Gower Bibliography

Antiochus's Riddle in Gower and Shakespeare

Goolden, P. "Antiochus's Riddle in Gower and Shakespeare." Review of English Studies n.s. 6 (1955), pp. 245-251.


Goolden discusses Antiochus's riddle about his incestuous relationship with his daughter. The riddle occurs in Shakespeare, in Gower, and in the medieval Latin prose romance "Apollonius of Tyre." Goolden suggests that the key to solving the riddle is to notice that the secret marriage between father and daughter creates complex "in-law" relationships. For instance, Antiochus becomes his "wife's son" because he is taking the place of the man who should be his son-in-law. Gower, according to Goolden, copies a slightly corrupted version of the riddle, but whether he is aware of its deeper meaning is unclear. Shakespeare changes the subject of the riddle from Antiochus to the daughter and renders the riddle more easily comprehensible. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis
Influence and Later Allusion

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