Robert Armin’s Foole upon Foole was published in 1600, i.e. when Armin had been a member of the Chamberlain’s Men for only about a year, under the pseudonym “Clonnico de Curtanio Snuff” (Snuff, the clown of the Curtain). A revision of the pamphlet was issued in 1608, with the author’s real name and a new title – A Nest of Ninnies –, but in this version Armin added a pseudo-philosophical frame consisting of a dialogue between Lady World and Sotto, while reproducing the tales connected to the previous six natural fools presented in Foole upon Foole. On the one hand the epigraph on the title page (“Stultorum plena sunt omnia”) seems to connect this new version of Armin’s work to the Erasmian tradition of The Praise of Folly, but on the other the frame and some speeches exchanged in the sections which precede and follow the tales, appear to look back to the allegorical world of the morality plays. The paper analyzes the idea of folly which underpins Armin’s two ‘Specula stultorum’, and evaluates how the writer describes the fools he presents, especially from a physical and physiognomic point of view.

“These sixe parts of folly”: Robert Armin’s moralizing anatomy of fools’ jests

MULLINI, ROBERTA
2014-01-01

Abstract

Robert Armin’s Foole upon Foole was published in 1600, i.e. when Armin had been a member of the Chamberlain’s Men for only about a year, under the pseudonym “Clonnico de Curtanio Snuff” (Snuff, the clown of the Curtain). A revision of the pamphlet was issued in 1608, with the author’s real name and a new title – A Nest of Ninnies –, but in this version Armin added a pseudo-philosophical frame consisting of a dialogue between Lady World and Sotto, while reproducing the tales connected to the previous six natural fools presented in Foole upon Foole. On the one hand the epigraph on the title page (“Stultorum plena sunt omnia”) seems to connect this new version of Armin’s work to the Erasmian tradition of The Praise of Folly, but on the other the frame and some speeches exchanged in the sections which precede and follow the tales, appear to look back to the allegorical world of the morality plays. The paper analyzes the idea of folly which underpins Armin’s two ‘Specula stultorum’, and evaluates how the writer describes the fools he presents, especially from a physical and physiognomic point of view.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2602780
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