Shakespeare's Ovid and the Spectre of the Medieval
Lindsay Ann Reid
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Belletristik / Dramatik
The debt owed by Shakespeare to Ovid is a major and important topic in scholarship. This book offers a fresh approach to the subject, in aiming to account for the Middle English literary lenses through which Shakespeare and his contemporaries often approached Greco-Roman mythology. Drawing its principal examples from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Lucrece, and Twelfth Night, it reinvestigates a selection of moments in Shakespeare's works that have been widely identified in previous criticism as "Ovidian", scrutinising their literary alchemy with an eye to uncovering how ostensibly classical references may be haunted by the under-acknowledged, spectral presences of medieval intertexts and traditions. Its central concern is the mutual hauntings of Ovid, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Gower in the early modern literary imagination; it demonstrates that "Ovidian" allusions to mythological figures such as Ariadne, Philomela, or Narcissus in Shakespeare's dramatic and poetic works were sometimes simultaneously mediated by the hermeneutic and affective legacies of earlier vernacular texts, including The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, and the Confessio Amantis. LINDSAY ANN REID is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.