Introduction
‘Ariachne’s broken woof’
in Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries
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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shares Yves Peyré's concentration on historically informed close reading in order to identify and understand the multiple layers that modify mythological texts from generation to generation. It also offers fresh perspectives on classical mythology as it informed the writings of Shakespeare and his contemporaries over a period that ranges from the 1580s to the 1630s, from Christopher Marlowe to Thomas Heywood. Focusing on interweaving processes in early modern appropriations of myth, the book draws on a variety of approaches to ask how the uses of mythological stories enabled writers to play with representations of history, gender and desire. Building on recent research in different areas of early modern studies, the book seeks to heighten awareness of multi-directional interactions in the perception and reappropriation of classical mythology in Elizabethan and Jacobean culture.

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