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Shakespeare and Ovid$
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Jonathan Bate

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183242.001.0001

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Shakespeare and the Renaissance Ovid

Shakespeare and the Renaissance Ovid

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Shakespeare and the Renaissance Ovid
Source:
Shakespeare and Ovid
Author(s):

Jonathan Bate

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183242.003.0001

This chapter examines the influence of Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid) on the literary writings of William Shakespeare. Ovid's inspiration of Shakespeare was first recognized in 1598 when Francis Meres undertook an exercise in the art of simile titled ‘A comparative Discourse of the English Poets with the Greeke, Latine, and Italian Poets’. In addition to the similarity of methods of composition observed by Meres, there are also other obvious points of similarity between the works of Ovid and Shakespeare. These include their rewriting of inherited stories into a completely new one and their refusal to submit to the decorum of genre.

Keywords:   Publius Ovidius Naso, William Shakespeare, literary influence, Francis Meres, Italian Poets

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