Chapter

Choosing Ovids (1)

Maggie Kilgour

in Milton and the Metamorphosis of Ovid

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199589432
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738500 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589432.003.0002

Series: Classical Presences

Choosing Ovids (1)

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The first chapter shows that Milton became familiar with Ovid at an early age through practices of translation and imitation. Noting close parallels with and specific verbal echoes of Ovid's writing, it demonstrates that the young Milton has a surprisingly keen grasp also of the broader patterns and concerns of Ovid's works. It suggests further, moreover, that Milton became increasingly attentive to revisions of Ovid by earlier writers. Beginning with some of the Ovidian elements in the early Latin works it turns to Milton's first English poem, ‘On the Death of a fair Infant dying of a Cough’, and ends with a discussion of his masque Comus. As he moves into English, Milton's reading of Ovid responds also to the adaptations of the Elizabethans, most notably Spenser and Shakespeare, but also the epyllion writers and Marlowe who are especially drawn to the stories of Daphne and Venus and Adonis.

Keywords: Milton: early Latin poetry; Ovid; imitation; Comus; Spenser; Shakespeare; Marlowe; Venus and Adonis; epyllion; Daphne

Chapter.  20822 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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