Shakespeare's Troy: Drama, Politics, and the Translation of Empire

Overview

Heather James argues that Shakespeare's use of Virgil, Ovid and other classical sources demonstrates the appropriation of classical authority in the interests of developing a national myth. She goes on to distinguish Shakespeare's deployment of the myth--notably in Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, and The Tempest--from "official" Tudor and Stuart ideology, and to show how Shakespeare participates in the larger cultural project of finding historical legitimacy for Britain as a realm asserting...
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Overview

Heather James argues that Shakespeare's use of Virgil, Ovid and other classical sources demonstrates the appropriation of classical authority in the interests of developing a national myth. She goes on to distinguish Shakespeare's deployment of the myth--notably in Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, and The Tempest--from "official" Tudor and Stuart ideology, and to show how Shakespeare participates in the larger cultural project of finding historical legitimacy for Britain as a realm asserting its status as an empire.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A major contribution to understanding Shakespeare's poetic traditions, this volume consistently illuminates the presence of Vergil and Ovid in Shakespeare's language." N. Lukacher, Choice

"James's readings of the plays are strong and convincing, and her reevaluation of the iconography of the theater remains a valuable critical enterprise." Rachana Sachdev, Review

"...much of what James says in this often provocative book is compelling....James's book is well worth reading..." Comparative Literature

"The book makes a significant contribution to Shakespeare studies through foregrounding the myth of Trojan origins and through challenging traditional interpretations of it as a vehicle primarily for praise of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs." Sara Hanna, Clio

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; acknowledgements; Introduction: Shakespeare's fatal Cleopatra; 1. Shakespeare and the Troy legend; 2. Blazoning injustices: mutilating Titus Andronicus, Virgil and Rome; 3. 'Tricks we play on the dead': making history in Troilus and Cressida; 4. To earn a place in the story: resisting the Aeneid in Antony and Cleopatra; 5. Cymbeline's mingle-mangle: Britain's Roman histories; 6. 'How came that widow in?': allusion, politics and the theatre in The Tempest; Notes; Index.
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