Shakespeare and philhellene erotic romance
in European erotic romance
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This chapter presents William Shakespeare's adaptations of Greco Roman material within an English philhellene rhetorical, cultural and political context, not incompatible with his Catholic origins. Shakespeare's perception of the Greek erotic romances, and of Plutarch's Lives and Morals, was coloured by the editions and translations available to him. Coriolanus, a critique of Jacobean representative government, provides a rare glimpse into the way Shakespeare exhibits his normally obscured links with the Amyot-North Plutarch. Nine years before writing Coriolanus, in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare is as much concerned as any translator with the stylistic elegance of Greco-Roman historians, including Plutarch. Shakespeare's purpose is to employ rhetorical style as a signifier of political difference. In France, Robert Garnier adapted the political and personal conflicts surrounding Antony and Cleopatra to criticise the needless destruction of war in Marc-Antoine.

European erotic romance

Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics


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