La pancia di Falstaff – Caroline Patey – Stratagemmi 31
Falstaff ’s Belly
Falstaff ’s enormous belly has become part of our collective imagination, endlessly represented and smiled at in art, literature, music and cinema. This essay explores the various meanings of such outrageous corpulence. Is it a residual image of the medieval Carnival, or on the other hand an example of the Renaissance focus on the bodily senses and their values? These pages try to place Sir Jack on the background of the sixteenth-century culture of appetite and hunger while arguing that Falstaff ’s transgressions with food and drink are the mirror of William Shakespeare’s cultural and linguistic freedom.