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Renaissance Papers 2003

Renaissance Papers 2003

Christopher Cobb
M. Thomas Hester
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Renaissance Papers 2003
    Book Description:

    Renaissance Papers is a collection of the best scholarly essays submitted each year to the Southeastern Renaissance Conference. The conference accepts papers on all subjects relating to the Renaissance - music, art, history, literature, etc. - from scholars all over North America and the world. Of the ten essays in the 2003 volume, three have to do with Shakespeare; among the topics here are Shakespeare and social uprising in The Merchant of Venice, politics and masculinity in Julius Caesar, and the churching of women in Taming of the Shrew; another essay on Renaissance drama focuses attention on Elizabeth Cary's Mariam. Other essays consider Erasmus and the problem of strife, George Puttenham as a comedic artificer, the hermeneutics of William Tyndale, the editorial disputes in The Adventures of Master F.J., the wooing of Amoret and Scudamour, and the "writing" of the Virginia Company. Contributors: Jessica Wolfe, Gerald Snare, Jon Pope, Elizabeth Watson, Wayne Erickson, Mary Free, Amy Scott, Aaron Landau, Jeanne Roberts, and Jay Stubblefield. M. Thomas Hester is professor of English, and Christopher Cobb is assistant professor of English, both at North Carolina State University.

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-812-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Homer, Erasmus, and the Problem of Strife
    (pp. 1-32)
    Jessica Wolfe

    In his 1518 Letter to the University of Oxford, Thomas More expresses his dismay at a quarrel which has recently erupted at Corpus Christi College, Oxford between supporters and opponents of the study of Greek, the latter faction led by the conservative Franciscan theologian Henry Standish. More complains in his letter that “certain scholars of your university, prompted either by hatred of Greek learning, by a misguided devotion to some other sort, or (as I think more likely) by a shameless addiction to joking and trifling [improba ludendi nugandique libidine], have formed a deliberate controversy to call themselves Trojans ......

  4. William Tyndale Among the Demons
    (pp. 33-44)
    Gerald Snare

    William Tyndale, it need be observed, is not a household word. He is famous, among those given to Protestant martyrs, largely because of John Foxe, and, among those given to Catholic martyrs, as the great opponent of Thomas More. The recent appearances of a fine biography by David Daniell, the editions of the first and second New Testaments (1526, 1534), his Pentateuch (1530), and The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528) may help to establish a more popular repute.¹ Even so, it’s still mostly as the martyr that Tyndale attracts our attention, the object of the fierce opposition of Henry...

  5. The Printing of “this written book”: G.T. and H.W.’s Editorial Disputes in The Adventures of Master F.J.
    (pp. 45-54)
    Jon C. Pope

    Twentieth-century critics of George Gascoigne’s The Adventures of Master F.J. have frequently, and properly I believe, focused much of their energy on explicating the ambiguous position of the intrusive and garrulous G.T. in his multiple roles as editor, narrator, critic, and moralist. One of the more fruitful turns in Master F.J. criticism, in fact, came in the 1940s when critics began seriously to regard the putative “editor,” G.T., as a character in his own right and therefore a compelling site for talking about narration; for how we position G.T. determines, perhaps more than any other single aspect, how we read...

  6. George Puttenham as Comedic Artificer
    (pp. 55-70)
    Elizabeth See Watson

    George Puttenham in The Arte of English Poesie marshalls the troops of Lady Rhetoric to instruct the courtier in modes of speech and propriety. By the renaming of traditional rhetorical figures and tropes, he creates a band of personifications who cry out to be identified with types of male courtiers: “the Ringleader” (Prozeugma); “the Ouer reacher, otherwise called the loud lyer” (Hyperbole); and “the right reasoner” (Dialogismus), to name a few.¹ The process of personification of elements of poetry has already begun by Book Two, in which metonymical feet become runners, plodders, or marchers with inconsistent gaits (Arte 81, 83)....

  7. Amoret and Scudamour Woo and Wed: Two Courtly Histories and a Stalemate
    (pp. 71-82)
    Wayne Erickson

    Just why Amoret ends up in the House of Busirane at the end of Book 3 remains one of the more popular and contested questions that readers of The Faerie Queene attempt to answer. Spenser’s narrator, of course, provides a literal narrative answer to the question at the beginning of Book 4, where readers learn that Busirane kidnaps Amoret—oddly, “[b]y way of sport”—during the antimasque portion of the entertainment at her wedding feast; she is “[c]onueyed quite away to liuing wight vnknowen.”¹ But this answer, at least insofar as it suggests a random act of abduction, satisfies attentive...

  8. Strange Bedfellows: “The Churching of Women” and The Taming of the Shrew
    (pp. 83-98)
    Mary Free

    Strange bedfellows indeed. Shakespeare provides us no children in The Taming of the Shrew, and consensus agrees that the three offstage marriages remain unconsummated until after the play’s end. No consummations, no children; no children, no Churching. While any connection between The Book of Common Prayers(1559) ceremony for “The Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth, Commonly Called the Churching of Women” and The Taming of the Shrew seems tenuous, I find significant resonances between these two texts. From its opening the play predicates itself on conforming to social expectations. Both Sly and Katherina must learn to adapt themselves if they are...

  9. “Romans, countrymen, and lovers”: Performing Politics, Sovereign Amity and Masculinity in Julius Caesar
    (pp. 99-118)
    Amy Scott

    Much of the recent criticism on Julius Caesar has focused on the language of the play, with essentially two main focal points. The first concerns the function of reflexivity in Renaissance drama: one such argument being that it “control(s) the audience’s degree of involvement in the stage illusion.”¹ This contention, of course, harkens back to the works of both Samuel Johnson and Coleridge and their comments on the audience’s awareness of the play as “staged” by “players.” Another significant reading of language in Julius Caesar, derived from J.L. Austin, focuses on rhetoric and the manner in which language itself is...

  10. “Rouse Up a Brave Mind”: The Merchant of Venice and Social Uprising in the 1590s
    (pp. 119-148)
    Aaron Landau

    In an important early critique of new historicist theory and practice, whose basic insights have by now become fairly widespread, Walter Cohen has famously observed that while new historicists acknowledge that the early modern theater was occasionally subversive and inherently ambivalent their readings of individual plays end up with “a sense of the almost inevitable defeat of the poor, the innocent, and the oppressed.”¹ This interpretive tendency owes theoretically to a vision of society and theater as “organized down to their smallest details for the benefit of those in power”;² methodologically, it consists in restricting social and political agency to...

  11. Revenge Tragedy and Elizabeth Cary’s Mariam
    (pp. 149-166)
    Jeanne Addison Roberts

    Revenge tragedy flourishes in periods of social, political, and religious change, when the new law challenges the old, and problems emerge to which there are no clear religious or legal solutions. Revenges multiply, and sometimes audiences become sympathetic to revengers trapped in situations which seem to offer no other recourse. The protagonists of Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy (1587-89) and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1602)¹ elicit such sympathy. The theatre becomes an arena in which audiences examine ethical problems and perhaps move slowly toward new attitudes. But as change becomes more threatening to society, in the later revenge tragedies the revenger threatens established...

  12. “very worthely sett in printe”: Writing the Virginia Company of London
    (pp. 167-184)
    Jay Stubblefield

    Before any of its settlers ever left for Jamestown, the Virginia Company of London began a fervent campaign to publish a viable New World identity for itself. Beginning with the early “Justification for planting in Virginia,” the organization’s work consistently reflected its leaders’ conviction that “some forme of writinge in way of Iustification of [the] plantation” in Virginia should be repeatedly “conceiued, and pass[ed, . . .] into many handes.” As the following excerpt from Virginia’s official Lawes Divine, Morall and Martial shows, however, that effort soon became far more complicated as the Company found it difficult to defend the...

  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 185-185)