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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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Worse than Philomel, Worse than Actaeon: Hyperreal Ovid in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Worse than Philomel, Worse than Actaeon: Hyperreal Ovid in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Chapter:
(p.254) Chapter 14 Worse than Philomel, Worse than Actaeon: Hyperreal Ovid in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus
Source:
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre
Author(s):

Jim Casey

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.003.0015

This chapter engages with various postmodern theories of adaptation (Douglas Lanier’s Shakespearean Rhizomatics in particular) in order to explore how Shakespeare reshaped his source material from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to construct the horrific body trauma of Titus Andronicus. Shifting the typical focus of adaptation theory from recent adaptations of “Shakespeare” to Shakespeare’s own adaptation of Ovid, this essay examines specific moments from both Titus Andronicus and the tales of Philomela and Actaeon in the Metamorphoses—especially in connection to the performance of the “unspeakable,” the “obscene,” and the “irreligious”—in order to better understand the early modern play, the classical poem, and the very act of adaptation itself.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Ovid, adaptation, Titus Andronicus, Philomela, Actaeon, rhizomatics, Metamorphoses

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