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Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

Relatively late manifestations of the European philhellene revival of Greco-Roman letters presented to readers complex, extended prose fiction in which the trials of love mask an implicit moral and political allegory. Inevitably, coming during the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Reformation, this cultural phenomenon was not without its religious and political dimensions. Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus were the three principal English exponents of rhetorically conscious Greco-Roman erotic romance. This book enhances the understanding of the erotic romances of Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Lady Mary Sidney Wroth by setting them within an integrated political, rhetorical, and aesthetic context. It investigates how Renaissance translators alter rhetorical styles, and even contents, to accord with contemporary taste, political agendas and the restrictions of censorship. Particular attention is paid to differences between the French courtly style of Jacques Amyot and François de Belleforest and the more literal translations of their English counterparts. Valuable perspective on the early translations is offered through the modern English versions in B.P. Reardon's Collected Ancient Greek Novels. The book considers the three texts of Sidney's Arcadia, as a political romance sharing many of the thematic and rhetorical concerns of the ancients. It focuses on a narrow range of Shakespeare's plays including Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The book identifies Mary Sidney Wroth's masque-like prose allegory, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, as philhellene Protestant political propaganda.

Abstract only
Victor Skretkowicz

domestic harmony, and respect for the rights and feelings of the individual, with the ecstasy of true romantic love. European erotic romance offered Amyot the opportunity to teach his stylised Greco-Roman language and rhetoric, and, through it, Christian ethics, morality, and personal and political governance. It became the tool of nationalists. More

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

.501). And Dorolina rightly concludes that it is ‘some thing more exactly related then a fixion’ (I.505). Such cryptic, masque-like allusions to synonymity create a new dimension to European erotic romance. Deciphering what truth may lie behind these names is intended as a provocative challenge to contemporary readers. Lindamira (‘behold her beauty

in European erotic romance
Abstract only
Victor Skretkowicz

, literature, politics, religion, rhetoric and translation. Because of the complexities relating to the ‘discovery, translation and publication of the Greek texts, the study of the artistry and politics of European erotic romance is best approached through a series of stepping-stones. This book is therefore in two parts, with each chapter divided into shorter digestible units. Part One

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

, Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights could confidently expect audiences to read ‘Thebes’ as a signifier of a forthcoming political allegory on usurpation, tyranny and heroic resistance. While Sidney’s work on Arcadia is compressed between 1577 and 1584, Shakespeare’s response to European erotic romance manifests itself over roughly twenty-five years

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

Nor would Fairbanks’s assessment be out of place in a discussion of the rhetorical artistry of the demanding erotic romances of Sidney, Shakespeare and Sidney Wroth. Characterisation: Theophrastus and Plutarch In biography-centred European erotic romance, as in the Greek ‘love and adventure’ novels, ecphrasis

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

principal characters. He even emphasises Daphnis’s mental chastity during and following Lycaenion’s instruction in sexual intercourse, a virtue strengthened in Amyot’s text. In addition to this tendency to accentuate morality, Amyot was instrumental in politicising European erotic romance. He cultivated a belief in the ancient Greek cultural roots of France, in the manner of Henri

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

Belleforest represents as ‘moy aiant premierement fait lexperie[n]ce auec celles qui s’abando[n]nent pour de large[n]t’ (E7v). By contrast, Burton’s Elizabethan Kleitophon represents himself as a morally superior virgin, in keeping with the exemplary characterisation of the hero of European erotic romance: ‘although herein I haue not bin much conuersant

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

Buds’ in a work published in 1631‘at the Authors charge’ more probably refers to the birth of Prince Charles on 29 May 1630. L’Isle’s nationalisation of An Ethiopian Story shows how European erotic romance, however debased from its Greco-Roman model, could be used by a political reformer in seventeenth-century England. His philhellene leanings

in European erotic romance
Victor Skretkowicz

begun to supervise Robert Sidney’s European education in 1579. 4 Given Languet’s role in the formation of Philip and Robert Sidney’s political ideas, it comes as no surprise to find Philip’s evolving adaptation of European erotic romance representing a continuum of Protestant monarchomachist thought. In the Old Arcadia , Sidney goes further than

in European erotic romance