Shakespeare and the Gods

Shakespeare and the Gods

by Virginia Mason Vaughan


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474284271
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 01/24/2019
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Virginia Mason Vaughan is Professor Emerita and Research Professor in the Department of English at Clark University, USA. She is a leading international expert on The Tempest, and co-editor of the Arden Third Series edition of the play. Her publications also include Antony and Cleopatra: Language and Writing (Arden Shakespeare, 2015), The Tempest: A Critical Reader (co-edited with Alden T. Vaughan, Arden Shakespeare, 2014), and Women Making Shakespeare: Text, Reception and Performance (co-edited with Gordon McMullan, Lena Cowen Orlin, Arden Shakespeare, 2013).

Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xi

Note on Texts xii

List of Abbreviations xiv

1 Contexts 1

2 Jupiter 19

3 Venus 53

4 Hercules 85

5 Diana 117

6 Mars 151

7 Ceres 179

Afterthoughts 209

Appendix: Names of the Gods 222

Notes 223

References 229

Index 236

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