So ruminates Polonius on the effect of love, responding to Ophelia’s report of Hamlet’s “mad” behavior, in the second quarto (Q2, published in 16041605) of Hamlet. Although his words capture the strange and disturbing manifestation of passion in this tragedy, they could also be said to comment on the effects of emotions in prose romances. Reconstructing the crossovers between prose romances and drama is diffi cult not only because records of the writers’ creative process are tenuous, but also because romances themselves are eclectic, hybrid fi ctions, often recycling the same texts and sources as drama. Recently, in her study of the development of romances in early modern England, Helen Cooper documented a history of the “transforming motifs” of the romance mode across genres, from verse and prose romances to Shakespearean drama. She shows that at the thematic and structural levels, Shakespeare’s romances have much in common with the late medieval and early Tudor prose romances. Yet, despite their shared heritage with drama, prose romances continue to interest many critics only as sources for plays. Although some recent scholarship has explored the intersections between drama and prose fi ction,2 the view that “prose fi ction is the poor relation of poetry and drama as far as modern critical interest is concerned” (Hadfi eld 134) still remains.