This book brings together ten chapters on the relations between Spenser and Shakespeare. There has been much noteworthy work on the linguistic borrowings of Shakespeare from Spenser, but the subject has never before been treated systematically, and the linguistic borrowings lead to broader-scale borrowings and influences, which are treated here. An additional feature of the book is that a large bibliography of previous work is offered, which will be of the greatest help to those who follow up the opportunities offered by this collection. The book presents new approaches, heralding a resurgence of interest in the relations between two of the greatest Renaissance English poets to a wider scholarly group and in a more systematic manner than before. This will be of interest to students and academics interested in Renaissance literature.
Formal Matters is intended as an exploration of the emerging and potential links in early modern literary and cultural studies between the study of material texts on the one hand, and the analysis of literary form on the other. The essays exemplify some of the ways in which an attention to the matter of writing now combines in critical practice with the questioning of its forms: how an interest in forms might combine with an interest in the material text and, more broadly, in matter and things material. Section I, ‘Forming literature’, makes literary and sub-literary forms its focus, examining notions of authorship; ways of reading, consuming, and circulating literary and non-literary material; and modes of creative production and composition made possible by the exigencies of specific forms. Section III, ‘The matters of writing’, examines forms of writing, both literary and non-literary, that grapple with other fields of knowledge, including legal discourse, foreign news and intelligence, geometry, and theology. At stake for the authors in this section is the interface between discourses encoded in, and even produced through, specific textual forms.Linking these two sections are a pair of essays take up the subject of translation, both as a process that transforms textual matter from one formal and linguistic mode to another and as a theorization of the mediation between specific forms, materials, and cultures.
Once a byword for Protestant sobriety and moral idealism, Spenser is now better
known for his irony and elusiveness. Yet his sense of humour is still
underestimated and misunderstood. Challenging the bias behind this neglect, this
study shows that humour, far from being peripheral or superficial, goes to the
heart of Spenser’s moral and doctrinal preoccupations. It explores rifts between
The Faerie Queene’s ambitious and idealising postures and its Protestant vision
of corruptible human nature. Figures to be comically ‘undone’ include the hero,
the chivalric lover, the virgin, and the ideal monarch – as well as Spenser’s
own epic-poet persona. Yet bathos has a positive significance in Christian
theology, and Spenserian humour proves to be an expression of tolerance and
faith as well as an instrument of satire. On this basis, Comic Spenser contends
that the alliance of humour and allegory in The Faerie Queene affirms the value
of the creative and ‘errant’ imagination.
The names Edmund Spenser and John Donne are typically associated with different
ages in English poetry, the former with the sixteenth century and the
Elizabethan Golden Age, the latter with the ‘metaphysical’ poets of the
seventeenth century. This collection of essays, part of The Manchester Spenser
series, brings together leading Spenser and Donne scholars to challenge this
dichotomous view and to engage critically with both poets, not only at the sites
of direct allusion, imitation, or parody but also in terms of common
preoccupations and continuities of thought, informed by the literary and
historical contexts of the politically and intellectually turbulent turn of the
century. Juxtaposing these two poets, so apparently unlike one another, for
comparison rather than contrast changes our understanding of each poet
individually and moves towards a more holistic, relational view of their
This collection of essays offers a major reassessment of the meaning and significance of emotional experience in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Recent scholarship on early modern emotion has relied on a medical-historical approach, resulting in a picture of emotional experience that stresses the dominance of the material, humoral body. The Renaissance of Emotion seeks to redress this balance by examining the ways in which early modern texts explore emotional experience from perspectives other than humoral medicine. The chapters in the book seek to demonstrate how open, creative and agency-ridden the experience and interpretation of emotion could be. Taken individually, the chapters offer much-needed investigations into previously overlooked areas of emotional experience and signification; taken together, they offer a thorough re-evaluation of the cultural priorities and phenomenological principles that shaped the understanding of the emotive self in the early modern period. The Renaissance of Emotion will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, the history of emotion, theatre and cultural history, and the history of ideas.
From its Nobel laureates to its literary festivals, modern-day Dublin lives up to its role as a literary capital. The question of whether Ireland experienced a cultural and literary Renaissance has received increasing scholarly attention in recent years. This book extends the discussion by engaging with the specific literary culture of its capital city. It begins with an argument for the internationalised literary culture of late medieval Dublin by an analysis of James Yonge's 'Memoriale'. The citizens of Dublin engaged with and actively read texts imported from London, as Dublin's own printing was limited. The book presents case studies that establish Dublin as an emerging city of Renaissance literature by focusing on Edmund Spenser's political and social connections and by examining the literature of complaint emanating from late Elizabethan Dublin. It analyses the constructed authorial personae of Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell residing in Dublin, and discusses the concepts of literary friendship. Sir James Ware's scholarly achievements are analysed and his extensive intellectual community are investigated, revealing an open-minded Dublin community. In addition to being a representative Renaissance activity, translation was harnessed in the country as an 'instrument of state', as shown by translations of Gaelic poetry. The Renaissance literary production in Dublin had a multi-linguistic character with Latin orations taking place in the Trinity College Dublin. The book also addresses the question of whether the English-language drama composed and staged in Restoration Dublin is most accurately described as Anglo-Irish drama or 'English drama written in Ireland'.
Erotic commodification, cross-cultural conversion, and the bed-trick on the English stage, 1580–1630
The (‘bed-trick’) was a pervasive plot device in prose fiction and other forms of Renaissance literature but appeared late as a device in English drama. The arrival and proliferation of the bed-trick can be connected to the emergence of capitalism as a system founded on a basic structure of deception by means of substitution in an increasingly aggressive commodity exchange market. This chapter discusses those plays in which the substituted lover is a Moor. In each of these plays with a Moorish woman substitute, we encounter the Moor as placeholder, a degraded substitute and commodity, the monstrous and demonized version of what women had become in bourgeois marriage. By looking at erotic trickery, at dangerous or dubious economic transactions, and religious or racial instability in Elizabethan and Early Stuart plays, we can begin to glimpse a broad pattern, one in which the fundamental anxieties and instabilities produced by new economic practices in early modern England were projected into stage actions involving rape, theft, swindles and racial or religious infidelity.
the names that must be on surveys of the period now, and were not in the
late 1970s). Feminism also brought new ways of thinking about the status
of women and men in canonical works, reminding us of the frequently
insidious workings of patriarchy, and the shockingly limited prospects for
women. Feminist criticism emphasised that the symbolic violence against
women enacted so frequently in Renaissanceliterature was intimately tied
to the real violence against women sanctioned by Renaissance culture.
Feminism, moreover, brought a deconstructive suspicion to
Margaret Cavendish: Reason and Fancy
during the Scientific Revolution (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
Scott-Baumann, Elizabeth, ‘ “Bake’d in the Oven of Applause”: The Blazon and the
Body in Margaret Cavendish’s Fancies’, Women’s Writing, 15 (2008): 86–106
Spiller, Elizabeth, Science, Reading, and RenaissanceLiterature: The Art of Making
Knowledge, 1580–1670 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Stark, Ryan John, ‘Margaret Cavendish and Composition Style’, Rhetoric Review, 17
Whitaker, Katie, Mad Madge: Margaret Cavendish