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Perfectly Ovidian'? Dryden's Epistles, Behn's 'Oenone', Yarico's Island

Wiseman, Susan J. (2008) Perfectly Ovidian'? Dryden's Epistles, Behn's 'Oenone', Yarico's Island. Renaissance Studies 22 (3), pp. 417-433. ISSN 0269-1213.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-4658.2008.00514.x

Abstract

Taking as its starting point John Dryden's multi-authored translation of Ovid's Heroides, Ovid's Epistles Translated by Several Hands (1680) this essay asks what seemed to readers to characterize the Heroides in Restoration England. The essay explores the modes of satire and pathos in the reception of Ovid in the period after the publication of Dryden's influential volume. First, it traces satirical reaction, asking about the possible invitation to satire present in Aphra Behn's 'imitation' of Ovid's epistle from Oenone to Paris because of Behn's lack of Latin. Second, it examines preceding translations and the characterization of the Heroides as suitable (and highly unsuitable) reading for women. Finally, it traces the use of the heroic epistle to discuss slavery in the eighteenth century. Exploring the story of Inkle and Yarico it suggests, tentatively, that the twin tendencies in the reception of the Heroides, satirical and pathetic, may both have worked to make available the form to articulate slavery.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Behn, Dryden, Heroides, heroic epistle, Inkle and Yarico, Ovid, pathos, sex, satire
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > English and Humanities
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 10:43
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2679

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