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.
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.
Thirteen writers have comprehensively explained the Renaissance scheme of physiology-psychology used for nosce teipsum, to ‘know oneself’, and other scholars have analysed key features like humours, bodily spirits, passions, reason, inner wits, soul and spirit, mystic apprehension. Only poets with epic scope, like Spenser and Shakespeare, depict human nature holistically, yet these finest poets have radically distinct psychologies. Spenser’s Christianised Platonism prioritises the soul, his art mirroring divine Creation as dogmatically and encyclopedically conceived. He looks to the past, collating classical and medieval authorities in memory-devices like the figurative house, nobly ordered in triadic mystic numerical hierarchy to reform the ruins of time. Shakespeare’s sophisticated Aristoteleanism prioritises the body, highlighting physical processes and dynamic feelings of immediate experience, and subjecting them to intense, skeptical consciousness. He points to the future, using the witty ironies of popular stage productions to test and deconstruct prior authority, opening the unconscious to psychoanalysis. This polarity of psychologies is radical and profound, resembling the complementary theories of physics, structuring reality either (like Spenser) in the neatly-contained form of particle theory, or (like Shakespeare) in the rhythmic cycles of wave theory. How do we explain these distinct concepts, and how are they related? These poets’ contrary artistry appears in strikingly different versions of a ‘fairy queen’, of humour-based passions (notably the primal passion of self-love), of intellection (divergent modes of temptation and of moral resolution), of immortal soul and spirit, of holistic plot design, and of readiness for final judgment.
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.
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.
John of Salisbury (c. 1120–80) is a key figure of the twelfth-century renaissance. A student at the cosmopolitan schools of medieval Paris, an associate of Thomas Becket and an acute commentator on society and rulership, his works and letters give unique insights into the political culture of this period. This volume reassesses the influence of classical sources on John’s political writings, investigating how he accessed and used the ideas of his ancient predecessors. By looking at his quotations from and allusions to classical works, O’Daly shows that John not only borrowed the vocabulary of his classical forbears, but explicitly aligned himself with their philosophical positions. She illustrates John’s profound debt to Roman Stoicism, derived from the writings of Seneca and Cicero, and shows how he made Stoic theories on duties, virtuous rulership and moderation relevant to the medieval context. She also examines how John’s classical learning was filtered through patristic sources, arguing that this led to a unique synthesis between his political and theological views. The book places famous elements of John’s political theory - such as his model of the body-politic, his views on tyranny - in the context of the intellectual foment of the classical revival and the dramatic social changes afoot in Europe in the twelfth century. In so doing, it offers students and researchers of this period a novel investigation of how Stoicism comprises a ‘third way’ for medieval political philosophy, interacting with – and at times dominating – neo-Platonism and proto-Aristotelianism.
Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance
1 Theocritus Idyll viii
Translated anonymously from the Greek
From Sixe Idillia ... chosen out of ... Theocritus (1588). This idyll is part of the core Theocritus canon,
though scholars have doubted his authorship; some have suggested that the poem amalgamates what
were originally separate pieces.
The viii. Idillion.
Menalcas a Shephearde, and Daphnis a Netehearde, two Sicilian lads, contending who
should sing best, pawne their whistles, and choose a Gotehearde, to be their Iudge. Who
giueth sentence on Daphnis
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: an anthology (2016), supporting the earlier volume with a range of critical and textual material. The book-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode. Pastoral is linked to its social context, in terms of not only direct allusion but its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set in this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama, prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are individually discussed. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated in that age, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. All poems in the Anthology were edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts. The Textual Notes in the present volume comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets, and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names.
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