Postured like a whore? Misreading Hermione's statue

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Abstract

This article responds to Harold Bloom's call to ‘read for the clinamen’– an author's creative misprision of, or characteristic divergence from, the work of a literary antecedent – offering an account of Shakespeare's deviation from a number of influential or source texts in his The Winter's Tale. From Ovid's tale of Pygmalion to Marston's Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image; from Greene's Pandosto to Aretino's Sixteen Postures, I demonstrate how Shakespeare evokes then revokes these precursory texts, swerving from the potentially malign influence of his predecessors. Discussion concludes in analysis of the critical and intertextual over-determination of the statue scene.

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