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The Fiction of the Future: Dangerous Reading in William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Mon, November 29, 2010 | CPE 2.212

3:00 AM - 5:30 AM

Professor Jennifer Kate Barrett (English)

In this presentation, Dr. Barrett will read Titus Andronicus as the unexpected site of Shakespeare’s complex response to Renaissance England’s anxieties about its relationship to the classical past: though characters consciously allude to classical literature, they fail to anticipate that unflagging repetitions of the past foreclose the future. Drawing upon both the tradition of texts aimed at moralizing Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the play’s Clown, she argues that Shakespeare stages a violent critique of the Renaissance relationship to antiquity by showing how flawed reading practices disrupt the imaginative potential of both classical literature and Christianity.

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