“Let Rome in Tiber melt”: Hermaphroditic Transformation in Antonius and Antony and Cleopatra

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In lieu of an abstract, here is an excerpt from the first paragraph:

Ovid’s gender-bending tale of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis captured the attention of early modern writers and readers. In addition to Golding’s and Sandys’s translations of the entire Metamorphoses, poetic versions and commentaries on this tale alone were penned by Thomas Peends (1565), Francis Beaumont (1602), and Edward Sherburne (1651), with the figure of the hermaphrodite appearing in numerous texts ranging from medical treatises to Spenser’s Faerie Queene.¹ Predictably, critical attention centers on a variety of gender-focused questions, although Jonathan Bate examines the hermaphrodite as a metaphor for art, which brings two opposite things together, and particularly for the hybrid practice of...




This is a chapter in: Starks L. (Ed.), Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre (pp. 75-92). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

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