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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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Remnants of Virgil, Ovid, and Paul in Titus Andronicus

Remnants of Virgil, Ovid, and Paul in Titus Andronicus

(p.129) Chapter 7 Remnants of Virgil, Ovid, and Paul in Titus Andronicus
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre

Catherine Winiarski

Edinburgh University Press

Employing Linda Hutcheon’s analogy between biological and cultural adaptation, this chapter analyzes how the survivors of the Roman-Gothic war in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus adapt figures and narratives of the survivor—or remnant—from Virgil, Ovid, and St. Paul as strategic models in the covert, post-war feud of the play’s action. Titus assumes Virgil’s model of the remnant as non-regenerative and stoic; Tamora, on the other hand, employs Ovid’s regenerative and vengeful model, and eventually converts Titus to it. Their violent conflict and absorption in their revenge plots form the conditions for the emergence of a different kind of remnant: the remaining Romans and Goths who, according to a Pauline model, form a new incorporated community. The formation of this community arguably speaks to the context of the Protestant Reformation in Shakespeare’s England, in which violent excisions were made in the name of a latter-day Pauline community.

Keywords:   adaptation, remnant, Virgil, Ovid, St. Paul, Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

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