Richard Meek
Search for other papers by Richard Meek in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Erin Sullivan
Search for other papers by Erin Sullivan in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Introduction
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw an extraordinary proliferation of theoretical ideas about the nature and meaning of emotion, and this introduction offers a survey of the sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory, intellectual and aesthetic traditions that helped shape this debate. It responds to previous work in the field that has focused primarily on medical humoralism and makes a case for a more pluralistic view of emotion in the period. Renaissance literary texts provide compelling evidence that emotions were not a passive phenomenon, acting upon people’s bodies, but an active, imaginative and philosophical process. Characters in early modern texts often express dissatisfaction with a purely medical understanding of emotion, looking instead to other complex systems of knowledge – including religion and philosophy, rhetorical and language theory, and drama and performance – to articulate and reflect upon their emotional experiences. The introduction thus proposes a rereading of emotional texts from this period with a more pluralistic model of affective experience in mind, paying greater attention to how individuals in this period interrogated, cultivated and performed emotional experience in active and often self-defining ways.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.

 

The Renaissance of emotion

Understanding affect in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 389 203 12
Full Text Views 87 8 8
PDF Downloads 60 7 6