Cambridge The Transvestite Achilles by P. J. Heslin

By P. J. Heslin

As we persist with Achilles' metamorphosis from wild boy to demure woman to lover to hero, Statius brilliantly illustrates a sequence of contrasting codes of habit: female and male, epic and elegiac. this primary full-length examine of the poem addresses not just the narrative itself, but additionally units the parable of Achilles on Scyros inside a extensive interpretive framework. The exploration levels from the reception of the Achilleid in Baroque opera to the anthropological parallels that experience emerged to give an explanation for Achilles' transvestism.

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Ach. 34; Stat. Ach. 228–31. 31 Hyg. Fab. 96. This is also the source of the claim made at the beginning of the argomento that Peleus was the grandson of Chiron (Hyg. Fab. 14). 12 the transve st i te ach ille s siegue la piacevole usanza del secolo, essendo questa una sorte di compositione nuova, ch’à differenza dell’antiche, hà più per fine il dilettevole, che l’utile. this drama, which does not proceed according to strict Aristotelian rules, adopts the pleasant usage of this age, inasmuch as this is a new kind of composition, which in contrast to those of antiquity has delight as its object rather more than usefulness.

Crotchetta. A fish! monstrous! 45 Given this satirical background, it is curious that in his next work for the musical stage, Gay abandoned the world of thieves and whores, and turned to classical mythology himself. 46 Why did Gay move from this mockery of singing fish to putting a singing fish on stage himself ? The Beggar’s Opera had been interpreted by contemporaries, rightly or wrongly, as a withering and specific attack on the corruption of the Walpole administration. In retaliation, its sequel, Polly, had been banned from the London stage, and so Gay had little alternative but to find some other subject matter for his next ballad opera.

Ault (1949: 215–21, esp. 221) has argued that this “redundant and improbable legend” is evidence that the prologue had in fact been written by Pope; but this is perverse. 20 the transve st i te ach ille s I wonder not our Author doubts Success, One in his Circumstance can do no less. The Dancer on the Rope that tries at all, In each unpracticed Caper risques a Fall: I own I dread his ticklish Situation, Critics detest Poetic Innovation. Had Ic’rus been content with solid Ground, The giddy vent’rous Youth had ne’er been drown’d.

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