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Title: Shakespeare and the nature of romance
Author: Dean, Jon Richard
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1978
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This study tries to establish the essential nature of the romance genre and to arrive at a fresh understanding of Shakespeare's Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. To begin with (Chapters I--II), the essential critical conceptions of romance are given, the special diversity of the romance genre is noted, and Homer's Odyssey is examined as a work which can provide us (along with the figure of Odysseus) with many of the essential ingredients and structural methods used throughout the literature of romance. The development of the romance form is then traced from Hellenistic romances (especially Heliodorus' Aethiopica), to the medieval romance of Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur and the continental renaissance romance of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (Chapter III). The character of Pre-Shakespearean romance drama is then explored, with special focus given to Hughes' The Misfortunes of Arthur, Greene's The History of Orlando Furioso, and Day's The Isle of Gulls (Chapter IV). The findings made about the nature of romance and the adaptation of romance to the stage are then applied in an examination of the source materials which Shakespeare used to create his dramatic romances and to discern how Shakespeare borrowed, transformed, or created anew in Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest (Chapters V--VI). The essential structural coherence of romance and the importance of love both in the romance tradition and in Shakespearean romance is brought out by comparing Homer's and Shakespeare's romances (Chapter VII), an analysis which leads one to affirm that amid the luxuriant diversity of Shakespeare's romances the power of love serves as the principal binding force (Chapter VIII). In conclusion, the importance of the theme of change in Shakespearean romance is shown and an attempt is made to differentiate Shakespeare's romances from his comedies and tragedies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature