Elizabethan Exile after Ovid

Liz Oakley-Brown

in Two Thousand Years of Solitude

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603848
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731587 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Elizabethan Exile after Ovid

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This chapter examines Thomas Churchyard’s verse translation of The thre first bookes of Ouids De tristibus (1572), the first printed English version of the Tristia, which offers a distinctive negotiation of Elizabethan selfhood and otherness.Exile and religious identity formation were linked at this time and Churchyard’s vernacular Tristia develops the discourses of estrangement at work in the early modern period. Churchyard also addresses personal authorial concerns. This prolific Elizabethan writer and aspirant courtier was compelled to war by economic as well as political circumstance, and many of Churchyard’s texts are concerned with his impoverished status and subsequent exclusion from the court. Dedicated to the favoured courtier Christopher Hatton, the ventriloquization of Ovid’s exile provides Churchyard with a further means by which he might convey a dislocated subjectivity. The elegiac and epistolic texture of Ovid’s Tristia also allows Churchyard to write back to, and perhaps himself into, the court.

Keywords: translation; religious identity formation; Elizabethan; exile; dislocated subjectivity; selfhood and otherness

Chapter.  5730 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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