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A reassessment

This collection of essays by scholars in Renaissance and Gothic studies traces the lines of connection between Gothic sensibilities and the discursive network of the English Renaissance. The essays explore three interrelated issues: 1. Early modern texts trouble hegemonic order by pitting the irrational against the rational, femininity against patriarchal authority, bestiality against the human, insurgency against authoritative rulership, and ghostly visitation against the world of the living. As such they anticipate the destabilization of categories to flourish in the Gothic period. 2. The Gothic modes anticipated by early modern texts serve to affect the audience (and readers) not only intellectually, but above all viscerally. 3. The Renaissance period can be seen as the site of emergence for the Gothic sensibility of the 18th century as it cultivated an ambivalence regarding the incursion of the supernatural into the ordinary.

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Philip M. Taylor

Chapter 10 Renaissance Warfare The advent of the printing press coincided with other significant developments in human activity, especially in the conduct of warfare. We have already noted the arrival of gunpowder by the late Middle Ages, although its initial impact had been more psychological than military. By the late fifteenth century, its military use was being perfected in the form of cannon and hand-held weapons. This in turn, as we have seen, tended to depersonalize combat. It increased the physical distance between opposing forces and thus reduced the

in Munitions of the Mind
The Irish and the English in the seventeenth century
Author: Ian Campbell

Inspired both by debates about the origins of the modern ideology of race and also by controversy over the place of Ireland and the Irish in theories of empire in the early modern Atlantic world, Renaissance Humanism and Ethnicity before Race argues that ethnic discourse among the elite in early modern Ireland was grounded firmly in the Renaissance Humanism and Aristotelianism which dominated all the European universities before the Enlightenment. Irish and English, Catholic and Protestant, all employed theories of human society based on Aristotle’s Politics and the natural law of the medieval universities to construct or dismantle the categories of civility and barbarism. The elites operating in Ireland also shared common resources, taught in the universities, for arguing about the human body and its ability to transmit hereditary characteristics. Both in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, these theories of human society and the human body underwent violent changes in the late seventeenth century under the impact of the early Enlightenment. These changes were vital to the development of race as we know it.

Torbjørn L. Knutsen

The seeds of International Relations theorizing were sown in the fragmented and rural High Middle Ages and they took centuries to grow. Their growth was spurred by the evolution of the modern state. By the fifteenth century, the evolution was not as far developed as is often believed. Renaissance authors are often presented as important contributors to modern international theory. Yet, their speculations tended to reverberate with antique and medieval echoes, and to be more preoccupied with state affairs than with interstate relations

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)
Understanding affect in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

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.

This collection of essays explores tragedy, the most versatile of Renaissance literary genres, revealing its astonishing thematic, stylistic and emotional range. Each chapter consists of a case study, offering not only a definition of a particular kind of Renaissance tragedy but also new research into an important example of that genre. There is only one chapter on Shakespeare; instead contributors attend to subgenres of tragedy – biblical tragedy and closet drama, for example – in which Shakespeare did not engage and others in which the nature of his influence is interrogated, producing original critical readings of individual plays which show how interventions in these subgenres can be mapped onto debates surrounding numerous important issues, including national identity, the nature of divine authority, early modern youth culture, gender and ethics, as well as questions relating to sovereignty and political intervention. The chapters also highlight the rich range of styles adopted by the early modern tragic dramatists and show how opportunely the genre as a whole is positioned for speaking truth to power. Collectively, these essays reassess the various sub-genres of Renaissance tragedy in ways which respond to the radical changes that have affected the critical landscape over the last few decades.

Modern merchant princes and the origins of the Manchester Dante Society
Stephen J. Milner

Manufacturing the Renaissance: modern merchant princes and the origins of the Manchester Dante Society Stephen J. Milner A few months after arriving in Manchester as Serena Professor of Italian in August 2006 I came across two boxes in the west-wing corridor of the Samuel Alexander Building where my office is located, both of which had been put out for the cleaners by an incoming academic member of staff who was clearing out material left by the previous incumbent. Curious as to the contents of these old boxes, I examined them and discovered they contained the

in Culture in Manchester
Eric Pudney

1 Scepticism in the Renaissance Scepticism has long been acknowledged to be a vital feature of Renaissance thought, and one which has been said to distinguish the period from the Middle Ages. Conventionally, Renaissance scepticism has been seen as part of what puts the ‘modern’ into ‘early modern’: the questioning of old certainties which ultimately helped to usher in the Enlightenment. This view understates the importance of sceptical attitudes within the medieval period; as early as the fifth or sixth century, Pseudo-Dionysius was emphasising the unknowability

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
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Florentine Quattrocento palaces and all’antica styles
Richard Schofield

A local Renaissance: Florentine Quattrocento palaces and all’antica styles1 1 Richard Schofield In some cities in the fifteenth century, satisfying medieval architectural continuums had been established for certain categories of buildings which made the introduction of all’antica styles unnecessary or even undesirable. Fifteenth-century Florentine private palaces demonstrate perfectly the inertia of local traditions, and the architects who built their facades, as opposed to their courtyards, largely ignored the siren voices proclaiming that Florence was a

in Local antiquities, local identities
Andrew James Johnston

This article investigates how Chaucer‘s Knight‘s and Squire‘s tales critically engage with the Orientalist strategies buttressing contemporary Italian humanist discussions of visual art. Framed by references to crusading, the two tales enter into a dialogue focusing, in particular, on the relations between the classical, the scientific and the Oriental in trecento Italian discourses on painting and optics, discourses that are alluded to in the description of Theseus Theatre and the events that happen there. The Squire‘s Tale exhibits what one might call a strategic Orientalism designed to draw attention to the Orientalism implicit in his fathers narrative, a narrative that, for all its painstaking classicism, displays both remarkably Italianate and Orientalist features. Read in tandem, the two tales present a shrewd commentary on the exclusionary strategies inherent in the construction of new cultural identities, arguably making Chaucer the first postcolonial critic of the Renaissance.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library