Shakespeare's Ovid

Shakespeare's Ovid : The Metamorphoses in the Plays and Poems

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Ovid's great poem, Metamorphoses, was a source of life long fascination and inspiration for Shakespeare. He drew on its great myths throughout his career: in early works like Venus and Adonis and Titus Andronicus, works of the middle period like A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night, and late plays such as The Winter's Tale and The Tempest. This book provides a comprehensive examination of his use of Ovid's poem with contributions from international scholars. It begins by examining the use of Ovid's myth in early Elizabethan literature, a use dramatically changed by Marlowe and Shakespeare himself. It then offers detailed readings of Shakespeare's use of Ovid in a wide range of plays and poems, placing emphasis on several important but often underestimated features. The book also provides a survey of twentieth-century criticism and methodology in the field.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 340g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521030315
  • 9780521030311
  • 1,161,326

Table of contents

Notes on contributors; List of abbreviations and note on the text; Introduction; Part I. The Background to Shakespeare's Ovid: 1. Myths exploited: the metamorphoses of Ovid in early Elizabethan England Robert Maslen; 2. Ovid 'renascent' in Venus and Adonis and Hero and Leander John Roe; Part II. The Metamorphoses in the Plays and Poems: 3. 'And love you 'gainst the nature of love': Ovid, rape, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona William C. Carroll; 4. Animals in 'manly shape as too the outward showe': moralizing and metamorphosis in Titus Andronicus A. B. Taylor; 5. Venus and Adonis and Ovidian indecorous wit Pauline Kiernan; 6. Ovid, Petrarch, and Shakespeare's Sonnets Gordon Braden; 7. Pyramus and Thisbe in Shakespeare and Ovid Niall Rudd; 8. Niobe and the Nemean Lion: reading Hamlet in the light of Ovid's Metamorphoses Yves Peyre; 9. The Winter's Tale: Ovid transformed A. D. Nuttall; 10. Ovid, Golding, and the 'rough magic' of The Tempest Raphael Lyne; 11. Ovidian v(o)ices in Marlowe and Shakespeare: the Actaeon variations Francois Laroque; Part III. Shakespeare's Ovid in the Twentieth Century: 12. Shakespeare's Ovid in the twentieth century: a critical survey John Velz; List of works cited; 13. Shakespeare's Ovid, Ovid's Shakespeare: a methodological postscript Charles Martindale; Index.
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Review quote

'... this pleasing collection takes the scholarship of Ovid and Shakespeare forward in many subtle ways.' Review of English Studies 'Anyone with an interest in Shakespeare's poetical debts would benefit from this book.' New Theatre Quarterly '... wide ranging and valuable ...' Shakespeare Yearbook "This well-edited collection is a welcome contribution to the renewed interest in Ovid in Renaissance studies and, particularly, in Shakespeare scholarship." Renaissance and Reformation "...the volume presents a coherent portrait of the elusive poet who inspired Francis Meres to describe Shakespeare as the Elizabethan Ovid...The anthology unquestionably profits from Taylor's efforts to place the contributors on speaking terms and reward the reader who wishes to consider the book's overall themes and methods...It is a volume that should be read..." Renaissance Quarterly "...very good on the historical context in which Shakespeare's reception of Ovid occirred...and it offers some fine analyses of Shakespeare's use of Ovidian language." Ingo Gildenhard, King's College London and Andrew Zissos, University of California at Irvine
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About A. B. Taylor

Dr A. B. Taylor, formerly Dean of Humanities at the Swansea Institute, has published widely on Shakespeare and the Elizabethans in leading journals. Now a full-time writer, his other works include poetry, short stories and radio plays.
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