Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England

Hardcover | November 15, 2009

byCora Fox

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Elizabethan English culture is saturated with tales and figures from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. While most of these narratives interrogate metamorphosis and transformation, many tales—such as those of Philomela, Hecuba, or Orpheus—also highlight heightened states of emotion, especially in powerless or seemingly powerless characters. When these tales are translated and retold in the new cultural context of Renaissance England, a distinct politics of Ovidian emotion emerges. Through intertextual readings in diverse cultural contexts, Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England reveals the ways these representations helped redefine emotions and the political efficacy of emotional expression in sixteenth-century England.

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Elizabethan English culture is saturated with tales and figures from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. While most of these narratives interrogate metamorphosis and transformation, many tales—such as those of Philomela, Hecuba, or Orpheus—also highlight heightened states of emotion, especially in powerless or seemingly powerless characters. When th...

Cora Fox is Assistant Professor of English at Arizona State University. She is the co-editor, with Barbara Weiden Boyd, of the forthcoming Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ovid and the Ovidian Tradition.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.43 × 5.68 × 0.6 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230617042

ISBN - 13:9780230617049

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Elizabeth I’s Metamorphic Politics * Ovidian Emotion and Christian Allegory in The Faerie Queene * Constructing Grief and the Politics of Revenge in Titus Andronicus * Ovidian Rage in Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft

Editorial Reviews

"In Ovid and the Politics of Emotions in Elizabethan England, Fox provides a serious and suggestive reading of the literary history of the emotions—chiefly grief—in late Elizabethan England. By turning to the specifically literary texts through which Elizabethan court poets mediated and meditated on grief, Fox argues for a more flexible model of grieving than scholars have typically associated with mourning and melancholia: she finds agency where psychoanalytic and new historicist critics have characteristically found constraints. In this project, Fox pays close attention to Elizabethan adaptations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which allows for both the engagement of the passions and escape from their paralyzing effects."--Heather James, Departments of English and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California “An excellent book on a subject that is crucial to modern critical theory in the wake of deconstruction, new historicism, and gender studies; a brilliant examination of Ovid and his relation to gender studies.  Fox’s Ovidian reading of Titus is the most brilliant reading of that underestimated play . . . Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England belongs in that select group of books dealing with Renaissance literature and classical authors like Leonard Barkan and Jonathan Bate.”--Thomas P. Roche, Professor of English, Princeton University