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Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre$
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Lisa S. Starks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430067

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.001.0001

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Ovid’s Ghosts: Lovesickness, Theatricality, and Ovidian Spectrality on the Early Modern English Stage

Ovid’s Ghosts: Lovesickness, Theatricality, and Ovidian Spectrality on the Early Modern English Stage

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 5 Ovid’s Ghosts: Lovesickness, Theatricality, and Ovidian Spectrality on the Early Modern English Stage
Source:
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre
Author(s):

Lisa S. Starks

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.003.0006

This chapter applies Maurizio Calbi’s concept of Shakespeare’s contemporary spectrality, based on Derridean “hauntology,” to Ovid in the early modern era. It explores Ovid as an icon of lovesickness and theatricality, with interconnections between these terms, in early modern representations of and debates on the theatrical experience itself. The chapter moves from the height of Ovidian theatre to its shadowy afterlife – focusing primarily on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Jonson’s Poetaster, and the obscure interregnum closet drama Ovids Ghost – to explore the uncanny returns of spectral Ovids in related discourses concerning metamorphic illusion and the “self-shattering effects of painful love.”

Keywords:   Ovid, Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Jonson, Poetaster, Ovids Ghost, spectrality, hauntology, lovesickness, theatricality

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