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Renaissance Papers 2006

Renaissance Papers 2006

Christopher Cobb
M. Thomas Hester
Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Renaissance Papers 2006
    Book Description:

    This volume collects the best scholarly essays submitted to the Southeastern Renaissance Conference in 2006. Two focus on Shakespeare: one on twins in The Comedy of Errors, one on differences between the Quarto and Folio versions of the reunion of Lear an

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-802-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[x])
  3. Youthes Witte: An Unstudied Elizabethan Anthology of Printed Verse and Prose Fiction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Steven W. May

    Youthes Witte,or The Witte of Grene Youth, printed by John Wolfe in 1581 and “Compiled and gathered together by Henry Chillester,” is an unstudied anthology of Elizabethan prose fiction plus 163 poems. Its neglect may be attributed to its survival in a unique copy at the British Library, a copy that was not entered in the first edition of the Short Title Catalogue. It did appear in the second edition, however, duly listed under Henry Chillester in volume 1—and there it sat until swept up in the title-by-title, page-by-page search for poetry for the First-Line Index of English Verse.¹...

  4. The Power of Association: A Study in the Legitimization of Bianca Cappello through Medici Matriarchal Portraiture
    (pp. 13-42)
    Heather L. Sale Holian

    When Bianca Cappello (1548–87) officially became Grand Duchess of Tuscany (fig. 1) and consort to Francesco I de’ Medici (1541–87) in 1579, she had already been the Grand Duke’s wife for a year and his mistress for over a decade, bearing him a son, Antonio, in 1576. As mistress, Bianca enjoyed the wealth, protection, and social status akin to a member of the grand ducal household, a position that caused scandal at the Florentine court and domestic and political problems for the Medici family.¹ Uninterested in or unwilling to keep the relationship a secret, Francesco acknowledged his lover...

  5. Vindicta and Vindiciae on the Early English Stage: Imagining Revenge through Huguenot Resistance Theory
    (pp. 43-60)
    John Adrian

    In the final act of Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge(1600), just as Antonio and his Venetian co-conspirators move to avenge themselves against Piero, the tyrannical Duke of Venice, we are told that “the Florence prince; / Drawn by firm notice of the duke’s black deeds, / Is made a partner in conspiracy” (V.i.14–16). It is a curious moment. The assistance of Galeazzo, Duke of Florence, is certainly not needed. Many able forces are already arrayed against Piero, and Galeazzo does not play a significant role in his assassination. Why then does Marston pause to assure us of the Florentine ruler’s complicity?...

  6. Breaking the Head of the Serpent: Women’s Childbirth Prayers in The Monument of Matrones
    (pp. 61-76)
    Susan C. Staub

    I begin with John Knox’s famous assessment of motherhood because it vividly encapsulates the contradictions inherent in early modern constructions of maternity. Woman’s punishment as a daughter of Eve required her suffering in childbirth and justified her subservience to her husband, but motherhood was also a source of redemption. An “honour” that confirmed God’s strength, maternity proved to be a “site where a form of female authority that exceeds the domestic and redeems the curse of Eve intersects with a tradition of apocalyptic hope, gentle iconoclasm, and moderate Puritan dissent,” in the words of Catherine Gray.²

    Unfortunately, besides a few...

  7. “Conquered nations mean nothing in love”: Political Dissent in Propertius’s Elegy II.7 and Donne’s “Love’s Warre”
    (pp. 77-90)
    Matthew T. Lynch

    Although many scholars and critics have noted Ovid’s influence on John Donne’s Elegies,¹ few have observed in detail the debt these poems also owe to Propertius.² Born about fifteen years before Ovid, Sextus Propertius wrote four volumes of elegies in which the speaker—between other sporadic adventures—sings of the joys and the hardships he experiences in his affair with Cynthia,³ a married woman. But behind the anxious language of love lies assertively irreverent political commentary. By most estimates, Propertius lived between 50 B.C. and 2 B.C., a time of epic political upheaval in Rome. When he was born Rome...

  8. Correcting Double Vision in The Comedy of Errors
    (pp. 91-96)
    George Walton Williams

    As the tendency to produce The Comedy of Errors with one actor playing both parts of the Antipholus Twins (and another actor for both parts of the Dromio roles) seems to be on the increase, perhaps it might be useful to examine this directional device, which invites us—as the reviewers point out—to admire the skill of the actor in distinguishing the two personalities in the two roles.¹ I have not sought out records of directors’ attempts to stage The Comedy with one actor for the two roles; no doubt it is a scheme to save a second actor’s...

  9. Lear’s Awakening: Texts and Contexts
    (pp. 97-110)
    Kevin J. Donovan

    The scene of Lear’s awakening and reunion with Cordelia (IV.vii in traditionally edited texts) is essential to the experience of the play and crucial to any interpretation. Not only does the scene enrich the play’s tonal variety with its pathos and tender lyricism, following the great rage, hideous savagery, and wild grotesquerie of the play’s central scenes, but by seeming to promise Lear some hope of release from suffering, the scene of reunion renders the final catastrophe all the more devastating.

    It has long been recognized that Lear’s reunion with Cordelia seems to anticipate or prefigure the romances, employing a...

  10. The Power of Fantasy in Middleton’s Chaste Maid: A Cost/Benefit Analysis
    (pp. 111-120)
    Emily Stockard

    To Penshurst” so perfectly portrays Karl Marx’s description of the landed economy that one is tempted to remark how very well-versed Ben Jonson was in his Marx. In his poem, Jonson addresses the estate itself as the instrument of production and praises its bounty. The human community is shown to be continuous with and dependent upon the natural realm that hosts it. In just one example, Jonson exclaims that the copse on the estate, “never fails to serve thee seasoned deer / When thou wouldst feast or exercise thy friends.”¹ These friends of Penshurst, although arranged hierarchically, from farmer and...

  11. Invariant Paratexts in English Dramatic Texts
    (pp. 121-136)
    David M. Bergeron

    In my Textual Patronage in English Drama,1570–1640, I investigate the presence and function of epistles dedicatory and addresses to readers in the printed drama.¹ These documents Gérard Genette famously has named “paratexts”;² we can also call them “prefaces.” Whatever we call them, they persist in playtexts with increasing regularity as we pass from Elizabeth’s reign to the end of Charles’s. I see them as participating in and at moments constructing what I call “textual patronage”—the acknowledgment in the text of indebtedness and gratitude. Only in these prefatory documents do we hear the playwright’s voice directly in the first...

  12. Milton and Forgiveness
    (pp. 137-150)
    Andrew Shifflett

    A few years ago an essay of mine was published on royalist attitudes toward clemency in the 1640s and 1650s in which I found occasion to quote Milton’s attack on the forgiving king of Eikon Basilike (1649): he “glories much in the forgiveness of his enemies,” but, says Milton, “Wise men would sooner have believed him had he not so often told us so.”¹ This made for a useful contrast between royalist and republican attitudes in that essay, but I have sometimes regretted the implication that Milton’s views on forgiveness were generally negative or that they were always dominated by...

  13. Samson at the Fair
    (pp. 151-168)
    Lewis Walker

    Recent criticism of Samson Agonistes has been at pains to establish its connection with Greek tragedy, especially that of Euripides,¹ as well as “the emerging tradition of [sixteenth-and seventeenth-century] biblical tragedy” represented by George Buchanan and Hugo Grotius.² Joseph Wittreich’s new study maintains that the open-ended tragedies of Euripides and “the Senecan tradition in early modern drama,” both informed by “the spirit of interrogation,” share the intellectual habits fostered in the seventeenth century by “the collocation of scriptural texts telling (or alluding to) the Samson story.” The drama that emerged from this matrix, including Milton’s, prizes “controversy . . ....

  14. The End of Samson Agonistes
    (pp. 169-182)
    Gerald Snare

    Were we to read again John Donne’s great, and presumably last, sermon, “Death’s Duel,” written in Lent of 1631, we would find this provocative observation about Samson.

    [God the Lord] received Samson, who went out of this world in such a manner (consider it actively, consider it passively in his own death, and in those whom he slew with himself) as was subject to interpretation hard enough. Yet the Holy Ghost hath moved Saint Paul to celebrate Samson in his great catalogue [Heb. 11.32] and so doth all the church.¹

    In Donne’s context, this is hardly a gratuitous remark. His...

  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 183-183)