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held forth by the Platonic Socrates in his trenchant criticism of sophistic rhetoric, and in his description of a philosophical rhetoric grounded upon true knowledge and always striving for justice. 1 Literary forms are fully social forms and invite an assessment that is both ethical and political. Despite much

in Shakespeare and Scotland

2 Books, politics and society in Renaissance Dublin Raymond Gillespie On 27 July 1662 James Butler, scion of one of the most prominent AngloIrish families and the newly created first duke of Ormond, arrived in Dublin to take up his post of lord lieutenant of Ireland. Describing that event in 1952, the architectural historian Maurice Craig used what must be one of the most striking phrases in the historical writing about ­seventeenth-century Ireland: ‘The Renaissance, in a word, had arrived in Ireland.’1 In one sense Craig was right. It was only in the late

in Dublin
Penelope and Arachne in early modern drama

The myths of Penelope and Arachne connect the three ‘lives’ Aristotle defines as the components of the human quest for happiness: sensual enjoyment, political achievement and intellectual contemplation. 1 Arachne’s sensuous tapestry and Penelope’s erotic delaying and performance of uxorial love are essential components of their mythical lives. However, the myths do not

in Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

-abasement and self-advancement in the hierarchy of power and favour. The main contention of this analysis is that the convergence of female pleading with the hidden operation of divine providence or fateful coincidences lays the bedrock for a political partnership that will ultimately deliver justice and preferment for the persecuted Jewish diaspora. Getting to grips with the Book of

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700

102 Chapter 5 Visions of monarchy and magistracy in women’s political writing, 1640–​80 Amanda L. Capern I t is now three decades since Patricia Crawford wrote a survey of women’s published writing in the seventeenth century, observing that the ‘impact of the Civil Wars and Interregnum upon women’s publications was remarkable’.1 The suggestion echoed Joan Wallach Scott’s theory that wars and political turmoil produce shifts in gender and politics.2 Crawford calculated that women’s print output may have accounted for 1.2 per cent of all publications after 1640

in From Republic to Restoration

This book presents a biography of the poetics and politics of London in 1613, from Whitehall to Guildhall, that is, Shakespeare's London. It examines major events at court, such as the untimely death of Prince Henry and its aftermath, and the extravagant wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick of Germany and her journey to the Continent. The city flourished with scores of publications on a vast array of topics, including poetry, travel narratives, music, and, of course, plays. The book offers summaries and analyses of most of these texts, knowing that some of them may not be well-known to all readers. Many of these publications had a kind of link to the court. In order to understand the context of the year 1613, the book actually begins in October 1612 with Prince Henry's illness and death in November, which had a major impact on what happened in 1613. It proceeds more or less chronologically from this event to Princess Elizabeth's wedding and the stunning array of dramatic performances at court, and includes the journey to her new home in Germany. As part of the year's cultural nexus, the narrative reaches into the Guildhall experience to explore the riches of the books that emanated from London's printers and to examine specifically the drama performed or published in 1613. The final major focus centres on the Carr-Howard wedding at the year's end, full of cultural activities and ripe with political significance.

Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

Relatively late manifestations of the European philhellene revival of Greco-Roman letters presented to readers complex, extended prose fiction in which the trials of love mask an implicit moral and political allegory. Inevitably, coming during the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Reformation, this cultural phenomenon was not without its religious and political dimensions. Longus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus were the three principal English exponents of rhetorically conscious Greco-Roman erotic romance. This book enhances the understanding of the erotic romances of Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Lady Mary Sidney Wroth by setting them within an integrated political, rhetorical, and aesthetic context. It investigates how Renaissance translators alter rhetorical styles, and even contents, to accord with contemporary taste, political agendas and the restrictions of censorship. Particular attention is paid to differences between the French courtly style of Jacques Amyot and François de Belleforest and the more literal translations of their English counterparts. Valuable perspective on the early translations is offered through the modern English versions in B.P. Reardon's Collected Ancient Greek Novels. The book considers the three texts of Sidney's Arcadia, as a political romance sharing many of the thematic and rhetorical concerns of the ancients. It focuses on a narrow range of Shakespeare's plays including Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. The book identifies Mary Sidney Wroth's masque-like prose allegory, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, as philhellene Protestant political propaganda.

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Thinking poets

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 poetics.

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The prefatory material to the Shepheardes Calender was written prior to 10 April 1579, because it is signed with that date, but the poem was not entered into the Stationers’ Register until 5 December 1579. Spenser had ample time to secure Sidney's consent to the dedication and to introduce political commentary into whatever pastoral structure already existed. During these months, England was in tumult over what it

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Love’s Labour’s Lost and As You Like It

down-to-earth political associations; a homely forest of ‘Arden’ that is also the romantically infused Ardennes. Such an approach implies that, given an audience’s pre-existing perceptions and forms of knowledge, what may conveniently be termed its ‘French associations’, France could not function as a ‘neutral’ background for infinite comic possibility. A basic contrast may be drawn here, first, with the fantastic neo-classical Ephesis of The Comedy of Errors , as with the medievalised legendary Athens of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the never-never-land of

in The Shakespearean comic and tragicomic