The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0125 Friday, 24 January 2003
Date: Thursday, 23 Jan 2003 13:46:47 -0600
Subject: Mythological Allusions
Joe Canzoneri askes about a guide to the myths Shakespeare knew.
An early venture is still in print and accurate within its limits. The
myths are arranged in alphabetical order with a few words about where
Sh. uses each. This is Robert K. Root. Classical Mythology in
Shakespeare Yale Studies in English 1903. Root shows that roughly 80%
of Shakespeare's mythological allusions are to Ovid and nearly all of
the remainder to Virgil. Half a century later is another alphabetical
listing showing that the Classical myths come to Sh. by way especially
of a Renaissance dictionary by one Thomas Cooper (1565) a copy of which
was in Shakespeare's classroom when he was a boy. See DeWitt T. Starnes
and Ernest W. Talbert, Classical Myth and Legend in Renaissance
Cheers for reference books!
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