Renaissance Epyllions: A Comparative Reading of Christopher Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Thomas Lodge’s Scylla’s Metamorphosis and Francis Beaumont’s Salmacis and Hermaphroditus

Yazdan Mahmoudi


The present paper is supposed to compare and contrast three of these masterpieces written the Renaissance period. The epyllions under study are Christopher Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Thomas Lodge’s Scylla’s Metamorphosis and Francis Beaumont’s Salmacis and Hermaphroditus. Bush believes that “the influence of Marlowe is very pronounced in the Salmacis and Hermaphroditus of 1602, which has been associated with Francis Beaumont, but, it is generally agreed, is almost certainly no this. The poem is top heavy with decorative additions, and the myth-making faculty runs wild” (213). The shared characteristic of these works is their indebtedness to Ovid’s Metamorphosis, so it is important to analyze their modifications so as to observe in what way or ways they are different from their original stories. Moreover, the paper will analyze these works based on their treatment of such elements as narration, subversive facets, intertextuality, their relation to their paintings and other important aspects of the works. At the end, the researcher is going to compare and contrast these epyllions and their paintings of the era in order to analyze their mutual influence which may affect the understanding of their readers.

Keywords: epyllion, Renaissance, Marlowe, Lodge, Beaumont, intertextuality

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