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Monica Matei-Chesnoiu

Abstract

The paper examines migratory motifs and allusions to the Black Sea area from the classical texts into three Shakespearean comedies and a history play. The analysis focuses on how Shakespeare used classical myth related to the Pontus Euxinus to compare, but mainly to contrast these territories with his contemporaries’ assumptions about them. In addition, the paper looks at how Shakespeare made (tragic) drama out of classical historical texts, or the geographical narratives of wonder

Open access

Monica Matei-Chesnoiu

Abstract

The paper highlights the cultural constructedness of vision in the early modern period by drawing on heteroglossic representations of the eye in early English texts, ranging from anatomy and physiology treatises to philosophy, poetry, emblems, and geometrical perspective in astronomy and land surveying. The argument is based on the association of word and image in early modern representations of space, mirrored in Ortelius’s notion of geography as the eye of history, which shows the importance of the visual element in the system of acquisition and transmission of knowledge in the Renaissance. In the particular case of Pericles, the play unfolds over a vast international geography and creates powerful visual effects. The imaginative spatial conventions of the play can be assimilated to the system of geometrical projection on which maps depended. Locations are used according to a geometric triangulation system to refract the imaginative and spatial vision. As in emblems, the locations unfolding in the play give the action meaning in the process of involved spectatorship. Moreover, in the theatre, the lone monocular beholder of mathematical linear perspective is multiplied into a choric array of spectators.