What Is a Greek Source on the Early English Stage? Fifteen New Essays


Silvia Bigliazzi (ed)
University of Verona
Tania Demetriou (ed)
University of Cambridge


Classical Reception; Greek Reception; Early Modern English Drama


A renewed focus on classical receptions in early modern English culture has now gone beyond the fundamental questions of whether or not Greek texts were translated into English, or how they were translated, and whether their original language had any cultural value. The question the book engages with is whether either was truly significant and how. What did ‘classical’ mean for them and did 'classical’ literature, notably Greek, circulate in early modern England in ways comparable to our own conception of it? This book offers fifteen new essays on the receptions of Greek drama in early modern English drama inquiring what a Greek source meant for the English stage.



  • Introduction
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • Invisible Books: Shakespeare and ‘Narrative Sources’
    Colin Burrow
  • The Strange Case of the Singing Chorus that Was Not There. On the Authority of Authorities
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • Classicism as Medievalism: Gower & Mediation in Pericles, Prince of Tyre
    Jane Raisch
  • An Idea of Old Comedy: Ben Jonson’s Metatextual Appropriation of Aristophanes
    Alessandro Grilli
  • “Of gentle and ignoble, base and kings”: the Transformations of the Homeric Simile on the Early Modern English Stage
    Evgeniia Ganberg
  • “An Empire equall with thy mind”: the ‘Persian Plays’ and the Reception of Herodotus in Renaissance England
    Francesco Dall'Olio
  • Aristophanes in The Staple of News: Ideology and Drama
    Francesco Morosi
  • Questions of Mediation of the Deus ex Machina in Elizabethan Drama
    Emanuel Stelzer
  • Hermaphroditical Authority: Epicene and The Aristophanic Chorus
    Tom Harrison
  • Unveiling Wives: Euripides’ Alcestis and Two Plays in the Fletcher Canon
    Domenico Lovascio
  • Tragedy, Persuasion, and the Humanist Daughter: Jane Lumley’s Iphigeneya
    Tom Bishop
  • Unwritten Laws and Natural Law in Watson’s Antigone
    Gherardo Ugolini
  • Much Ado about Greek tragedy? Shakespeare, Euripides, and the histoire tragique
    Tania Demetriou
  • Translating Greek History into Humanist Neo-Senecan Drama: William Alexander’s Croesus (1604)
    Janice Valls-Russell
  • “Is All Well Put Together In Every Part?”: Assembling a Renaissance Bacchae
    William West
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June 19, 2024

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ISBN-13 (15)