“None but I bestir me”: Failed Elegy as the Absence of Communal Language in Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy

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This paper uses recent formal analysis of the Greek Elegy by Gregory Nagy to shed light on the particular faliures at elegizing that occur in The Spanish Tragedy. It argues that Kyd's drama articulates cultural anxieties about the degeneration of individual language as a representative tool in the 16th C., a degeneration caused by the departure from potentially restorative forms of communal speech such as song, symposium, and meaningful interaction with the archive of classic poetry and imaginative literature. 

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