This article focuses on Antony and Cleopatra, more particularly on the construction of the character of Antony, in order to address the problematic relationship between the Homeric tradition — in all its complexity — and early modern drama. The article proposes two processes of reception as complementary. First, Shakespeare, while working from North’s Plutarch, may also have had in mind Mary Herbert’s Antonius and/or Horace’s Ode I.15 and some of its early modern interpretations. Second, imaginative patterns, already latent in the Homeric text itself, may have filtered down to early modern English texts, with a special focus on the mediation of early modern translations of Homer into Latin.

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