1st Edition

Marlowe's Ovid The Elegies in the Marlowe Canon

By M. L. Stapleton Copyright 2014
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    The first book of its kind, Marlowe's Ovid explores and analyzes in depth the relationship between the Elegies-Marlowe's translation of Ovid's Amores-and Marlowe's own dramatic and poetic works. Stapleton carefully considers Marlowe's Elegies in the context of his seven known dramatic works and his epyllion, Hero and Leander, and offers a different way to read Marlowe. Stapleton employs Marlowe's rendition of the Amores as a way to read his seven dramatic productions and his narrative poetry while engaging with previous scholarship devoted to the accuracy of the translation and to bibliographical issues. The author focuses on four main principles: the intertextual relationship of the Elegies to the rest of the author's canon; its reflection of the influence of Erasmian humanist pedagogy, imitatio and aemulatio; its status as the standard English Amores until the Glorious Revolution, part of the larger phenomenon of pan-European Renaissance Ovidianism; its participation in the genre of the sonnet sequence. He explores how translating the Amores into the Elegies profited Marlowe as a writer, a kind of literary archaeology that explains why he may have commenced such an undertaking. Marlowe's Ovid adds to the body of scholarly work in a number of subfields, including classical influences in English literature, translation, sexuality in literature, early modern poetry and drama, and Marlowe and his milieu.

    Introduction: "Small things with greater may be copulate": Marlowe the Ovidian

    1 Marlowe, Theatrical Speech, and the Epicenter of Sonnetdom: The Elegies

    2 Tamburlaine and "the argument/Of every Epigram or Eligi"

    3 Parts That No Eye Should Nehold: Dido and the Desultor

    4 "It is no pain to speak men fair": The Desultor in Edward II

    5 The Massacre at Paris: The Desultor as Playwright

    6 "Loue alwaies makes those eloquent that haue it": Ovid in Hero and Leander

    7 Lente, Lente: Doctor Faustus and the Elegies

    8 Ovid in The Jew of Malta



    M.L. Stapleton is Chapman Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. He has published books about Ovid, Seneca, Shakespeare, Spenser, Thomas Heywood, and Aphra Behn. He is editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare Julius Caesar, editor of Marlowe Studies: An Annual, and co-editor of Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman: Lives, Stage, and Page (Ashgate, 2010).

    Classified as 'Research Essential' by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services A Yankee Book Peddler UK Core Title for 2014

    'This is a superb, accessible study that richly engages previous Marlowe scholarship. Stapleton usefully provides footnotes rather than endnotes, and there is an extensive bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' -Choice

    'Many critical studies of early modern English (and European) Ovidianism tend to focus, almost exclusively, on the admittedly decisive importance of the Metamorphoses. Michael L. Stapleton’s research consistently offers an invaluable contribution to the field by usefully drawing attention to the significant impact of Ovid’s other works as well. ' -Studies in Early Modern Mythology 3

    'This informative, carefully documented study fully engages with contemporary Marlovian scholarship to bring a fresh perspective to the field of Renaissance Ovidian studies and the role of translation, providing a vivid and thought-provoking book.' -Renaissance Quarterly

    'Marlowe's Ovid engages broadly with Marlovian criticism, and it is well-written and witty.' -Bruce E. Brandt, South Dakota State University, Comparative Drama

    "It is often said that, once it has been made, a really good argument seems so obvious that one wonders why it has not been made before. This is exactly the case with this book: Stapleton’s argument for the significance of Ovid’s Amores throughout Marlowe’s oeuvre is so entirely persuasive, that it seems astonishing that it has not been made before now. We are fortunate, however, that at last this case has been made, and the resulting volume is indispensable book for all serious Marlowe students and scholars." - Dympna C. Callaghan, Syracuse University