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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Executing “Bloody Lines:” The Ovidian Precedent and the Petrarchan Problem in Titus Andronicus

In a simplistic sense, Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is a text about reading. From the characters’ literal interaction with Classical poetry to poetic allusions, intertextuality looms large over the play. What is curious; however, is that two styles of poetry occur frequently and appear to be at odds with each other. Representations of Petrarchan blazons and love poetry are usually depicted as inaccurate representations of the action of the play, whereas Ovidian or epic poetry is closely associated with moments of clarity. Ultimately, this paper illustrates Shakespeare’s juxtaposition of distinctly different styles of poetry suggests that there is something inherently revealing or accurate about Classical poetry, and that it ultimately is a more reliant representation of reality than Petrarchan poetry.

Presenter: Emily Wilkins (Graduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 9 am (Session I)