Marlowe’s translations from Ovid and Lucan have always been considered as inferior productions, and never really attracted the critics’ attention. Instead, as Brown put it, “[these] translations are ways of negotiating spacial and temporal distances” (…), which was something especially relevant to early modern England. At the time, translations actually became the means through which the nation in the making started to compete with the cultural heritage of the prestigious classical and continental models, as well as representing useful escamotages to obliquely address contemporary anxieties. In this regard, my talk will focus on Marlowe’s translation of the first book of Lucan’s Bellum Civile, the first rendering in English of this widely-read and highly significant Latin poem. First step of a wider research project aiming to fill in a gap in Marlovian Studies, my contribution will try to highlight how, far from being merely an attempt to give voice to the Republicanism of Lucan’s original, Marlowe’s choice to translate this poem has more to do with the main theme of the epos: that is, civil war. This is an issue, after all, that can be detected throughout the Marlovian canon and was also one of the most heated debates in early modern England. Focused either on the stylistic features of Marlowe’s translation or on the author’s supposed Republican sympathies, instead, the existing studies dealing with Marlowe’s Lucan have largely overlooked its main intertext: that is, the contemporary French wars of religion. By looking at some of Marlowe’s translational choices, my aim is to shed some light on the relevance of the French historical context to this rather unacknowledged work, as well as to underscore the writer’s (not-so-subtle) willingness to condemn all civil wars.

Finding the Sources for Marlowe’s Lucan: A Lexicographical Proposal

Ragni Cristiano
2021

Abstract

Marlowe’s translations from Ovid and Lucan have always been considered as inferior productions, and never really attracted the critics’ attention. Instead, as Brown put it, “[these] translations are ways of negotiating spacial and temporal distances” (…), which was something especially relevant to early modern England. At the time, translations actually became the means through which the nation in the making started to compete with the cultural heritage of the prestigious classical and continental models, as well as representing useful escamotages to obliquely address contemporary anxieties. In this regard, my talk will focus on Marlowe’s translation of the first book of Lucan’s Bellum Civile, the first rendering in English of this widely-read and highly significant Latin poem. First step of a wider research project aiming to fill in a gap in Marlovian Studies, my contribution will try to highlight how, far from being merely an attempt to give voice to the Republicanism of Lucan’s original, Marlowe’s choice to translate this poem has more to do with the main theme of the epos: that is, civil war. This is an issue, after all, that can be detected throughout the Marlovian canon and was also one of the most heated debates in early modern England. Focused either on the stylistic features of Marlowe’s translation or on the author’s supposed Republican sympathies, instead, the existing studies dealing with Marlowe’s Lucan have largely overlooked its main intertext: that is, the contemporary French wars of religion. By looking at some of Marlowe’s translational choices, my aim is to shed some light on the relevance of the French historical context to this rather unacknowledged work, as well as to underscore the writer’s (not-so-subtle) willingness to condemn all civil wars.
Christopher Marlowe
Lucans First Booke
French Wars of Religion
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1056065
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