Shakespeare and the Gods examines Shakespeare's many allusions to six classical gods (Jupiter, Diana, Venus, Mars, Hercules and Ceres) that enhance his readers' and audiences' understanding and enjoyment of his work. Vaughan explains their historical context, from their origins in ancient Greece to their appropriation in Rome and their role in medieval and early modern mythography. The book also illuminates Shakespeare's classical allusions by comparison to the work of contemporaries like Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson and Thomas Heywood and
explores allusive patterns that repeat throughout Shakespeare's canon. Each chapter concludes with a more focused reading of one or two plays in which the god appears or serves as an underlying motif. Shakespeare and the Gods highlights throughout the gods' participation in western constructions of gender as well as classical myth's role in changing attitudes toward human violence and sexuality.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
Virginia Mason Vaughan's Shakespeare and the Gods is a clear and intelligently useful guide to the scope and meaning of Shakespeare's allusions to major classical deities. This book deftly explores the ways in which Shakespeare serves as a major interpreter of these classical legends, to the extent that his plays and poems are the texts where we most fully and rewardingly encounter the rich classical tradition of sexual warfare reaching back to Homer, Virgil, and Ovid. -- David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, University of Chicago, USA
Shakespeare and the Gods provides students with much needed information about major figures from classical mythology, the early modern interpretations that Shakespeare would have known, and the role allusions to these gods, or their appearance, play in enriching the moral and psychological meaning of his works. -- Suzanne Gossett, Professor Emerita of English, Loyola University Chicago, USA