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Body has been one of the main preoccupations of current Renaissance historiography and current critical theory. Both the literary representation of the body and the construction of the material body in Renaissance anatomical and medical discourses have been used to explore the dynamics of early modern sexuality, gender, and society. Yet the influence of Ovid's texts on the construction of the Renaissance discourses of gender, sexuality, and subjectivity has not been fully explored.
This collection of original essays uses contemporary theory to examine Renaissance writers' reworking of Ovid's texts in order to analyze the strategies in the construction of the early modern discourses of gender, sexuality, and writing. The volume is divided into three parts. Part I explores literary and dramatic allusions to Ovid in relation to early modern ideologies of subjectivity and anxieties about identification and desire. Part II illustrates the appropriation of Ovidian myths by poets and dramatists interested in the articulation of agency. Part III demonstrates how various points of intertextuality between Ovid and English Renaissance writers ranging from Marlowe to Milton contributed to early modern epistemologies and discourse of embodiment, spectatorship, and print culture.