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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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Comedy and Metamorphosis

Comedy and Metamorphosis

(p.118) 4 Comedy and Metamorphosis
Shakespeare and Ovid

Jonathan Bate

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that The Taming of the Shrew, one of William Shakespeare's earliest comedies, laid out a programme for his subsequent Ovidianism. It explains that this programme, based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, can be observed in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the The Rape of Lucrece. However, there is a difference between the endings of the Ovidian stories and those of Shakespearean comedy.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, Ovid, literary precedents, Metamorphoses, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Rape of Lucrece, Shakespearean comedy

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