The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
portraits by female artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Tudor argues for a
distinctively early modern configuration of viewing, tracing the significance
of this configuration for encounters with a painting through a wide range of
texts, including writings by Edmund Spenser and James Shirley. These specific
understandings of visual engagement with paintings yield significant suggestions about the sensory configurations of early aesthetic encounters.
apparent in her criticism of
Dr Eliot, her politically motivated poems responding precisely to situations of
domination by inclusion. ‘Sojourn in the Whale’, ‘He Digesteth Harde Iron’
and ‘Spenser’s Ireland’ each coordinates its response to imperialism through a
play of incorporation, the poetry absorbing the words of the dominant regime
in the name of resistance, and incorporating alongside them hermeneutically
stubborn elements. And then it was in the spirit, surely, of ‘heroics which do
not confuse transcendence with domination’ that Moore arrived at her bestknown
unnamed narrator of the
romance, Urania, Liana, and Alanius. See Urania, pp. 158–60, 196–98.
31 Philip Sidney, The Old Arcadia, ed. by Katherine Duncan-Jones (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1985), p. 64 and pp. 140–42 in particular. On the identification of Philisides to Philip Sidney, see Dennis Moore, ‘Philisides and Mira:
Autobiographical Allegory in The Old Arcadia’, Spenser Studies, 3 (1982), pp.
32 Mary Wroth, ‘Love’s Victory’, in Early Modern Women’s Writings. An Anthology
1560-1700, ed. by Paul Salzman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp.
Antony and Cleopatra and visual musical experience
, Renaissance Essays: Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne (London:
Fontana, 1973), pp. 98–99; John Coates, ‘“The Choice of Hercules” in Antony and
Cleopatra’, in Shakespeare Survey Volume 31, ed. by Kenneth Muir (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp. 45–52.
Aesthetic sensory experiences
41 Early modern plays often ask audiences to engage with narratives through imagination and fantasy; the Henry V Chorus speeches are merely the most famous and
explicit examples of this (Prologue; 2.0; 3.0; 4.0; 5.0; Epilogue).
42 I am
notions of civilised life, is central – e.g. Greek tragedy, the drama and epics English
Renaissance (especially Spenser and Milton), countless modernist texts, including
some which have been interpreted quite otherwise.
Again, a disquieting half-realisation of this has often occurred even within conservative aesthetic perspectives. We can detect it in the most basic category of the humanist aesthetic, that of ‘character’. Time and again, and literally across centuries if not
millennia, the most compelling individual creations are the daemonic ones: the vice
conscious abandonment of such a ‘religious frame’ may propitiate a
kind of literary decline:
So far as we can tell, there are no works of poetry being produced in English today that are of comparable stature with those
of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare or Milton. Whether these writers themselves were avowedly Christian or not, they wrote within
a Christian framework. Is there a relation between the decline of
Christianity … and the decline in works of high poetry? Many
like to associate poetic decline or
poetry that cannot be disinterested. Percy drew
inspiration from, but also fuelled, English fascination with the primitive.17 Along with men like Thomas Warton and Richard Hurd, both
of whom read romance (although Hurd reads very little) as a function
of their interest in Spenser, Percy promotes the Middle Ages as an age
of romance, wild with imagination but, in perfect antithesis to his own
eminently tasteful time, irredeemably barbarous; at the same time he
promotes himself as someone able to know the difference. Where
Percy encapsulates all of the ambivalence that
The Carey family had close ties to other
members of Shakespeare’s circle. George Carey’s wife
and daughter, both named Elizabeth, were patrons of writers
including Edmund Spenser and Nashe. George’s daughter and
heiress, Elizabeth, married Sir Thomas Berkeley, son and heir of
Henry, Lord Berkeley
James A. Knapp, Image Ethics in Shakespeare
and Spenser (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 ), p. 1.
Knapp, Image Ethics , pp.
Leonard Barkan, ‘Making Pictures Speak:
Renaissance Art, Elizabethan
Aquinas. Tradition and Transformation’, in Ysabel de Andia (ed.), Denys
l’Aréopagite et sa postérité en Orient et en Occident. Actes du Colloque International Paris, 21–24 septembre 1994 (Paris 1997), pp. 405–38, and Wayne Hankey, ‘Augustinian Immediacy and
Dionysian Mediation in John Colet, Edmund Spenser, Richard Hooker and the Cardinal de
Bérulle’, in Dominique de Courcelles (ed.), Augustinus in der Neuzeit. Colloque de la Herzog
August Bibliothek de Wolfenbüttel, 14–17 octobre, 1996 (Turnhout 1998), pp. 125–60.
10 Dagens, Bérulle, pp. 118–32; Krumenacker, L