RSA 2016 Panel: Receptions of Classical Texts on the Early Modern English Stage

full name / name of organization: 
Benjamin Beier / Washburn University
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Generations of scholars have worked to uncover the presence of classical sources in early modern English drama. And Shakespeare studies, in particular, has labored to undo the impression that Shakespeare had 'small Latin and less Greek.' Recent work not only has revealed classical antecedents, but also has argued about the function of such sources within plays. This panel seeks papers that add to our understanding of the role of classical texts on the early modern stage. For example, are there instances in which the function of classical texts has been misunderstood by critics? In what ways did early modern playwrights productively misunderstand sources? Are there influential sources or traditions that have been overlooked (perhaps ones not part of grammar or university curricula, or non-literary sources)? How and why do early modern playwrights yoke classical texts with biblical and patristic sources and/or with medieval and contemporary influences? Last of all, Colin Burrow recently suggested that "editors are increasingly prone to downplay classical influences." Is this true, and if so, how might it influence future work on early modern drama's reception of classical texts?

Please submit a 150-word abstract and a short CV to ben.beier@washburn.edu by May 31, 2015.