"Thus beholde the fall of sinne": punishing Helen of Troy in Elizabethan verse

Heavey, K. (2012) "Thus beholde the fall of sinne": punishing Helen of Troy in Elizabethan verse. Literature Compass, 9(7), pp. 464-475. (doi:10.1111/j.1741-4113.2012.00899.x)

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Abstract

This paper discusses the use of Helen of Troy in three Elizabethan works that approach her story in an unusual way, by placing their emphases not simply on her beauty or her notorious faithlessness, but on her punishment. In Richard Robinson’s Rewarde of Wickednesse (1574), and Thomas Proctor’s A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions (1578) and The Triumph of Trueth (?1585–1595), a new authorial desire not merely to criticise Helen, but to punish her for her sins, may be discerned. I suggest that this interest in expanding on the classical and medieval Helen’s story can be linked to a growing Renaissance inventiveness with regards to the classics, but may also be related to Elizabethan Protestantism, and a desire to celebrate the chastity of the queen.

Item Type:Articles
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:Literature Compass
ISSN:1741-4113
Published Online:10 July 2012

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