A Comparative Study of Metamorphoses: Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis and Oates’ “Metamorphosis”

Iran, ID LLCE2016-251;         Comparative studies within a literature, in the world literature, or even between two different branches of art have always been attractive, since in contrast to contemporary critical theories reveal the universal nature of arts. Pursuit of a theme is one of the common features among literary and artistic works, which sometimes presents itself in characters. In this article, it is attempted to compare and collate the main characters in Shakespeare’s poetic work Venus and Adonis and Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Metamorphosis”. Although having similarities, they give birth to the chiaroscuro of some differences. The findings confirm that literature flies in the face of the critical theory of ideology that tries to neglect the author’s free will in writing, as the case studies are a classic poem from the seventeenth century by a British writer and a short fictional piece from the postmodern era by an American writer. Not only do they differ in place, time, genre, but also the writers’ gender. This is of paramount significance because in literary criticism and philosophy of literature the universality of literature is rejected by reader-response, deconstructionist, or New Historical studies and the like in order to omit the authenticity of literature and then include personal views, shaky history, as well as subjective perceptions. Representing the disadvantages of such theories, this study aims to lead scholars toward novel universal hermeneutics.

Keywords: Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, Joyce Carol Oates’ “Metamorphosis”, universality

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