Thomas Heywood’s Loves Schoole
Emulation, adaptation, and anachronism
in Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition
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Current adaptation theory could be applied to Thomas Heywood’s translation of Ovid’s Ars amatoria, sometimes known as Loves Schoole (c. 1599–1620). However, the interrelated concepts of imitatio and aemulatio anticipated these newer ways of reading, and are more accurate modes for study. Thomas M. Greene, George Pigman III, and Lynn Enterline have established the indispensability of the terms for understanding early modern encounters with the classical past. They served as signifiers of a multiplex educational and rhetorical system that authors imbibed from Erasmian humanist schooling and that dominated their writing lives. Educated in this way, Heywood inhabited Ovid’s poem as he translated, as Petrarch and others had counselled. By incorporating Loves Schoole into his subsequent work, Heywood relieved Ovid of some aspects of his misogynist reputation, reconfiguring him into the kind of man he desired Ovid to be.

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