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How-to Suggestions

Ideas for Examining Intertextual Relationships Among Texts

  • how similar is the style? structure? format? Consider formal elements of the work and how they do or do not correspond.
  • Are there parallels, echoes, similarities, inversions, patterns between the works?
  • how are emotions (if any) displayed in the works? what is different / similar and why? How does it alter the affective power of the text?
  • How is the revision a renaming, reworking, or revisioning of “reality”?
  • are the two works in a “one-to-one” correspondence or is the scale more uneven? explain the scale and how parts are functioning in context?
  • Is the structure inverted or altered? are the characters the same or altered? plot?
  • are there paralles, gaps, or patterns among the two works?
  • does the later text extend, fill in a gap, or create a new section of the earlier text?
  • to what extent is there an Ovidian “presence’ or “soul” in the reworking? (Brown 436, 437)
  • what does each work do to “alter” the reading of the other text?
  • Are there similar allusions, motifs, or themes? (transformation, identity, creativity)
  • How does the difference in the texts impact our thematic readings?
  • To what extent does the reader need to be familiar with both texts?
  • To what extent do the texts have to coexist in the reader’s mind?
  • How might the two texts invoke similar historical contexts?
  • To what extent is the author / poet conscious of the intertextual reach?
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