Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Epic RomanceHomer to Milton$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Colin Burrow

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117940

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117940.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Inglorious Miltons

Inglorious Miltons

(p.200) 7 Inglorious Miltons
Epic Romance

Colin Burrow

Oxford University Press

Sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century epic writers had to work hard to invent a modern equivalent for the conceptual idiom of classical epic, and laboured both to unpick the idioms of earlier imitators and to create in the process a role for epic in their society. They improvised a modern heroic idiom, often while they composed. A sense that they had got epic wrong frequently led them to revise and extend their poems: Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Michael Drayton, Samuel Daniel, Robert Sidney, and Edmund Spenser all attempted to overcome the prevalent romance view of the Aeneid by revising their epic works, by fracturing and rewriting Virgilian episodes to accommodate rival interpretations, or by continuing their poems in a more ruthless idiom. They had to break away from a part of themselves in order to feel that they could write like authors of the past. And by developing the civic aspect of classical epic they sought to explore and modify the structures of power and of emotion that sustained their society.

Keywords:   Aeneid, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Michael Drayton, Samuel Daniel, Robert Sidney, Edmund Spenser, epic, poems, idiom

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .