Chapman’s Hero and Leander

English 514

Dr. Fike


Main Question:


Here is the main question that everyone must attempt to answer:  M.C. Bradbrook states,  “Chapman’s continuation…presents the obverse, the alternative image to that of Marlowe” (George Chapman 20).  What, then, are the basic differences between Marlowe’s beginning and Chapman’s continuation?  Is Chapman correcting Marlowe in any way?  How did you reach your position?  You might begin by considering the difference in tone.  What other criteria come into play when you consider the two authors’ respective contributions to the poem?


Secondary Questions:


  1. In Sestiad 3, what metaphors and similes does Chapman use to describe the Hero-Leander relationship?  How do those figures of speech further our understanding of the characters’ attitude toward their relationship? 


  1. How does Leander’s experience differ from Hero’s?  Consider especially lines 85-90 and 238-50.  How does Hero modify her view through rationalization?


  1. Regarding Hero, what do you make of the description of Dissimulation on page 150?  Can you make any connection to the “dissembling Fates” at 6.15?


  1. What is the function of the italics throughout Chapman’s text?


  1. In Sestiad 4, is there any significance to the images that Hero embroiders on the scarf?  Can you say anything about the maid she creates and the country maid whom Mercury tries to seduce in the first sestiad?


  1. In Sestiad 5, what is the significance of “The tale of Teras” and of her epithalamion?  Can you make connections to anything in Chapman’s earlier sestiads?


  1. How does Chapman’s narrator differ from Marlowe’s narrator?


  1. Charlotte Spivak maintains that Chapman’s poem is “concerned with the basic theme of transcending the flesh through the fleshly experience” (George Chapman 38).  If this makes any sense to you, explain why you agree or disagree.