, his own earlier works
that also contribute to an endlessly renewed, but individually distinct ‘aesthetic
This discourse, whether that of Bullough or the Marxist philosopher Croce,
remains within a longstanding Christian framework, in which the process of
‘creation’ and the narrative of ‘history’ remained visibly
interconnected in the face of pressures of a growing secularism visible during the early
modern period. This long tradition finds its clearest expression in the frontispiece, and the
Spenser’s Busirane and Donne’s ‘A Valediction of my name, in the window’
Ibid., 233. Ben Jonson, Timber: Or, Discoveries in Ben Jonson , ed. C.H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson, vol. 8 (Oxford University Press, 1947), 625.
20 Regina M. Schwartz, Sacramental Poetics at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 6.
21 Letter XI. To Sir Henry Goodyer, 1604. John Donne: Selected Letters , ed. P.M. Oliver (New York: Routledge, 2002), 17.
22 Goldberg, Writing Matter , 244
Polarized Approaches to Psychology, Poetics, and Patronage
Robert L. Reid
-assertion, transmitted by
Renaissance Italians like Castiglione and Machiavelli and only mildly
qualified by Medieval and humanist Christianity. 60 Each of these critiques leans only one
way. Watson focuses on Shakespeare’s secularism and does not
acknowledge the playwright’s change, the growing appearance of
‘epiphanal’ revelation in the mature comedies, tragedies,
and romances. 61 McNamee
Does Spenser’s Mutabilitie Song complete his epic, or point to a more transcendent scope in its final half? It derogates the pagan gods; it reforms the titan Mutability (unlike the discarded demon-titans in books 1-6); and its grand pastoral pageant falls short of the symbolic city toward which the poem moves. Spenser’s holistic design is more clearly implied in his ordering of deadly sins (FQ 1.4). Compared with Dante’s pattern of sins, of purgations, and of ascensions in the Commedia, it offers a vital clue to The Faerie Queene’s format – based on the Christian-Platonism that informs all its figures and sequences. Much evidence suggests Elizabeth I would admire a mystic structuring of this epic that so honors her. As for Shakespeare’s attentiveness to last things, we explore the theme of ‘summoning’ in Hamlet and King Lear, both concerned – as in The Summoning of Everyman – with ‘readiness’ and ’ripeness’ in the face of death and judgment. In The Tempest’s deft collocation of all social levels and artistic genres, and its odd convergence with Spenserian allegory, we debate the insistence on Shakespeare’s secularism by examining the range of meaning in Prospero’s ‘Art’.
Tempest ’s deft collocation of all social levels and
artistic genres, and its odd convergence with Spenserian allegory, we
debate the insistence on Shakespeare’s secularism by examining
the range of meaning in Prospero’s ‘Art’.
R. Anderson, Elizabethan Psychology and
ethos, stresses the resurgence of ancient self-assertion,
transmitted by Renaissance Italians like Castiglione and Machiavelli
and only mildly qualified by medieval and humanist
Christianity. 135 Each of these critiques leans only one way.
Watson focuses on Shakespeare’s secularism and does not
acknowledge the playwright’s change, the growing appearance
–finally found a secular political voice. Before
the 1670s, Sarah Jinner’s vicious satirical almanacs of 1658 to 1664 about
rebellion and the multitude stood virtually alone in a female genre that only
later emerged in the libertine voice of Aphra Behn, and then only from the
very late 1660s.121 Margaret Cavendish also stood alone, a busy anti-resistance
writer whose secularism stands in marked contrast to the religiously inspired
royalism of Mary Pope, Elizabeth Warren and Elizabeth Poole. Arguably, it
was Mary Astell’s texts from the 1690s that represented the first coming
Religion, revolution, and the end of history in Dryden’s late works
Matthew C. Augustine
erred in seeing the conversion as no more than a political expedient: it greatly deepened the impact of the Revolution on Dryden’s art, permanently reorienting his metaphysical compass, and in ways that seriously complicate the supposed triumph of Augustan values in politics and poetry.
More broadly, my opening asks us to reconsider the place of religion and of spiritual politics in the Restoration, an era that has long been seen as the dawning of an Enlightenment culture of secularism and moderation. As Philip Connell has observed, ‘We continue