A new way to please you: Helen of Troy in early modern comedy

Heavey, K. (2014) A new way to please you: Helen of Troy in early modern comedy. Renaissance Studies, 28(3), pp. 426-442. (doi:10.1111/j.1477-4658.2012.00827.x)

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Abstract

Helen of Troy most commonly featured in early modern English literature as an example of unsurpassed beauty, or as an unfaithful and sexually voracious woman. Inextricably linked to the fall of Troy, Helen was associated with feminine unreliability, the deaths of worthy men, and the fall of a great city. This article explores a less common use of Helen's myth, demonstrating how early modern playwrights including Shakespeare, Heywood and Shirley found comic potential in her story, and repackaged a well-worn story of betrayal in new and innovative ways, making sport of Helen's reputation, of Helen-like women, and of the men infatuated by this icon.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Published online: 23 July 2012.
Keywords:Helen, Troy, Shakespeare, comedy, Heywood.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heavey, Dr Katherine
Authors: Heavey, K.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Renaissance Studies
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0269-1213
ISSN (Online):1477-4658
Published Online:23 July 2012

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