Rosamond: A study in the Importance of Greek Mythology

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Boland, Shannon L.
The paper that I wish to present is from my master’s thesis. It deals with Henry the II’s mistress Rosamond and how an author in the 16th century present her story. The author that I would talk about is Samuel Daniel and his writing The Complaint of Rosamond. He brings a unique viewpoint to the story of Rosamond and the trials and heartache that she went through while she was Henry’s II mistress. The real interest to me is the use of Greek mythology to help in the telling of Rosamond’s story. How did the use of the Gods change the meaning of the poems and how did it enhance them? The original story is from 1100’s and I explore the story as it is used in the 1500’s. I use the tales of all the referenced Myths to further explain how the Rosamond tale is supported and made more interesting. Daniels has Rosamond portray a ghost that will haunt him forever if he does not tell her tale. She wants to be absolved of her sins and allowed into Elysium where the King and Queen already are even thought they are the ones that made her into a sinner; the King by making her his Mistress and the Queen by forcing Rosamond to drink poison to kill herself. How do Rosamond and Daniel work together to put her story back into the world so that Rosamond can finally have the peaceful death that has been denied her for over 400 years? By strategically choosing Myths that have the same tales of rape, murder, and plotting evil against a helpless person; Rosamond and Daniel clear her name.
The paper is in a constant state of being revised. It will be different though not drastically so by the time of the conference.