This book seeks to invert Ben Jonson's claim that Shakespeare had 'small Latin and less Greek' and to prove that, in fact, there is more Greek and less Latin in a significant group of Shakespeare's texts: a group whose generic hybridity (tragic-comical-historical-romance) exemplifies the hybridity of Greece in the early modern imagination. To early modern England, Greece was an enigma. It was the origin and idealised pinnacle of Western philosophy, tragedy, democracy, heroic human endeavour and, at the same time, an example of decadence: a fallen state, currently under Ottoman control, and therefore an exotic, dangerous, 'Other' in the most disturbing senses of the word. Indeed, while Britain was struggling to establish itself as a nation state and an imperial authority by emulating classical Greek models, this ambition was radically unsettled by early modern Greece's subjection to the Ottoman Empire, which rendered Europe's eastern borders dramatically vulnerable. Focussing, for the first time, on Shakespeare's 'Greek' texts (Venus and Adonis, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, Troilus and Cressida, Timon of Athens, King Lear, Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen), the volume considers how Shakespeare's use of antiquity and Greek myth intersects with early modern perceptions of the country and its empire.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 406 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
A fascinating collection that brilliantly teases out the tension between the order and authority of a classical Greece and the very different status and nature of a Greece under Ottoman rule. * Times Higher Education *
Shakespeare and Greece, a collection of essays edited by Alison Findlay and Vassiliki Markidou, contributes to a small but growing body of work addressing an important and understudied topic. Framed by an introduction situating the project in Shakespeare's literary and cultural landscape, the book's eight essays explore different intersections between Shakespeare and the Greek world. Their premises and methodologies vary, but together they make a strong case for the pervasiveness and importance of Shakespeare's Greek engagements ... This volume illuminates a rich topic, and opens inviting directions for further study. * Renaissance Quarterly *