Myth, Awe and Happiness in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

Presented by
Cora Fox, Associate Professor of English
ASU Department of English

Part of the ACMRS History of Emotions Lecture Series

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 1:30pm
Lattie Coor Hall, Room 4411
ASU Tempe Campus
Free and open to the public

The Winter’s Tale is considered Shakespeare’s most mythic play, and this talk explores how myths and other previous narratives function to define happiness and other positive affects for Shakespeare’s audience and his wider culture. Performing awe, the play rewrites misogynistic cultural narratives and elaborates new affective categories defined through revisions of its inherited emotion scripts. I argue that it is characteristic of an “emotive intertextuality” in many of Shakespeare’s works and the works of his contemporaries.

Cora Fox works on English and continental Renaissance poetry and drama, classical intertextuality (and specifically imitations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses), the history of emotion, and sexuality and gender studies. Her first book, Ovid and the Politics of Emotion in Elizabethan England, was published by Palgrave in 2009. She has also co-edited Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ovid and the Ovidian Tradition, which was published in 2010 in the MLA Approaches to Teaching series. Professor Fox has published essays on Spenser, Ovid, Reginald Scot, and Isabella Whitney. Her current book project is tentatively titled Shakespeare and the History of Happiness.