Periphrōn Penelope and her Early Modern Translations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Homer’s ‘wise’ Penelope was often read as the epitome of chastity in the Renaissance. This reading, which is most evident in retellings of the Odyssey ‘in prayse of chast Penelope’ like Giambattista della Porta’s La Penelope, tragicomedia (1591), is also woven into the fabric of translations of the epic, where it emerges less as a result of rewriting than of interpretation. William Gager’s academic play Ulysses Redux (1592) draws inspiration from La Penelope, yet offers itself as a stage translation of the Odyssey. In this essay, it becomes a lens for finding the chaste Penelope in early modern Odyssean translations, and reflecting on her implications for the epic’s ideas of gendered virtue, and for the tragicomic plot for which it was considered a model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Culture of Translation in Early Modern England and France, 1500-1660
EditorsTania Demetriou, Rowan Tomlinson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)9781137401489
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameEarly Modern Literature in History

Cite this