The Emblematics of the Self: Ekphrasis and Identity in Renaissance Imitations of Greek Romance
The ancient Greek romances of Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus were widely imitated by early modern writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Philip Sidney, and Mary Wroth. Like their Greek models, Renaissance romances used ekphrasis, or verbal descriptions of visual representation, as a tool for characterization. The Emblematics of the Self shows how the women, foreigners, and non-Christians of these tales reveal their identities and desires in their responses to the ‘verbal pictures’ of romance.
Elizabeth B. Bearden illuminates how ‘verbal pictures’ enliven characterization in English, Spanish, and Neolatin romances from 1552 to 1621. She notes the capacity for change among characters — such as cross-dressed Amazons, shepherdish princesses, and white Mauritanians — who traverse transnational cultural and aesthetic environments. Engaging and rigorous, The Emblematics of the Self breaks new ground in understanding hegemonic and cosmopolitan European conceptions of the ‘other,’ as well as new possibilities for early modern identities, in an increasingly global Renaissance.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 272 pages
- Illustrations: 8
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
Author InformationElizabeth B. Bearden is an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Table of contents
A Note on Editions, Translations, and Abbreviations
The Romance Globe: Why the Renaissance Repainted Greek Romance
Converso Convertida: Cross-dressed Narration and Ekphrastic Interpretation in Leucippe and Clitophon and Clareo y Florisea
Amazon Eyes and Shifting Emblems in Sidney's Greek Arcadia
Painting Counterfeit Canvases: Heliodoran Pictographs, American Lienzos, and European Imaginings of the Barbarian in Cervantes' Persiles
Pictura Locorum: Heliodoran Hieroglyphs and Anglo-African Identity in Barclay's Argenis
“We are all picturd in that Piece”: Lovers, Persians, Tartars, and the “Tottering” Romance Globe in Lady Mary Wroth's Urania
Subjects and Courses