Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

Edited by Charlotte Coffin, Agnès Lafont and Janice Valls-Russell

Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1768-7
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: September 2017
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / General, Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism


This volume proposes new insights into the uses of classical mythology by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, focusing on interweaving processes in early modern appropriations of myth. Its 11 essays show how early modern writing intertwines diverse myths and plays with variant versions of individual myths that derive from multiple classical sources, as well as medieval, Tudor and early modern retellings and translations. Works discussed include poems and plays by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and others. Essays concentrate on specific plays including The Merchant of Venice and Dido Queen of Carthage, tracing interactions between myths, chronicles, the Bible and contemporary genres. Mythological figures are considered to demonstrate how the weaving together of sources deconstructs gendered representations. New meanings emerge from these readings, which open up methodological perspectives on multi-textuality, artistic appropriation and cultural hybridity.


Janice Valls-Russell is employed by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier, where she coordinates early modern research projects

Agnès Lafont is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier

Charlotte Coffin is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne


Introduction: 'Ariachne's broken woof' - Janice Valls-Russell, Agnès Lafont and Charlotte Coffin
1 Shakespeare's mythological feuilletage: A methodological induction - Yves Peyré
2 The non-Ovidian Elizabethan epyllion: Thomas Watson, Christopher Marlowe, Richard Barnfield - Tania Demetriou
3 'This realm is an empire': Tales of origins in medieval and early modern France and England - Dominique Goy-Blanquet
4 Trojan shadows in Shakespeare's King John - Janice Valls-Russell
5 Venetian Jasons, parti-coloured lambs and a tainted wether: Ovine tropes and the Golden Fleece in The Merchant of Venice - Atsuhiko Hirota
6 Fifty ways to kill your brother: Medea and the poetics of fratricide in early modern English literature - Katherine Heavey
7 'She, whom Jove transported into Crete': Europa, between consent and rape - Gaëlle Ginestet
8 Subtle weavers, mythological interweavings and feminine political agency: Penelope and Arachne in early modern drama - Nathalie Rivère de Carles
9 Multi-layered conversations in Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage - Agnès Lafont
10 Burlesque or neoplatonic? Popular or elite? The shifting value of classical mythology in Love's Mistress - Charlotte Coffin
11 Pygmalion, once and future myth: Instead of a conclusion - Ruth Morse

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