“Antonio, il mercante della nostra storia”: Adapting The Merchant of Venice for Italian Children
This essay discusses the challenges of adapting Shakespeare’s play in narrative form for young readers. It cites the history of such adaptation, thinking about the ‘set of instructions’ authors have provided child readers to respond to the problematic elements of the play (usury, religious and personal prejudice, mercenary marriages, homosexual attraction, cuckoldry). It tracks Tosi’s experience of translating/adapting the play and examines the narrative and ideological choices she made in her illustrated version (2015). The power of this story for children, Tosi argues, lies in its potential to ask questions relevant to their lives today.