Masculinity, Gender and Identity in the English Renaissance Lyric


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Gender Identity: Why All the Confusion?

In Search of expansion public other interest. Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. When did this start and how did it get to where it is today? Wait, so what's a pheromone?

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Are the parties successful? When will it come to my city? Although the rejection of the "phallic inheritance" 5 informs a great deal of male-authored Renaissance lyric poetry, the aim of the book is not an exhaustive exploration; rather, Bates focuses on five texts: Sidney's Astrophil and Stella the first sonnet sequence written in English ; Sidney's prose romance the New Arcadia and its lyric figuration of the blazon; Ralegh's elegy The Ocean to Cynthia ; Shakespeare's A Lover's Complaint a subgenre of the conventional complaint ; and Donne's epistle Sapho to Philaenis.

Masculinity, Gender and Identity in the English Renaissance Lyric - Catherine Bates - Google книги

Bates's rationale for her selections is their generic diversity and "the extremity" they share in their negation of phallogocentrism 2. In the introductory chapter, Bates sets out her methodology, noting her departure from the critical tradition that has "rendered invisible and inaccessible" the Renaissance lyric's emphasis on "the perverseness" of male desire and identification 3 , and outlining her debt to contemporary feminist and psychoanalytic paradigms of subjectivity. Her subsequent deconstructive analyses of the texts are rendered through original and often trenchant close readings.

In chapter 2, she argues that Sidney's poetics of "instructional 'delight'" as articulated, albeit ambivalently, in his Apology for Poetry , in which the reader is to be pleasingly moved to virtue, is rendered inoperable in Astrophil and Stella by Astrophil's "thoroughly [End Page ] ill-disciplined" and uncorrected masculinity Countering the longstanding interpretation of Astrophil's "general failure and ultimate despair" as illustrative of Sidney's "overarching moral aim" 34 , Bates demonstrates Astrophil's peremptory commitment to the Petrarchan lover's masochistic pleasure in endlessly deferred gratification, and the sequence's disavowal of the "restoration of 'normal' heterosexual object relations" in favor of "the perverse alternative" In chapter 3, Bates explores how in the New Arcadia Sidney recasts the traditional blazon, a literary form that best illustrates "the circulations of male homosocial desire" Pyrocles, dressed in Amazon disguise, gazes upon Philoclea and recites his blazon "What tongue can her perfections tell?

Authorship in the Seventeenth Century

The trope of fragmented masculinity is more explicitly developed in Ralegh's The Ocean to Cynthia the subject of chapter 4 , a generically elusive text in which the narrator's experience Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Programme available here. The early modern prodigal, who finds his ancestor in Luke Most often a youth and almost exclusively male, the prodigal is one of the most popular archetypes in early modern drama.


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  • Prodigals were troubling, timely figures that variably reinforced and subverted a range of early modern mores. This lecture examines examples of the archetype at the height of its popularity in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in order to provide students with a preliminary but concrete understanding of prodigals, prodigality, and the social anxieties with which these characters engage.

    While prodigal excess is frequently represented as socially disruptive, these plays also demonstrate that it cannot be unproblematically condemned.

    Excessive trespasses must be forgiven and the prodigal redeemed to restore social order, but distrust concerning the predictable nature of repentance besets these depictions of Christian closure. This lecture also explores the uneasiness present in Calvinist understandings of repentance and opens lines of inquiry for those who wish to interrogate early modern repentance on a broader level.

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    This lecture will also be of especial interest to those who wish to learn more about dynamics of authority and rebellion in the family, the morality of excess and moderation, and Calvinist thought in early modern drama and culture. He works mainly on English literary and intellectual history, , with particular interests in allegory, poetics, and the work of John Milton.

    All are welcome. My lecture seeks to place the poetry of Gavin Douglas in the wider contexts of late medieval landscape writing. I will examine how the qualities of perspective and spatial consistency developed fitfully and unpredictably in fourteenth and fifteenth century writing, but I will also discuss how descriptions of landscape could have a shifting range of associations in the context of any given work.


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