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Renaissance Papers 2007

Renaissance Papers 2007

Christopher Cobb
M. Thomas Hester
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 150
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  • Book Info
    Renaissance Papers 2007
    Book Description:

    Renaissance Papers collects the best essays submitted each year to the Southeastern Renaissance Conference. In the 2007 volume, two essays focus on Shakespeare's Roman plays: one on Lavinia's death and Roman suicide in Titus Andronicus, the other on the r

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-803-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[x])
  3. John Donne and the Practice of Priesthood
    (pp. 1-16)
    John N. Wall

    Donne’s sermons¹—the bulk of his literary production in the final fifteen years of his career—need to be regarded as products of his professional practice as a priest of the Church of England. A sermon is, in part but only in part, an exposition of ideas set within a structure of organization. We expect to find in a sermon by Donne a choice of texts, the employment of interpretive strategies and structures of thought, the organization of ideas into points and sections, the movement from an opening to a conclusion. But preaching also involves performance, which includes scheduling—planning...

  4. Charity, Halifax, and Utopia: The Disadvantageous Setting of Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici
    (pp. 17-32)
    Reid Barbour

    This paper reduces to three main points: the evidence that Thomas Browne lived in Halifax, West Yorkshire, from 1634 to around 1637 and drafted his Religio Medici there; a brief account of Halifax both in fact and, crucially, in legend in the period in question; and some of the reasons why all this matters to an understanding of Browne’s work. As a setting, Halifax helps us account for crucial shifts in Religio. On the one hand, Religio Medici investigates theological and philosophical concerns developed by Browne at Oxford and on the Continent, all in a carnival spirit of improvisation within...

  5. Presbyterian Church and State Before The Solemn League and Covenant
    (pp. 33-54)
    Julie Fann

    In the late 1640s, powerful pens denigrated “Presbyterians.” They did so, they would argue, to protect the religious and political liberties of individuals and the state. Although many Independents had previously joined with their fellow Nonconformists in pursuing common political goals of ecclesiastical and civil reform, some subsequently changed their view of Presbyterians. This alteration occurred, it seems, after The Solemn League and Covenant: after the reputation of the Scottish army was declining and pressure to settle the national church along Presbyterian lines was mounting. The ties holding together the coalition of the godly were about to break, but why?...

  6. The Flaw in Paradise: The Critique of Idealism in Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World
    (pp. 55-68)
    Christopher Hair

    Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle and perhaps the most prolific female writer of the seventeenth century, has been described as disordered, capricious, monstrous, and mad.¹ While her biography of her famous husband, William Cavendish, has maintained respectability, many of her plays, poems, and prose works have been cited as evidence of the eccentricity that has contributed to the myth of “Mad Madge of Newcastle.”² The utopian The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World (1666), in particular, crosses so many boundaries and appears so unsystematic that Douglas Grant, in this thorough 1957 biography of Cavendish, calls the work...

  7. “Conceited portraiture before his Book . . . to catch fools and silly gazers”: Some Reflections on Paradise Lost and the Tradition of the Engraved Frontispiece
    (pp. 69-82)
    William A. Coulter

    Anyone who has examined the first edition of Paradise Lost knows that it is a disarmingly modest little book. Indeed, the disproportion between the physical object and the commentary it has generated is astonishing to contemplate. It is also true that the little book is the work of the same poet whose 1645 volume was issued by Humphrey Moseley with an engraved frontispiece and fulsome title page, thereby inviting readers to associate the author with some of Moseley’s Cavalier poets and to view him as the handmaid of the muses, four of them at least.¹ But when his great epic...

  8. “But Smythes Must Speake”: Women’s and Commoners’ Voices in the Mirror for Magistrates
    (pp. 83-96)
    Nora L. Corrigan

    William Baldwin’s dedication to A Mirror for Magistrates, addressed “to the nobilitye and all other in office,”¹ describes the tragedies that are to follow as a “loking glas” for those charged with the responsibilities of justice and government (p. 65). Baldwin thus posits a narrow audience of privileged male readers, and promises that the text will reflect these readers’ experiences. But, as Jessica Winston argues, successive editions of the work reached an increasingly broad and varied audience, and the Mirror likewise depicted a remarkable variety of people as actors on the historical stage; the new tragedies of the 1563 edition,...

  9. Fit for a King: The Manuscript Psalms of King James VI/I
    (pp. 97-110)
    Robert Kilgore

    It is rarely noted that King James—the sixth of Scotland, the first of England—translated thirty of King David’s Psalms into original Scots verse. But there they are, in his own hand, in the undated British Library manuscript Royal 18.B.xvi. James Craigie first published them in 1958 in volume 2 of The Poems of James VI of Scotland.¹ William McMillan and James Doelman have both written insightfully about the afterlife of James’s Psalms: how they were completely re-rendered by William Alexander, how competing efforts such as George Wither’s were discouraged, and how Charles I passed off Alexander’s Psalms as...

  10. The Suicide of Lavinia: Finding Rome in Titus Andronicus
    (pp. 111-124)
    Sonya Freeman Loftis

    Titus Andronicus has never found a fixed place in Shakespeare’s canon. Despite its setting, a long critical tradition has excluded this play from scholarly considerations of Shakespeare’s Rome. As Robert Miola has pointed out, “the most striking feature of modern critical reaction to Titus Andronicus is the persistent refusal to consider it one of Shakespeare’s Roman plays.”¹ In recent years, Titus Andronicus (Titus) has enjoyed critical reappraisal and a rise in reputation, no doubt due in part to a revival in stage productions and Julie Taymor’s popular film adaptation. A few decades of renewed attention to the text, however, have...

  11. The Language of Gods: Rhetoric and the Construction of Masculinity in Julius Caesar
    (pp. 125-140)
    Jim Pearce

    Surrounded by importunate suitors only moments before the climax of the tragedy, the-soon-to-be-immortal Caesar exclaims, “Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus?”¹ Many critics see this as the culmination of Caesar’s spectacular grandiosity, soon to be spectacularly deflated. He has in his prior utterances, in fact, established himself as no minor figure in the Olympian pantheon, responding to Cassius’s plea for Publius Cimber’s recall from exile with “If I could pray to move, prayers would move me” (3.1.59). Like every aspiring god, Caesar avows that he is self-moved. When Decius, asking for some reason to give the Senate to explain Caesar’s...

  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 141-141)