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.
The emotions of mutineers contributed to their subjectivity ‘from the
inside out’, being their inner responses to the world around them, forming a circuit with their sensory experience and shaping the way that they
interacted with their environment.1 The passage of time and the selection of words mediated the raw emotion of the mutiny, rendering historical analysis a fragile business. The difficulties of reading emotions from
their retrospective literary expression notwithstanding, certain emotions emerge during the process of revolt with
This article addresses two questions about artworks. First, why do we emotionally
respond to characters and stories that we believe are fictional? Second, why are some
media better than others at generating specific types of emotions? I answer these
questions using psychological research that suggests our minds are not unified, but
are comprised of numerous subsystems that respond differently to various aspects of
artworks. I then propose a framework to help us understand how films, videogames, and
literature interact with our minds in different ways, which explains why they tend to
excel at generating different types of emotions.
things are . It enables us to ask ‘why?’ and ‘for how long?’ It permits us to posit other ways for things to be.
Enter the history of emotions and a curious challenge. In general, and with some notable exceptions, historians have steered clear of historicising the human being itself. 1 Humans have been actors in shifting historical scenery, and it has sufficed to analyse that scenery and the drama within it. This has been at odds with the aforementioned tendency to reject what is . If historians have tended to reject transhistorical universals, they
From the late twentieth century, historians have combined theoretical perspectives to tackle new topics or to revisit the old. One such amalgamation occurred in the history of emotions, in which historians have integrated ideas derived from psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and cultural studies.
The Dutch medievalist Johan Huizinga (writing in 1919), the sociologist Norbert Elias (1939) and the Annaliste Lucien Febvre (1941) are frequently discussed as founders of emotions history. While Febvre made a general plea for the historical
For the last three decades or so, literary studies, especially those dealing with premodern texts, have been dominated by the New Historicist paradigm. This book is a collection of essays explores medieval and early modern Troilus-texts from Chaucer to Shakespeare. The contributions show how medieval and early modern fictions of Troy use love and other emotions as a means of approaching the problem of tradition. The book argues that by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It is a spectacle of which tells something about the play but also about the relation between anticipatory emotion and temporality. The sense of multiple literary futures is shaped by Shakespeare's Chaucer, and in particular by Troilus and Criseyde. The book argues that the play's attempted violence upon a prototypical form of historical time is in part an attack on the literary narratives. Criseyde's beauty is described many times. The characters' predilection for sententiousness unfolds gradually. Through Criseyde, Chaucer's Poet displaces authorial humility as arrogance. The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The poem appears to be linking an awareness of history and its continuing influence and impact on the present to hermeneutical acts conspicuously gendered female. The main late medieval Troy tradition does two things: it represents ferocious military combat, and also practises ferocious literary combat against other, competing traditions of Troy.
Representations trigger emotions that drive the struggle for recognition and respect. How an entity is represented, or wishes to be represented, influences its actions. Desire to cultivate a certain image of the Self, to be recognised in a particular way, is driven by a feeling of disrespect that manifests as a social hurt. Such hurt fosters a preoccupation with seeking a particular form of recognition through foreign policy actions. 1 If we allow such a reading of Iran's actions to present itself alongside conventional accounts of Iranian
The Troilus and
Criseyde/Cressida saga is a perfect vehicle for tracing the
history of the emotions, in that it offers an unparalleled darkening of
mood over time. This saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and
expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual
frustration. The conceit of the work, as laid out in its prose prologue,
Connecting reason and emotion
riting, like reading, was an activity that held a magnetic draw for
some women of this period. Writing could be a strong impulse,
a necessity that kept the mind free, the thoughts flowing and the
writer psychologically stable. Eighteenth-century correspondents commonly spent many lines of ink on the very subject of how writing letters to
their friends acted as an emotional salve. As Femke Molekamp has argued,
‘the lived approach to emotional life as expressed, and indeed negotiated,
within a given relationship in correspondence
Taming worldly emotions and appetites
In his Poetics, Aristotle (383–322 BC) stated that passions were an
intrinsically human trait and could not be ignored; he c onsidered
that, although some passions could be harmful, others might be
acceptable in a good and virtuous life. Yet such was not the general
view in seventeenth-century Europe. Early modern authors were
more receptive to the Stoicism of Cicero (106–43 BC) and Seneca
(c. 1–45) and to their much harsher judgement of pathos as perturbation, giving emotions a much more negative and disruptive