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ENGL200- The Renaissance Unit

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ENGL 200
Gwynn Dujardin

The Renaissance: Oct 11, 2013 Central tenets and pursuits of renaissance humanism (from "shudia humaniatis") Renaissance = rebirth, recuperate classical antiquity of Greek/Rome (pagan religions) Humanism- represents the restoration and study of (humanities) history, philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome • belief that learning is beneficial in and of itself, by rendering one a more capable thinker, but that it especially serves to produce moral human beings prepared to contribute to society o ... "Getting an education" ... helps one "think critically"; "be a better person": "get a job" (end of learning is to serve God) • subjects of learning: the languages, literature, history, and philosophy of classical antiquity (it. ancient Greece and Rome) ... ie. the "humanities" o ... notion that past should be valued, even held above the present (the cyclical narrative of present day decline vs solely the study of Scripture and theology • privileges the study and practice of rhetoric , the ability to persuade others through language o ... the importance of being able to "communicate effectively": to be a "better writer/speaker" (vs logic, which yields definite and incontrovertible solutions) • defines language as product of social interaction and consent (vs divinely ordained, a book isn't called a book because God said so, but because of the language/knowledge that it communicates); understands knowledge as constructed and provisional (vs. certain and uncontestable) o radical revolution in thinking about language and shift in ways of thinking about knowledge o ... goal of English major to analyse and interpret, achieved through dialogue, discussion Humanism conceives and generates knowledge through dialogue ("through words") How this particular course is humanist in the classical sense: • values the study of history in and of itself but also as means to understand the present • studies the way figures/authors represent themselves and their societies through language • understands/interprets texts by putting them in dialogue with one another and with you o di=through --> dialogue = through words • assists you in your ability to argue your own interpretation in writing Thomas More, Utopia (Printed in Louvaine (Belgium) in Latin 1516) Member of Parliament, sheriff; on trade embassy (ambassador); will become Lord Chancellor: public servant to the King and state • went to grammar school to study latin, French • used that learning to get a job in government • knowledge of the past and history, ability to learn from other cultures can help us better understand and improve our own society • means for social mobility • education transforms the society of feudal England (inherited rank, born into your station for life) --> now education can allow anyone to change their social order • wealth was amassed by the few --> education changes this traditional model • knowledge is essential to the running of the state - not just someone who is born into the position U-topia: Gk., eu (good) and/or ou (no) + topos, place (geographical place or a place to deliver their rhetoric point of view) --> pun utopia = "good place" or "no place" Precedents and Influences: Classical: Plato, Republic: imagines ideal republic, through "Socratic dialogue" pastoral: represents innocent, humble folk (eg. shepherds) in idyllic, agricultural scene removed from city/civilization Aristotle, Rhetoric: topoi: place Immediate: Writings of Amerigo Vespucci, Atlantic explorer Structure: 1) "letter" to Peter Giles 2) Book 1 conversation with Hythloday 3) Hythloday's monologue Utopia Book 1 (add readings pg 31-34) Key questions: how does Utopia represent Renaissance humanism? How does Utopia represent and address sixteenth century social problems? 1) Book 1: Raphael's conversion with More and Giles about previous conversations at court 2) Book 2: Raphael's representation of the island of Utopia (how does the place of Utopia address the social problems?) 3) Prefatory letter from Thomas More to Peter Giles ? (how and why does he include this letter?) • questions why are people thieving? • people are kicked off their feudal estate, don't have a job, --> rise of crime • "there is no PLACE in philosophy for the councils of kings" pg 34 Oct 16, 2013 : Thomas More- Utopia Book 1 • critiques the fact that there are so many public executions (too many of them) • concerned with if the punishment of public execution is fair/appropriate for the crime committed • concerned with the social ills, social unrest • cardinal praises how many public executions that have been happening • Raphael explains how it doesn't work with addressing the crime rates and it's not right either • affect of the plague decimating Europe's population, population increased with improvements to sanitation, have more people that need to be fed and employed • system of how the social order was arranged was based on feudalism --> people were employed according to their lord --> produced goods and services to keep the lord in the position that he inherited • feudalism disrupted! --> people who should be living and working on these estates of land are cast off employed • soldiers that were serving in wars coming back o --> increase of CRIME • radical way to approach understanding the society- critiquing the social order itself as the cause of social problems Thomas More and Peter Giles Hithladay (fictional character to represent the most controversial view at the time) RADICAL REVISION OF 16TH CENTURY SOCIETY Utopia (IDEAL, PERFECT PLACE): no personal property, all dress the same, sense of community, no one has excess but everyone has just enough, trying to prevent social ills, everyone is encouraged to take part in learning ideal: universal education (RADICAL VISION) if the text is concerned with exposing the social ills of the society, Raphael Hithladay- speaker of nonsense - scripted not to take him seriously, distancing him from the seriousness of what he's talking about Utopia is a place that is created to mirror England even as it is represented as something that is foreign to it Utopia becomes a means which potential solutions to England can be experimented, elaborated on, applied, but of course it is not perfect Text wants us to use language as a conversation • start a conversation with a solution • a letter is an exchange between men • Thomas More - how concerned he is to get at the truth of the matter • initiates the process of distancing, projects the responsibilities onto Raphael • letter suggests how the text is something that is in a process • models dialogue between men Book 1: represents a conversation between Thomas More, Peter Giles, Raphael Thomas repeatedly challenges Raphael on what he says, models to us as a reader of the dialogue that should be taking place about the social ills that are happening • evidence of the first contention/argument that somebody like Raphael (has classical education, abundance in earning - a humanist) is in the counsel of kings --> that the kings would benefit from having someone like him in the counsel --> is refused Book 2: monologue imposing a particular point of view which puts the reader in a position to accept what the speaker says without any say/discussion • as Raphael presents utopia, it is IMPOSED on you as the reader • previous sections of the book told us to PUSH BACK, dialogue, conversation, debate with what we shouldn't be accepting, this is not right • the text of utopia has trained you to be a humanist by imposing on the reader --> makes you think critically and push back with dialogue with other learned men • structured and composed to educated your skills and learning that represent humanism Oct 18, 2013 Latin represents the language of learning • definition of learning has changed, not only engaged in just religious education, but of classical learning- history, language, philosophy Utopia also promotes a conversion- that classical learning is of value to the state • trying to convert those in power to understand the value of humanist learning in regards to their governance Also converts the reader to a mode of learning and engagement Henry 8th considered himself a humanist • by writing the text in Latin, it is intended to be circulated among men of other countries, and reach them to advise them/convert them Letter from Thomas More to Peter Giles • genre implies a sense of familiarity between the 2 • way of effectively disposing you to believe that which is represented (rhetoric) Raphael describes his dialogue • see the importance of dialogue in questioning Text ends on a provisional note - to continue to engage in a dialogue --> which should lead to the improvement of society • training/testing the reader to listen carefully, to formulate their own views, to think critically about the ways society is run Structure of the text, influences -Thomas More, Utopia past, present, future • imagines ideal republic through Socratic Dialogue- the give and take of conversation in which people should come to their own point of view • Utopia title- trains the reader to read between the lines to think critically about society- there is "no place" for this ideally "good place" to exist • fiction becomes a vehicle on which we can reflect upon our own society and discuss how to improve society • pastoral poetry- shepherds tending their sheep, having dialogue with each other o sheep are society o shepherds are having discussions with each other about how to tend to the society o represents innocent, humble folk in idyllic, agricultural scene removed from (comparatively troubled, even corrupt) city/civilization events and discussions represent allegories of society. ie mirrors, reflects back on that society • distancing technique Line between Utopia and Dystopia very porous • dystopian fiction is speaking to our generation • Science fiction- a stem from utopian fiction - using a surreal society to comment and improve one's own society With Utopia, we have a prose text written by a paradigmatic humanist in Thomas More (educated in humanist  grammar school and at Cambridge, and employed in government service) wherein a character named Raphael  Hythloday (or Hythlodaeus, for speaker of nonsense) is implored to apply his learning and experience to the  service of some king who would plausibly benefit from his wisdom.  • Hythloday rebuffs this suggestion — “there is no place for philosophy in the council of kings” — and  furnished examples from his travels in Europe to support his refusal. Sixteenth­century England figures  among these examples, as he recounts to his listeners discussions he had there concerning the nation's  frequent public executions. He objects in principle to the executions, along the lines of the “punishment  fitting the crime.” But also opines that the crime the executions mean to redress is the result of  unemployment occasioned by the return of soldiers from war as well as, and perhaps more important, people  being driven off feudal estates (wherein they worked for their feudal lord in exchange for land they would  work for themselves) by the practice of “enclosures,” i.e., enclosing land formerly cultivated for agriculture  to raise sheep for wool (wool brings a higher price, and sheep require only a few men to tend them).  It is worth pausing to consider how English society is changing, then, since feudalism had been instituted by the  Normans in the medieval era.  Indeed, like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, More’s Utopia presents what can be readily perceived as a critique of  English society. But where The Canterbury Tales ridicules the particular foibles and abuses of members of  society, Utopia takes on the structure and governance of the society as a whole, not only through Hythloday’s  biting comments on English law and governance in Book I, but also in his depiction of the ideal society in Utopia, in  Book II.  How would you like to be the one to tell Henry VIII that there are fundamental flaws in English society that warrant  radical restructuring? (You might have heard he was prone to send people to the axe; More will be executed later  when he refuses to agree to the terms of Henry’s Protestant Reformation.) Consider this question as you read/reread  the text, indeed to consider the strategies Thomas More employs to express potentially controversial points of view.  Indeed consider the alternative ways More could have constructed his argument(s): why not a straightforward speech  or treatise on England’s social conditions and the best ways to reform them?  How does the place of U­topia (which means either no place or good place, and likely both at once) form a  rhetorical topos, i.e., part of an argument intended to persuade? How, as a humanist reader, do we discern that  argument, and respond? In moving on to lyric poetry, we will begin with Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,”  which you should recall from our historical literacy exercise from the first day of class. Consider the ways Marlowe’s  poem mirrors Utopia: it, too, represents an ideal, even idyllic, society, set apart from “civilization”; it, too, represents  an argument, as the speaker attempts to persuade his reader/listener.  More than just a love poem set in nature, “The  Passionate Shepherd” represents Renaissance humanism in verse form. (Indeed, kinda ironic that it is set amongst ...  shepherds with sheep.) Renaissance pastoral: "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"- Christopher Marlowe • Shepherd saying "come with me to this ideal world" • but dialogue is one sided with his beloved, conditional --> beloved has the choice to join/respond • interaction with nature: using ornaments in nature to make poetry to convince his beloved to join him • poem is inviting the reader to join in him in this idealized world of poetry • up to you to decide whether to join his idea of idealized poetry • poetry being an idealized sphere of communication - where there is a dialogue taking place with the reader • language is mellifluous- rhyme, meter, like a song o part of the pleasure that we're invited to enjoy and take part in • poetry about capturing a beautiful moment suspended in time and space o idealizing that perfect moment of love o roses/posies wither, wool gets dirty, nothing in nature lasts forever o using poetry to make things the way it should be o using language to represent the world the way we want it to be Renaissance Lyric Poetry I: the sonnet Lyric Poetry: form lyre (stringed instrument) Sonnet: from Italian soneto, little song defined by and as personal expression, wherein poet/speaker represents his/her subjective state of mind (eg. feelings, emotions, perspectives) the Lyric "I" vs narrative poetry eg. The Faerie Queen, Paradise Lost Thomas Wyatt translates the work of Italian Renaissance poet Francesco Petrarca to English, adapting and transforming the form of the sonnet in the process From Rime Sparse (scattered rhymes), 14th C --> English translation Thomas Wyatt 1520s (p122) • from translating from Italian to English, the subject "I" has to be definitive in each sentence to identify the subject --> I in the subjective state of the speaker • sonnet represents the transition in syntax --> subject of "I" is visible and asserted, put at the front of the sentence Form: Octave (8) + volta (turn) + sestet (6) Petrarchan oxymoron - taking language to represent a condition that cannot exist in the real world but language can used to create other impossible worlds/states/conditions in one's mind Poetics - the dominant formal features of a work (typically in verse): the patterns in describing a poem's form, we usually refer to the metre, rhyme scheme, and number of lines Scansion: the process of scanning a poem's meter and rhyme Metre: the rhythm of a poem; the beat that the poem emphasizes to youo ("elision": the leaving out of a syllable to make a line "scan" (eg. o're) Rhyme scheme: the pattern or design that the rhymes make in a poem, typically in the vowels at the end of a line (but you may find "internal" rhymes inside the line too) Sonnet: a 14 line poem in iambic pentameter; iambic penta/meter (iamb= 2 syllable verbal unit, first syllables is unstressed, the second stressed; pentameter = 5 feet) Types of sonnets vary by rhyme scheme: Petrarchan : the octet = abbaabba; the sestet cdecde, cdcdcd, or cdcdee English: (aka Shakespearean): 3 quatrains (4 lines) then rhyming couplet Oct 21, 2013 Sonnet: 14 line poem (eventually) in iambic pentameter , COURTLY GENRE Iamb: 2 syllable verbal unit, first syllable is unstressed, the second stressed pentameter - 5 feet Petrarchan sonnet: rhyme scheme ABBAABBA [CDDC CEE] octave + sestet, separated by the volta (the turn) from an initial set of observations (typically a problem or conflict) to attempt at resolution English sonnet: rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG three quatrains + couplet Early Tudor Sonnet adapted by Wyatt and Surrey from Petrach (soneto [little song]) • characterized by psychological and emotional intensity; focus on subjective point of view of individual speaker: the lyric "I" • concentrated language condenses layers of meaning through metaphor esp through Petrarchan conceit (metaphor that draws a complex and elaborate comparison) o Polysemy language itself concentrates many different meaning into a very short form of text , see forms of figurative language that can possess many different meanings o flexibility of language: "puns", awareness of how words can have many different meanings, also represents the transition from words having an ordained single meaning to having many different meanings at once depending on how one interprets it • paradox (a figure of contradiction, that somehow captures and represents the speaker's unique experience o ie. my heart burns with an icy fire • the "personal" is often political erotic desire represents other forms of desire eg. for advancement, and the plausibility of achieving one's ends (eg. the "hunt") in a courtly milieu o infer that instead of the sport of hunting animals, • structure of sonnet: poses a problem, attempts to reach a re/solution Late Tudor Sonnet resurrected and [popularized] by Philip Sidney • first sonnet of sequence poses problem that reminder of sequence explores and attempts to resolve this may represent an overall conceit • the reader is (typically) a woman, the object of the poet's desire and whose love the writer desires in return • frequent depictions of "love at first sight" draw from classical mythology (in the Cupid myth), but also relate to questions of vision, perspective, particularly of "truth" • Paradox/polysemy/figurative language persist, indeed recur after the publication of Sidney's sequence makes writing sonnets a fashionable exercise, indeed a way for prospective courtiers to • the blazon catalogues the beloved's physical features to comparisons to other objects of beauty ("eyes like starts") • the love [typically] gets unrequited as the poet is rejected frequently banished or dismissed by the cruel mistress ... what would happen if he love were requited ? o don't end up together or else there'd be nothing to write about o condition of wanting, listing, desiring --> ideal conditions for a writer to demonstrate poetic language to express those desires • the sonnet presents a set of ideas that aren't necessarily readily understood or obvious --> we have to interpret what the poem represents, how the poem is representing something else • this value to render the conventions formally is a courtly concern • way in which suggest/represent the prestige of what they're writing is by differentiating the type of writing, making a new set of rules of what a sonnet is, how to write other poetry • emergence of a hierarchy of genre (some novels have more respect/social prestige) Whoso list to hunt Whoso: there are a lot of people out there that this poem can describe "Who wants to/inclined to hunt" --> who is inclined towards, listed towards • physical metaphor of listing towards • drawing up the list of an army --> there is a group of people in particular that are involved in the hunt "I know where to an hind" • literal "in the hind of something" (behind), hind: female deer • red colour: blood from the hunt, colour of passion and desire "but as for me, alas, I may no more" • alas: pause for a second of weariness, sighing • a lass: female deer "the vain travail hath wearied me to sore" • sore: physically hurt --> hunted; emotionally upset, frustrated, bitter (inversion of being affected by the hunt) • vain: try to do something/pursue something in vain, person has low self confidence but tries anyway • travail: work/labour; --> Anglo Norman word, French is the language of prestige --> hunt is a courtly aristocratic pastime • hunt is something the speaker has done before, but now is letting other people (younger people) take the lead; done this hunt before, is now maybe wearied o cyclical nature of poem --> cyclical nature of the hunt • wearied --> worried for the other men in the hunt How are certain words/meanings/senses linked to one another because of rhyme and structure; what is the relationship between words of similar/different sounds Perhaps the most important feature of the sonnet tradition involves the conceit. Related to the word “concept,” and thus to idea, a Petrarchan conceit is an inventive metaphor that typically dominates and unifies a poem. • In Wyatt’s “Whoso list to hunt,” for example, Wyatt turns Petrarch’s comparatively relaxed and benign experience of seeing a deer in to an intensely fraught hunt. The speaker is not concerned with an actual hunt, though, as you surmised: rather, the hunt represents something. • Therein lies the challenge (and the fun) of Petrarchan sonnets, i.e., in decoding the poems' conceits. Certainly, some scholars interpret “Whoso list to hunt” in particular as an allegory for Wyatt’s thwarted relationship with the King’s mistress, Anne Boleyn. Nonetheless, as with most sonnets generally in the period, it is possible to understand the central conceit as a metaphor for many other ideas, concerns, and preoccupations. What do you think the hunt represents, and what aspects of the poem — content and/or form (this includes meter and line breaks, caesurae, etc.) — make you think that? Then look at Wyatt’s and Surrey’s respective translations of the other Petrarch poem. What is the conceit — the dominant metaphor — of those poems? What language in the poem helps you unlock or decipher the terms and logic of that metaphor? What are the metaphors within the metaphor (I.e., what does the “deer” represent in the “hunt”? How do the images in the Wyatt and Surrey poems form part of the overall metaphor? Read the poems with attention to the parts of them that give you the impressions you make. This is the fun part, because these texts require analysis — seeing their wholes in terms of their parts — and any interpretation, and there are many possible interpretations to be had — is the sum of the particular relation of parts you see as critically related. I might mention here that when “close reading” was developed as a technique in the twentieth century, Renaissance poetry was the material used to develop it. These texts demand close reading, which is why I recommend choosing one of them for your essay assignment. After some discussion about the emergence and relevance of print to concepts of authorship, we’ll then move to 2 sonnet sequences: Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, and Mary Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. Oct 25, 2013 Edmund Spencer: writes and publishes The Faerie Queene after his pastoral collection The Shepherds Caldendar • exchanges pastoral to other types of poetry • The Faerie Queene represents Queen Elizabeth 1 as Gloriana o Tells the English history rd o Elements of love (3 stanza), cupid o 4 stanza- addresses Queen Elizabeth- Edmund sucking up to the monarchs o Seems like stepping back in history since there is a deliberate use of Anglo-Saxon words or words spelled differently (to give the text a “historical look”) o  deliberate use of Medieval language – humanism, language itself is something worth recuperating Book 1: Book of Holinesse • Red cross knight  what is the allegory being represented? Renaissance: Transition from Manuscript to Print Culture • Manuscript started among scribes, copied and distributed through other monasteries • Produced not just for religious texts, but also now for literary texts • Producing a text that appeals to the audience  emerging market for literature • Machine invented to reproduce a text from MOVEABLE TYPE o Before used silk screens or woodcuts to make prints, but could only be used for that specific print o Now can use the machine to type literature o TEXTUAL TRANSMISSION  books produced in greater numbers and faster, can reach more readers o Early books looked like handwritten manuscripts (handwriting font) o Print made it possible for books to be reproduced  but also takes a lot of time and th labour  printing on vellum until paper mill was invented in the late 15 century Authors didn’t want to have their work published in print and to be circulated as a “best seller” • Wanted to keep one’s work private and only circulated among a select group • Print made it possible for text to be copied, produced, and purchased by the common people (bottom layer of society) • Common people could tarnish the writer’s name  no sense of intellectual property, only wanted writing to be showed among an elite select crowd • Wanted to preserve the status of their work associated with their title • “copyright” Sidney composes an anthology of poetry 1 poem • Overwhelmed with everything he wants to share but can’t • Poem about how to share feelings and emotions, own state of mind “loving in truth and fain in verse” • Fain= eager, fained = not true • Loving, devoted, wants to show the truth of his love in verse structure • But there’s doubt in communicating in this form that can be doubted o Elements of artifice in poetry , questions truth o Problematic: Is language able to be controlled?  to say what you want ot say and not have it seriously misinterpreted “to show” “my pain” “her know” “grace obtain” • Not iambic pentameter  has an extra foot at the end • “and others feet still seemed but strangers in my way” o Poetic foot and models of poetry structure not necessarily the best way to follow the models of precious writers • Take the extra step to make an extra foot? Why? • Emphasis on discovery and inventing what you want to write about Lover represented as the reader of the poem • theorizes the effects of reading on the reader  implied relationship between the speaker and the reader • obtain her thanks/grace from writing sonnets? Concludes: writing is a personal expression of the heart • don’t get so technical about it, just do it • breaking out of the typical sonnet structure • “look into your heart”  suggesting that truth comes from the inner self o Start with “loving in truth”, also end with honesty o Syntax of the last line is very easy to understand (clarity, emphasis) 2 Contrasting ideas in the Renaissance 1) Neoclassical- poet is a maker  builds something from models 2) Poet is a prophet that is inspired to write and create Different states of mind as he writes • 34) questions if he should write at all… • Afraid to publish cheap stuff on the street • Subject speaks to the subject, questioning himself and responding o 2 voices of the subject split 45) Stella was reading this poem and was moved • Pity the tale of me if that’s what’s going to get me your grace/thanks • Anxieties of multiple meanings communicated through language o Maybe the way she read it wasn’t the way he wanted her to • Problem: when your text circulates, people can misinterpret and spread ideas that you didn’t intend to  can’t control it o Why many authors didn’t want their writing printed and circulated Mary Wroth, Pamphilia to Amphilanthus • Mary taking up the sonnet structure, but speaks about the subjective state of mind from a female point of view • How do restrictions on female behaviour affect her capacity to write about her experience of love from the subjective state of mind In our last class we plunged deeper into the historical and social relevance of the sonnet as its formal features mark the emergence of a particular kind of lyric poetry in early modern England. To this day, we tend to associate the writing of poetry with "expressing ourselves." Lyric poetry is defined by its representation of the self, indeed the self's state of mind or point of view. -- the "I." We talked about how changes in the language contribute to the focus on the lyric "subject," inasmuch as the continued shift towards a grammatical structure involving subject + verb + complement puts the self up front as the subject of attention: everything follows from and revolves around that self. (Compare to Anglo-Saxon grammatical structures, of course, and how those structures manifest in/through Anglo-Saxon poetry.) The sonnet represents the self in its *complexity by compressing ideas in language, through form, polysemy, and metaphor: in form, that is, in the space of fourteen short lines; in polysemy and metaphor, in ways that the words themselves carry many possible meanings, which, when elaborated upon, say much, much more than it would appear when we look at the poem on the page. • We call the overall metaphors that typically unify these poems "conceits" (related to the word "concept"). Our task is to unpack and consider all the possible meanings in the poem to arrive at conclusions concerning the poem's interpretation, or our understanding of what the conceit, and thus the poem, represents. We began this process with "Whoso List to Hunt" and the Wyatt's and Surrey's variations on Petrarch's poem that describes love in militaristic terms of occupation and conquest. In writing essays on these poems, you would not be responsible for accounting for every possible meaning or interpretation, but instead to *one focused interpretation you put forth using textual evidence, explication, and reasoning. You *must start with what I call informed brainstorming, or what Kathryn Acheson calls "research *in the text. In the coming days we'll talk about making the transition from brainstorming to narrowing one's focus and formulating an (!) hypothesis (i.e., a draft of your thesis). For tomorrow, we will focus our freeplaying brainstorming energies first on the first sonnet of Philip SIdney's Astrophil and Stella. Bring those handouts back! We'll look at the overall "narrative," so to speak, of the sequence, and then look at Mary Wroth's sonnets from her own sequence for comparison. How/why do the poems read differently when the voice/speaker is gendered female? What does that suggest about the "lyric 'I'" as represented in/by other sonnets? How might the structure of English grammar -- subject + verb + *object -- be informative here? In considering Mary Wroth's poem from the perspective of female authorship -- and to be sure, you should also consider Wroth in relation to Marie de France as well as the Wife of Bath -- we will move to Queen's Elizabeth I's "Speech to the Troops at Tilbury," to assess how she too negotiates her own gender in the masculine role of monarch and through the masculine genre of rhetoric. For as you may have caught from our discussions on humanism, humanist grammar schools are built for *boys... not girls. Queen Elizabeth and Mary Wroth are *exceptional in the period for having received a humanist education (in classical languages and literatures, and, yes, rhetoric) on account of their privileged status. In this way, how can we see each of them putting their education to work in their texts as they occupy positions -- monarch, author -- conventionally held by men? How do they exploit the benefits of education we discussed? I hope to look at the first four poems of The Faerie Queene to call attention to -- indeed to account for -- its particular form. The Faerie Queene combines elements of epic and romance (genres with which you are already familiar); the figure of the "Faerie Queene" in the text represents Queen Elizabeth, and Spenser addresses Elizabeth in those opening stanzas. But have a look at the language... after what we've been reading in the past week, do you feel as though we're taking a step backwards? Spenser wants you to feel that way. We'll talk about why. Oct 28, 2013 Key terms: "chaste, silent, and obedient", female authorship, patronage, archaism, Protestant Reformation conceit: overarching theme/message of the metaphors in a poem Engagement between writer and reader • metaphor of lover and beloved Astrophil and Stella o Phil = name of the guy, Astro = star, Stella = star --> Phil is the star lover of his star, Stella • man courts his reader, wishes for her to return his attention • overall conceit: using the relationship between the lover and the beloved to represent the relationship between the writer and the reader Astrophil not ending together with Stella represents the writing process: leaving something unresolved always gives more reason and content to write about • For Bede, Latin is the language of the church • For Surrey, Latin is the language of classical leaning Writing is an avocation • to write was a pastime, a pursuit, it might enhance their own reputation, but it isn't until the end of the century that making a career out of living starts to emerge • initially through patronage, by using the courtier system to court the court so someone who is entitled to a position of wealth might support his writing • write something to spread the fame of the patron in exchange for his support Mary Wroth (pg 744) • member of the Sidney family • enters the very masculine world of the sonnet sequence: speaker describing his love for the beloved woman/reader --> that relationship as a metaphor for other relationships o how does this change when the speaker is a female in a position which is known to be masculine at the time? • CONTINUITY AND CHANGE: pointing more at herself than at the reader • focuses on her subjective state of mind, writing about herself without necessarily addressing the reader • language used sounds like a battle: trying to fit in, female trying to take on these militaristic metaphors that are meant for men • open ending • asks the question: must we be servile and do what he lists • cupid = figure of love that looses his darts • gendering of cupid matters here --> am i allowed to resist him? can I resist this set of conventions that dictate what I'm supposed to do according to him • she wants to declare a kind of freedom from these conventions of love (and --> freedom in writing) page 745 "in this strange labyrinth..." • conceit: • graceful writing, weighing all the options logically • any life stage that requires options, each way has its own perils --> path of trying to find her way as a female writer • expected that female should remain chaste, silent, and obedient • writing of a sonnet sequence expressing desire for a gendered male is threatening to challenge the conventions of chastity and silence since she's not only writing, but also WRITING ABOUT DESIRE o to love is to violate the convention of chastity o to write is to violate the convention of silence • "in this strange labyrinth how shall I turn?" o labyrinth = a sonnet sequence • classical myth: representing her classical education being drawn upon to represent the conceit of the labyrinth, problems with agency of female agency in love and authorship o she's the one leading the man out using the thread of love o here she's the one in the midst of the labyrinth o inversion of the roles in the classical myth  being there in the position where it's supposed to be a man, but she's the only woman around taking on that position o the sonnet sequence is the thread that she needs to complete to guide herself through in order to get out of the labyrinth • to what extent does she take her own path and lead herself out by her own powers? • taking up established metaphors and varying them to explore the problem of female authorship and female desire Defying conventions, silence, chastity, obedience • Queen Elizabeth becoming the queen of England when the monarch is assumed to be gendered male • female monarchy described as monstrous ; since it's a paradox, composed of 2 different things that shouldn't be put together • "monstrous regiment" - root rex= king ; to have a woman in the kingship position is monstrous, should not be allowed • From "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women" o "To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire, above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant in nature, contumely to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance, and finally it is a subversion of all equity and justice" • women did not have a Renaissance since grammar schools were designed for boys • Mary Wroth was an exception since she had a tutor at home for education • 3 principles of a classical Greek argument o ETHOS: establish own credibility; credibility of the monarch of England, "I may have a weak female body but I have the heart and stomach of a King" her body is still in the line of credibility being bodily connected to Henry 8th o gaining credibility by appealing to the masses that are questioning her credibility o PATHOS: address the emotional state of mind; I'm no tyrant, appealing to the potential fears of those before her so they identify with her choice to be audacious in the face of danger; she needs concords so appeals to the emotions of the soldiers reassures that she identifies with their fears --> if I can be manly, so can you! o proving she's strong by using the language of "I committed, I know, I say... " possessive pronouns "my God, my kingdom" --> expressing possession over the island o puts the honour on her people, she defines her own audience as faithful and loving people, loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects --> dictates the way she views them, and how they should view themselves too o logos: using logic, display your wisdom • "we" The king's 2 bodies : spiritual/political leader body of that nation, physical body o although she has a female earthly body o she's advocating that she has a masculine spiritual/political body that can govern in the monarchy • "I won't let you invade my body" ?? o in romanticizing her language, she projects onto them that they should be loyal and true to her, demanding the loyalty of the masculine soldiers to the extent that they are being told to fight for HER HONOUR, not just the honour of the country o she has her body and the boundaries of her virgin body (virgin queen) identified with the purity and sanctity of the territory itself o using her own gender to compel those present to fight on her behalf o uses her gender to strategically use language to occupy and dictate the terms of her monarchy she doesn't bear children because she says she is "the mother to all my people", doesn't marry because she says she's married to her nation and people Contexts of The Faerie Queene II: POETRY, PATRONAGE, AND POWER From Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender • Spenser not born into aristocracy, but looking for a way to advance himself • writes to court Elizabeth for patronage writing • promises to represent Eliza is a positive light, idealized way in exchange for her support • "queen of shepherds" • poet telling the queen to rise • let Eliza thank you for your song --> in exchange for the "decked in royal array" positive description, she should thank him through patronage The Faerie Queene stanzas 1-4 pp 141-142 • knights and ladies --> in the realm of romance • fierce wars --> battle • faithful love --> romance • the first English Epic --> written in English, uses Archaic English language • the book is supposed to turn you into those knights, learn through the book to possess and express those virtues represented by the knights I also spoke at length about the arrival of print in England in 1473, and its development in England in the sixteenth century. I talked about the materials, labour, and expense involved in print publication, and modeled to you the different sizes of publications (broadside, folio, octavo, quarto) as printers such as Wynkyn de Worde tried to reduce costs to increase potential profits. Indeed the signature importance of print to our study of the history of literature in English lies not only in the ways it gets reading material to more people, thereby increasing literacy and changing readership, but also in the ways it reshapes what it means to "write" in society. Where previously all writing was recorded and transmitted in comparatively limited fashion in manuscript, print makes it possible for ones writing to be produced in greater numbers and reach more people. This does not immediately commend it to many in the early stages; by contrast, in the first century of print some authors deliberately withheld their writing to maintain their exclusivity among a small, elite coterie of readers at court. Philip Sidney is among those who demur to print his works on account of the "stigma of print." A printer nonetheless seizes his work after his death, and the publication of Astrophil and Stella sets the fashion for writing sonnet sequences in the 1590s. Consider the implications of what I just wrote for the hi
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