style and language between John Florio and Shakespeare.

In 2008, Gerevini published a book William Shakespeare, ovvero John Florio, un fiorentino alla conquista del mondo[154]. In his book, Gerevini analysed John Florio's life and career and particularly his rivalry with his contemporaries which can be traced in the Epistles to the reader of his works. According to Saul Gerevini, John Florio is the Johannes Factotum mentioned by Nashe and Greene. The first reference to Shakespeare as a playwright was in 1592. He was attacked in a pamphlet, written by the well-known poet and playwright Robert Greene. Gervini highlights the fact that in this first ever written mention of Shakespeare as a playwright, by Robert Greene, Shakespeare is identified as someone called "absolute Johannes factotum", identifiable as 'Johannes' the Latin name of John, the term 'absolute' as the nickname used by Florio in his signature (precisely the word 'resolute') and the term 'factotum' as a disparaging definition of tutor, John Florio's job.

Florio's scholar Giulia Harding has focused her analysis on the relationship between Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno,[155] and on Florio's and Shakespeare's language.

Lamberto Tassinari

In 2009, professor of Italian language and literature at the Université de Montréal Lamberto Tassinari published John Florio: The Man Who Was Shakespeare[156], a major study of John Florio’s cultural achievements. The book has been revised and expanded, as an e-book, into a second edition in 2013 which, in January 2016, was published in France by Le Bord de l’Eau as John Florio alias Shakespeare, translated in French by Michel Vaïs. In nearly 400 pages of very detailed, very thorough investigation, Tassinari advocates Florio as a very strong contender to Shakespeare’s literary throne.

Jonathan Bate

In The Genius of Shakespeare[157], Shakespeare's scholar Jonathan Bate pointed out that Florio's authorship is more difficult to refute than the other hypothesis:

"Given that Shakespeare knew Florio and his works, the view that Shakespeare's work was indeed written by Florio is more difficult to refute than the hypothesis that an aristocrat hid behind his name ...But since Florio was not an Englishman, the hypothesis never made much headway."

Bate also points out that the main problem of Florio's authorship is not due to the lack of evidences, but rather is concerned with his foreign origins:

The alternative possibility, that the plays [of Shakespeare] must have been written by an Italian, has never found favour: perish the thought that the works of Shakespeare might have been written by a foreigner.[158]


  1. url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315618401, title=Shakespeare, Italy, and Transnational Exchange, date=2017-05-12, publisher=Routledge, doi=10.4324/9781315618401, isbn=978-1-315-61840-1, De Francisci Enza, Stamatakis Chris
  2. Stephen Greenblatt, Will In The World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, Pimlico, 2005, p. 227.
  3. Florio John, url=https://www.google.it/books/edition/Florio_s_First_fruites/ChvPAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=first+fruites+john+florio&printsec=frontcover%7Ctitle=Florio's First fruites: facsimile reproduction of the original edition, Re Arundell del, date=1936, publisher=Taihoku Imperial University, language=it
  4. Marshburn J. H.,Chambrun Clara Longworth de, date=1960, title=Shakespeare: A Portrait Restored, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/40114402, journal=Books Abroad, volume=34, issue=1, pages=74, doi=10.2307/40114402, jstor=40114402, issn=0006-7431
  5. Bradbrook M. C., Simonini R. C., date=January 1953, title=Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2866566, journal=Shakespeare Quarterly, volume=4 issue=1, pages=93, doi=10.2307/2866566, jstor=2866566, issn=0037-3222
  6. Boutcher Warren, date=1997-01-XX, title='A French Dexterity, & an Italian Confidence', url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/ref_1997_2_1_004, journal=Reformation, volume=2, issue=1, pages=39–109, doi=10.1179/ref_1997_2_1_004, issn=1357-4175
  7. DE. CHAMBRUN, CLARA LONGWORTH, url=https://www.worldcat.org/title/giovanni-florio-un-apotre-de-la-renaissance-en-angleterre-a-lepoque-de-shakespeare/oclc/1284622424&referer=brief_results, title=Giovanni florio, un apotre de la renaissance en angleterre a l'epoque de shakespeare (classic ... reprint)., date=2016, publisher=FORGOTTEN Books, isbn=978-1-334-05264-4, oclc=982936533
  8. Charles Simonini, R.C. Rinaldo, url=https://www.worldcat.org/title/italian-scholarship-in-renaissance-england/oclc/906121956, title=Italian scholarship in Renaissance England, date=1952, publisher=University of North Carolina, oclc=906121956
  9. Bradbrook M. C., Simonini R. C., date=January 1953, title=Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2866566, journal=Shakespeare Quarterly, volume=4, issue=1, pages=93, doi=10.2307/2866566, jstor=2866566, issn=0037-3222
  10. Shakespeare: "Val. I have loved her since I saw her; and I still see her beautiful Speed. If you love her, you cannot see her. Val. Why? Speed. Because Love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes: or your eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir Protens for going ungartered! (II. i. 73-79)" John Florio: "Oh deare brother, I am in love With a woman, the which is So cruel, that she wyl neither see me, neither heare me, the which thing maketh me almost die. Alas brother, will you let love Vanquish you, the which is but A boy, blind & seeth not? Alas, for al that he is but a boy, he hath great strenght, for al that he is blynd, he seeth. But how can this thing be? Aske of them that have made proofe of it.
  11. John Florio, First Fruites: "Ho, ho, who goeth there? I am your friend. What is your name: I am called A. You are well met. And so be you also. Pardon me, for I know you not. I beleve you certis. Where have you been so late? I have ben forth at supper with A friend of myne."
  12. John Florio, First Fruites, page 37: Wel, tel me which is the oldest thing that is. Truely, I know not. I pray you tel me. God is the oldest thing. Because he hath alwayes ben, & never had beginning… You have not erred: but tel me, what is the swiftest thing that is? The swiftest thing that is, I beleeve it be the mynd of man, for in a moment he is here, and now he is there, now in one place, now in another." The gravediggers in Hamlet use the same device to amuse themselves while they work: "Frist Clown. I’ll put another question to thee: if thon answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself-- Second Clown. Go to. First Clo. What is he that builds stronger then either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? Sec. Clo. The gallow-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants. (V. i. 42-50; see also V- i. 51-68)." Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England, Rinaldo C. Simonini · 1952, University of North Carolina, p. 92
    [1] John Florio, First Fruites, page 37.
  13. Bradbrook M. C., Simonini R. C., date=January 1953, title=Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England., url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2866566, journal=Shakespeare Quarterly, volume=4, issue=1, pages=93, doi=10.2307/2866566, jstor=2866566, issn=0037-3222
  14. Florio, Second Frutes, pp. 93-111, Hamlet, Iiii – Simonini pg. 95
  15. Rinaldo, Charles, Simonini, Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England, Rinaldo C. Simonini · 1952, University of North Carolina, p. 95
  16. Verfasser Yates, Frances A. 1899-1981, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1106768408, title=A study of Love's labour's lost, date=2013, publisher=Cambridge Univ. Press,isbn=978-1-107-69598-6, oclc=1106768408
  17. Venus and Adonis (Titian), date=2020-12-23, url=https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Venus_and_Adonis_(Titian)&oldid=995903735, work=Wikipedia, language=en, access-date=2021-04-16
  18. John Florio, First Fruites, p. 28
  19. Rinaldo Charles Simonini, Italian Scholarship in Renaissance England, Rinaldo C. Simonini · 1952, University of North Carolina, page 99
  20. Starnes, T. Dewitt, John Florio Reconsidered, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 6 N. 4 (Winter 1965) pp-407-422.
  21. Starnes, T. Dewitt, John Florio Reconsidered, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 6 N. 4 (Winter 1965) pp-407-422.
  22. Armstron Guyda, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/9781442664234, title=The English Boccaccio|date=2013-01-31, publisher=University of Toronto Press, isbn=978-1-4426-6423-4, location=Toronto, doi=10.3138/9781442664234
  23. The essays of Montaigne. Done into English by John Florio,1603
  24. Greenes, Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance (1592)
  25. Verfasser Yates, Frances A. 1899-1981, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1106768408, title=A study of Love's labour's lost, date=2013, publisher=Cambridge Univ. Press, isbn=978-1-107-69598-6, pages=40, oclc=1106768408
  26. A. Yates, Frances, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1023259412, title=John florio: the life of an italian in shakespeares england., date=14 April 2011, isbn=978-0-521-17074-1, oclc=1023259412
  27. title=Ortho-epia Gallica Eliots fruits for the French: enterlaced vvith a double nevv inuention, vvhich teacheth to speake truely, speedily and volubly the French-tongue. Pend for the practise, pleasure, and profit of all English gentlemen, who will endeuour by their owne paine, studie, and dilligence, to attaine the naturall accent, the true pronounciation, the swift and glib grace of this noble, famous, and courtly language., url=https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A21218.0001.001?view=toc, access-date=2021-04-22, website=quod.lib.umich.edu
  28. Boutcher Warren, date=1997-01-XX, title='A French Dexterity, & an Italian Confidence', url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/ref_1997_2_1_004, journal=Reformation, volume=2, issue=1, pages=39–109, p.- 74, doi=10.1179/ref_1997_2_1_004, issn=1357-4175
  29. 1553?-1625. Florio, John url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/606485944, title=A vvorlde of wordes, or Most copious, and exact dictionarie in Italian and English, collected by Iohn Florio. date=1598, publisher=By Arnold Hatfield for Edw. Blount, oclc=606485944
  30. Willcock G. D., del Re Arundell, Florio, date=October 1937, title=Florio's First Fruites, url=https://www.jstor.org/stable/3715270?origin=crossref, journal=The Modern Language Review, volume=32, issue=4, pages=XIII, doi=10.2307/3715270, jstor=3715270|issn=0026-7937
  31. List of settings for Shakespeare's plays - Folgerpedia, url=https://folgerpedia.folger.edu/List_of_settings_for_Shakespeare%27s_plays, access-date=2021-04-16, website=folgerpedia.folger.edu
  32. Shakespeare's Italian journey, , url=https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/shakespeares-italian-journeys, access-date=2021-04-16, website=The British Library
  33. John Mullan, Shakespeare and Italy, British Library, 2016 (https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/shakespeare-and-italy)
  34. Shakespeare and Italy, url=https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/shakespeare-and-italy, access-date=2021-04-16, website=The British Library
  35. 1922-2010, Roe, Richard Paul, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/844947430, title=The Shakespeare guide to Italy : retracing the Bard's unknown travels, date=2011, publisher=Harper Perennial, isbn=978-0-06-207426-3, oclc=844947430
  36. Ernesto Grillo, Shakespeare and Italy, Haskell House, 1973.
  37. An example from Second Frutes: “C. I am like the bagpipes of Bologna, who can never play, untill they be full. H. Tis better to bee like them, than those of Mantoa, who went to plaie, and were plaide upon.”
  38. Some examples: “Zóccoli, woodden pattins, startops, galashes or chopinos, so called because they are made of a Zócco.” “Vrsẻra, a kind of ship for burdens vsed anciently among the Venetians.” “ Laríno, a kinde of coine in Ormuz, sixe of which make eight venetian pounds.” “Poleséne, a Venetian word, as much to say, halfe or almost an Island. Also a plot of good ground among fennes and marishes.” “Balleríno, as Ballaríno. Also hee that giues or leades a bride to her husband in Venice.”
  39. Best Michael, title=Shakespeare's Machiavelli :: Life and Times :: Internet Shakespeare Editions, url=https://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/new%20knowledge/machiavelli2.html#read, access-date=2021-04-22, website=internetshakespeare.uvic.ca
  40. Alan, Roe, John, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/186096192, title=Shakespeare and Machiavelli, date=2002, publisher=D.S. Brewer, isbn=0-85991-764-9, oclc=186096192
  41. Soko Tomita, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Italian Books Printed in England, 1558-1603, Routledge, 2009.
  42. Hugh Grady, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Montaigne Power and Subjectivity from Richard II to Hamlet, Oxford, 2002.; See also, Mario Pratz, John Florio, in Machiavelli in Inghilterra e altri saggi; Rome, Tumminelli, 1942, 165-172; Mario Pratz, L'Italia di Shakespeare, in Machiavelli in Inghilterra e altri saggi, Rome, Tumminelli, 1942, 173-194.
  43. A. Yates, Frances, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1023259412, title=John florio: the life of an italian in shakespeares england. date=14 April 2011, isbn=978-0-521-17074-1, oclc=1023259412
  44. Aasan Hardin, date=2005, title=Tom Clayton, Susan Brock and Vincente Forés, eds. Shakespeare and the Mediterranean. The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association. World Congress, Valencia, 2001. Newark, DE and Cranbury, NJ : University of Delaware Press/AUP, 2004. 468 pp. index. append. illus. $69.50. ISBN: 0-874-13816-7., url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/ren.2008.0683, journal=Renaissance Quarterly, volume=58, issue=2, pages=740–742, doi=10.1353/ren.2008.0683|s2cid=161775671, issn=0034-4338
  45. Gary Taylor, Shakespeare and the Mediterranean, The Selected Proceedings of the International Shakespeare Association World Congress, Valencia, 2001, University of Delaware Press (April 1, 2004) p. 252
  46. Herbert G. Wright, The First English Translation of the 'Decameron' (1620), Univ., Engelska seminariet, 1953
  47. Spaggiari Barbara, date=2009-11-01, title=La presenza di Luigi Groto in Shakespeare e negli autori elisabettiani, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/italique.232, journal=Italique, issue=XII|pages=173–198, doi=10.4000/italique.232, issn=1423-3983
  48. Shakespeare's Italian journeys, url=https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/shakespeares-italian-journeys, access-date=2021-04-16, website=The British Library
  49. The Merchant of Venice, Royal Shakespeare Company, url=https://www.rsc.org.uk/the-merchant-of-venice, website=www.rsc.org.uk
  50. Roger Prior, Tasso’s Aminta in Two Shakespearian Comedies, Notes and Queries, 51 (2004): 269–76.
  51. Marianna Iannaccone, John Florio’s Italian & English Sonnets, Lulu, 2021, p. 10.
  52. Iannaccone Marianna, "DRAW IF YOU BE MEN: JOHN FLORIO, SAVIOLO'S HOST", "Resolute John Florio", URL= "https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2020/06/03/vincentio-saviolo-john-florio/"
  53. Rossi, S., Duelling in the Italian manner: the case of Romeo and Juliet, in Michele Marrapodi, A., J. Hoenselaars, Marcello Cappuzzo and L. Falzon Santucci eds., Shakespeare’s Italy: functions of Italian locations in Renaissance Drama, rev. edn, Manchester, pp., 112-24, p. 114.
  54. Benno Tschischwitz, Shakespeare Forschungen, 1868.
  55. Christian Bartholmess , Jordano Bruno , Paris , 1846
  56. William König , Shakespeare Jahrbuch , 1876
  57. Julia Jones “The Brave New World of Giordano Bruno (A Tribute to Giordano Bruno on the Eve of The Four Hundredth Anniversary of his Death and Martyrdom Fevruary 17, 2000
  58. Julia Jones “The Brave New World of Giordano Bruno (A Tribute to Giordano Bruno on the Eve of The Four Hundredth Anniversary of his Death and Martyrdom Fevruary 17, 2000, p. 22.
  59. Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii
  60. Julia Jones “The Brave New World of Giordano Bruno (A Tribute to Giordano Bruno on the Eve of The Four Hundredth Anniversary of his Death and Martyrdom Fevruary 17, 2000, p. 21.
  61. Hamlet, Act I, Scene v, lines 166-167.
  62. Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii, 191-192.
  63. Julia Jones “The Brave New World of Giordano Bruno (A Tribute to Giordano Bruno on the Eve of The Four Hundredth Anniversary of his Death and Martyrdom Fevruary 17, 2000
  64. Hilary Gatti, Il teatro della coscienza, Giordano Bruno e Amleto, Roma, Bulzoni, 1998.
  65. Julia Jones, The Brave New World of Giordano Bruno, A Tribute to Giordano Bruno on the Eve of The Four Hundredth Anniversary of his Death and Martyrdom February 17, 2000, p.23.
  66. Giordano Bruno, Il Candelaio, Act II, Scene I.
  67. Amalia Buono Hodghart, Love's Labour's Lost di William Shakespeare e il. Candelaio di Giordano Bruno, Studi secenteschi 19 (​1978) 3-21.
  68. Iannaccone Marianna, “Resolute John Florio", "At The French Embassy", URL= https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2019/09/19/french-embassy-1583/
  69. John Florio, “To the Corteous Reader”, Montaigne’s Essays, 1603.
  70. Giovanni Gentile’s review of Longworth de Chambrun’s book, Giovanni Florio: un apotre de la Renaissance en Angleterre a l’epoque de Shakespeare (1921), in G. Gentile, Opere, Vol. XV, Studi sul Rinascimento, Sansoni, Firenze, 1968, pp.343-346.
  71. V. Spampanato, Giovanni Florio, un amico del Bruno in Inghilterra (1923-1924), in Sulla soglia del Seicento, Studi su Bruno, Campanella ed altri, Società editrice Dante Aligheri, Milano-Roma-Napoli, 1926, pp.67-126.
  72. Spampanato, V., Giovanni Florio, Un amico del Bruno in Inghilterra, La Critica. Rivista di Letteratura, Storia e Filosofia diretta da B. Croce, 21, 1923; 22, 1924
  73. Amy Drake, Commedia Dell’Arte Influences on Shakespearean Plays: The Tempest, Love’s Labor's Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew, Literary Magazines, 2004
  74. Sciences Arts &, date=2015-07-07, title=Commedia dell'Arte & the Tragicomedy: Shakespeare's Italian Influences, url=https://artsci.wustl.edu/ampersand/commedia-dellarte-tragicomedy-shakespeares-italian-influences, access-date=2021-04-16, website=Arts & Sciences, language=en
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  76. Robert Henke, "Shakespeare and the Commedia dell' Arte", Washington University in St. Louis, “Shakespeare and the Commedia Dell'Arte” as part of the 2015-2016 Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Lecture Series. See also Robert Henke Performance and Literature in the Commedia dell'Arte, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  77. Artemis. Preeshl, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1055301410, title=Shakespeare and commedia dell'arte : play by play|date=2017, publisher=Taylor & Francis Ltd, isbn=978-1-317-23040-3, oclc=1055301410
  78. Valentina. Capocci, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/587020, title=Genio e mestiere; Shakespeare e la commedia dell'arte., date=1950, publisher=G. Laterza, oclc=587020
  79. Richard Whalen, his Commedia dell’arte in Othello: A satiric comedy ending in tragedy, Brief Chronicles Vol. III (2011)
  80. Kevin Gilvary, 2007, The Tempest as an Italian Pastoral Comedy, Paper presented at the Shakespeare in Italy Conference, Utrecth, Netherlands.
  81. Iannaccone Marianna, "John Florio's Will: The official documents", "Resolute John Florio", URL= " https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2020/01/29/john-florio-will/"
  82. Naseeb Shaheen, The Cambridge Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare's times, texts, and stages Di Catherine M. S. Alexander · 2003 Cambridge University Press
  83. « Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto » : Shakespeare, Jonson et la langue italienne Published in Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, 22 | 2005
  84. Shaheen, Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Italian, p.163
  85. Shaheen, Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Italian, p. 169
  86. Jason. Lawrence, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/957330410, title=Who the Devil Taught Thee So Much Italian? Italian language learning and literary imitation in early modern England|date=2014, publisher=Manchester University Press, isbn=978-1-84779-439-0, oclc=957330410
  87. Camard, Petrucchio, I shall be your benvenuto, p. 39-53
  88. Keir Elam, 2007 ‘At the cubiculo’: Shakespeare’s Problems with Italian Language and Culture”, in Italian Culture in the Drama of Shakespeare & his Contemporaries.
  89. A. Yates, Frances, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/1023259412, title=John florio: the life of an italian in shakespeares england., isbn=978-0-521-17074-1, pages=226, oclc=1023259412
  90. Frampton Saul, title=Who edited Shakespeare?, url=https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/12/who-edited-shakespeare-john-florio
  91. date=2015-09-27, title=Shakespeare's encounter with Michel de Montaigne, url=https://blog.oup.com/2015/09/shakespeare-michel-de-montaigne-john-florio/, access-date=2021-04-21, website=OUPblog, language=en
  92. Laura Orsi, William Shakespeare e John Florio: una prima analisi comparata linguistico-stilistica, (Memoria presentata dal s.c. Giuliano Pisani nell’adunanza del 16 aprile 2016) Estratto Atti e Memorie dell’Accademia Galileiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti già dei Ricovrati e Patavina Volume CXXVIII (2015-2016) Parte III: Memorie della Classe di Scienze Morali, Lettere ed Arti.
  93. Jane Kingsley-Smith,Shakespeare’s Drama of Exile, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
  94. Fang Kang, Exile, Deception and Magic Revelation: A Thematic Exploration of Shakespeare’s Pastorals of Love, Studies in Literature and Language , Vol 11, No 6 (2015)
  95. Jane Kingsley-Smith, Shakespeare’s Drama of Exile, 2003, p. 1
  96. Lamberto Tassinari, John Florio: The Case for Shakespeare as Exile, The IATC webjournal/Revue web de l'AICT – December 2011: Issue No 5
  97. Marshburn J. H., |Chambrun Clara Longworth de, date=1960, title=Shakespeare: A Portrait Restored, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/40114402, journal=Books Abroad, volume=34, issue=1, pages=74, doi=10.2307/40114402, jstor=40114402, issn=0006-7431
  98. Frampton Saul, date=2013-07-12, title=Who edited Shakespeare?, url=http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/12/who-edited-shakespeare-john-florio, access-date=2021-04-19, website=The Guardian, language=en
  99. Rasmussen E. Who edited the Shakespeare First Folio? Cahiers Élisabéthains. 2017;93(1):70-76. doi:10.1177/0184767817697300
  100. Rasmussen E. Who edited the Shakespeare First Folio? Cahiers Élisabéthains. 2017;93(1):70-76, p. 73. doi:10.1177/0184767817697300
  101. Stuart Kells, Shakespeare's Library: Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature, Counterpoint , 2019, p. 214.
  102. Montini, Donatella, John Florio and the Decameron: Notes on Style and Voice, in Boccaccio and the European literary tradition, edited by Piero Boitani and Emilia DI Rocco (Roma, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2014) p. 93.
  103. Jeremy Lester, The “Ayde of his Muses?” The Renaissance of John Florio and William Shakespeare, Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism, http://ejournals.lib.auth.gr/gramma/article/view/6129
  104. Hughes Merritt Y., Yates Frances A., date=April 1936, title=John Florio. The Life of an Italian in Shakespeare's England., url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2912127, journal=Modern Language Notes, volume=51, issue=4, pages=266, doi=10.2307/2912127, jstor=2912127, issn=0149-6611
  105. Kent History and Library Centre, U269/1/OE266: "We see by this record petition that the request had been productive of effect, & procured him some relief from the Lord Treasurer."
  106. Iannaccone, Marianna, "Resolute John Florio", "Groom of the Privy Chamber", URL= https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2019/09/19/groom-of-the-privy-chamber/
  107. Giulia Harding, John Florio and The Sonnets, Part I, www.shakespeareandflorio.net.
  108. Amelia. Yates, Frances, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/174839079, title=John Florio : the life of an Italian in Shakespeare's England, date=1968, publisher=Octagon Book, oclc=174839079
  109. Iannaccone Marianna, John Florio’s Italian & English Sonnets, Lulu, 2021, ISBN 978-1716114977
  110. Iannaccone Marianna, John Florio’s Italian & English Sonnets, Lulu, 2021, ISBN 978-1716114977, p. 38.
  111. Jonathan. Bate, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/38067661, title=The genius of Shakespeare, date=1998, publisher=Oxford University Press, isbn=0-19-512823-0, pages=57, oclc=38067661
  112. Iannaccone Marianna, John Florio’s Italian & English Sonnets, Lulu, 2021, ISBN 978-1716114977, p. 6
  113. de. Chambrun, Clara Longworth Comtesse, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/651728931, title=Shakespeare, actor poet., date=1927, publisher=[publisher not identified], oclc=651728931
  114. Arcangeli Alessandro, date=2005-11-01, title=Les Second Fruits de John Florio ou la vie comme un jeu, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/shakespeare.651, journal=Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, issue=23, pages=11–24, doi=10.4000/shakespeare.651, issn=2271-6424
  115. Iannaccone, Marianna, "Resolute John Florio", "Tutor of Henry Wriothesley", URL= https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2019/09/19/john-florio-tutor-henry-wriothesley/
  116. Marshburn J. H., Chambrun Clara Longworth de, date=1960, title=Shakespeare: A Portrait Restored, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/40114402, journal=Books Abroad, volume=34, issue=1, pages=74, doi=10.2307/40114402, jstor=40114402, issn=0006-7431
  117. Just to name a few: Alison Wall, The Feud and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: a Reconsideration, Sidney Studies; A. L. Rowse, Shakespeare and the Danvers-Long Feud, The Spectator, 16 FEBRUARY 1985, Page 31; Sasha Roberts, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, NorthCote House, 1998.
  118. Iannaccone Marianna, title=John Florio and the Danvers-Long Feud, url=https://www.academia.edu/43405189, language=en
  119. Some examples: Ladan Niayesh, ”Make it a word and a blow”: The Duel and Its Rhetoric in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01880178/document; JOAN OZARK HOLMER, "Draw, if you be men": Saviolo's Significance for Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Summer, 1994), pp. 163-189 (27 pages) Published By: Oxford University Press, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2871216;
  120. Aylward J. D., date=1950-05-27, title=Saviolo's Ghost, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nq/cxcv.may27.226, journal=Notes and Queries, volume=CXCV, issue=may27, pages=226–229, doi=10.1093/nq/cxcv.may27.226, issn=1471-6941
  121. Iannaccone Marianna, title="Draw if you be men": John Florio, Saviolo's ghost., url=https://www.academia.edu/43244171, language=en
  122. John Florio, Second Frutes, Chapter 7: "E. Hee will hit any man, bee it with a thrust or stoccada, with an imbroccada or a charging blowe,with a right or reverse blowe, be it with the edge, with the back, or with the ßat, even as it liketh him."
  123. Frampton Nicholas, date=10 June 2014, title=Shakespeare's Montaigne review, work=The Guardian, url=https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/10/shakespeares-montaigne-john-florio-review
  124. II, I, Lines 150-167
  125. Florio, John. the Essays of Montaigne Done into English, 1603, page 258
  126. Shakespeare William, editor1=Garye Taylor, editor2=John Jowett, editor3=Terri Bourus, editor4=Gabriel Egan, title=The Tempest, date=1623-01-01; url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oseo/instance.00148673, work=The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition, pages=3069, publisher=Oxford University Press, doi=10.1093/oseo/instance.00148673, isbn=978-0-19-959115-2, access-date=2021-04-21
  127. title=Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind, url=https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/montaigne-and-shakespeare-two-great-writers-one-mind, access-date=2021-04-21, website=www.newstatesman.com, language=en
  128. title=Montaigne and "The Tempest", url=https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/montaigne-and-tempest/, access-date=2021-04-21, website=Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
  129. Taylor George Coffin, date=1925-12-31, title=Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674434219, doi=10.4159/harvard.9780674434219, hdl=2027/mdp.39015010297995, isbn=9780674431959
  130. Taylor George Coffin, date=1925-12-31, title=Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674434219, doi=10.4159/harvard.9780674434219, hdl=2027/mdp.39015010297995, isbn=9780674431959
  131. url=http://dx.doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674434219.c1, year=1925, place=Cambridge, MA and London, England, publisher=Harvard University Press, doi=10.4159/harvard.9780674434219.c1, hdl=2027/mdp.39015010297995, isbn=978-0-674-43421-9, access-date=2021-04-21, title=Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne
  132. George Coffin Taylor, 1925 Shakespere’s Debt to Montaigne, p. 42.
  133. T. S. Eliot, ‘Shakespeare and Montaigne’, p. 895
  134. title=Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind, url=https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/montaigne-and-shakespeare-two-great-writers-one-mind, access-date=2021-04-21, website=www.newstatesman.com, language=en
  135. title=Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind, url=https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/montaigne-and-shakespeare-two-great-writers-one-mind, access-date=2021-04-21, website=www.newstatesman.com, language=en
  136. title=Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind, url=https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/montaigne-and-shakespeare-two-great-writers-one-mind, access-date=2021-04-21, website=www.newstatesman.com, language=en
  137. title=Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind, url=https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/07/montaigne-and-shakespeare-two-great-writers-one-mind, access-date=2021-05-01, website=www.newstatesman.com|language=en
  138. Bate Jonathan, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvc77dbs, title=How the Classics Made Shakespeare, date=2019-04-16, publisher=Princeton University Press, doi=10.2307/j.ctvc77dbs, isbn=978-0-691-18563-7
  139. Hamlin William M., title=Florio's Theatrical Montaigne, date=2013-11-14, url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684113.003.0002, work=Montaigne's English Journey, pages=35–49, publisher=Oxford University Press, doi=10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684113.003.0002, isbn=978-0-19-968411-3, access-date=2021-04-21
  140. Stephen Greenblatt and Peter G. Platt, eds., Shakespeare's Montaigne: The Florio Translation of the Essays, A Selection (New York: New York Review of Books, 2014.)
  141. F. O. Matthiessen, Translation: an Elizabethan art, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  142. Matthiensen, Translation, cit., pg 146.
  143. Iannaccone, Marianna, "Resolute John Florio: Montaigne's Essays": URL: https://www.resolutejohnflorio.com/2019/11/23/montaignes-essays/ n
  144. Matthiessen, Translation, p. 147
  145. Matthiessen, Translation an Elizabethan art, p. 161.
  146. Translation, an Elizabethan art by Matthiessen, F. O. (Francis Otto), New York, Octagon Books, 1965, p. 161.
  147. Spencer Baynes Thomas, date=1902, title=Encyclopedia Britannica, url=https://www.1902encyclopedia.com/S/SHA/william-shakespeare-31.html, url-status=live
  148. 1823-1887., Baynes, Thomas Spencer, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/456907680, title=Shakespeare Studies and Essay on English dictionaries, by the late Thomas Spencer Baynes ... with a biographical preface, by professor Lewis Campbell., date=1894, publisher=Longmans, Green and C̊, oclc=456907680
  149. Santi. PALADINO, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/562690871, title=Un Italiano autore delle opere shakespeariane, etc. [Arguing that the works of Shakespeare were written by Michel Angelo Florio, assisted by John Florio.]., date=1955, oclc=562690871
  150. DE. CHAMBRUN, CLARA LONGWORTH, url=https://www.worldcat.org/title/giovanni-florio-un-apotre-de-la-renaissance-en-angleterre-a-lepoque-de-shakespeare/oclc/1284622424&referer=brief_results, date=2016, publisher=FORGOTTEN Books, isbn=978-1-334-05264-4, oclc=982936533
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  152. 1921-, Saalbach, Franz Maximilian, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/23196902, title=William Shakespeare, alias Mercutio Florio, date=1954, oclc=23196902
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  154. Saul., first=Gerevini, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/955644386, title=William Shakespeare, ovvero John Florio, un fiorentino alla conquista del mondo, date=2008, publisher=Pilgrim, isbn=978-88-95569-07-9, oclc=955644386
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  156. Lamberto. Tassinari, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/729936234, title=John Florio : the man who was Shakespeare, date=2009, publisher=Giano, isbn=978-2-9810358-1-3, oclc=729936234
  157. Jonathan. Bate, url=http://worldcat.org/oclc/38067661, title=The genius of Shakespeare, date=1998, publisher=Oxford University Press, isbn=0-19-512823-0, oclc=38067661
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