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, 1611 ). It would be interesting to know whether Lanier and Shakespeare ever met. Whether they did or not, Lanier was likely to have read his narrative poems, since Salve Deus shows her to have been interested in the genre (sometimes called epillyon, a nineteenth-century coinage meaning ‘little epic’), and to have been reading others in the same general type. She may also

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
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Theory and Spenserian practice

1 Indirect satire: theory and Spenserian practice In Edmund Spenser’s Prosopopoia; or, Mother Hubberds Tale, a tonal shift characterizes the final episode, in which the villainous Fox and Ape, having wreaked havoc in the three estates as husbandmen, clerics, and courtiers, go even farther by usurping royal power. The self-conscious Chaucerianism of the first episodes—summarized by Kent van den Berg as “the recreative fiction that animals are like men”—gives way to a more fully developed, and more clearly satirical, fictional world in which “men are like animals

in Spenserian satire
Affiliation, allusion, allegory

Calender (Halpern, Poetics, chapter 5), including the use of three different names to represent or refer to the poet. Helgerson asserts that Spenser “abandon[ed] all social identity except that conferred by his elected vocation. He ceased to be Master Edmund Spenser … and became Immerito, Colin Clout, the New Poet” (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates, 63), but this narrative, to MUP_Hile_SpenserSatire_Printer.indd 39 14/10/2016 15:35 40 Spenserian satire my mind, overstates the definitiveness of the transformation and reads Spenser’s later poetic self

in Spenserian satire
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pursuit becomes self-serving, a pointless exercise in scholarly ingenuity” (Dunseath, Spenser’s Allegory, 6). Surely he was reacting, entirely consistently with New Critical scholarly fashion, against the worst excesses of what came to be known—once the New Historicism had been born—as the “old historicism,” the often entirely too ingenious searching after point-for-point correspondences between MUP_Hile_SpenserSatire_Printer.indd 1 14/10/2016 15:35 2 Spenserian satire poem and history. The approach characterized literary scholarship of the early twentieth century

in Spenserian satire
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Imitation of Spenserian satire

Cultural,” 30). For example, part of the “New Poet” Spenser’s self-introduction in 1579 with The Shepheardes Calender involved connecting himself with significant predecessors, and so he mimicked medievalism in general, especially Chaucer, and also alluded specifically to Skelton by naming his poetic alter ego Colin Clout. As I’ve already noted, 1604 was, at least potentially, a more promising time to publish an animal satire than previous years, but that didn’t mean it was an entirely safe project. Deniability is essential for the satirist in conditions of harsh

in Spenserian satire
Divine destruction in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

mobilised iconoclasm in the defence of literary work. 3 Most pertinently for the present discussion, Diehl argued that in attempting to ‘reform’ the stage in line with a new, Protestant aesthetics, English dramatists engaged in an iconoclastic act of self-destruction. 4 There is, then, widespread agreement that destruction was important for late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century English culture. But what does destruction mean

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
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Behind the screen

movement from the past to the present’ that shapes conventional temporal narratives. 18 In engaging with the making, unmaking and remaking of objects which resist stable, complete ‘finish’, in other words, playwrights disrupt notions of an endpoint and engage with the temporality of matter as ‘sensuous, workable potentiality that implies pasts, presents, and futures’. 19 From

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
The unknowable image in The Winter’s Tale

. Bishop, for example, equates watching Hermione’s supposed transformation with a ‘sudden waving of the barriers of self-knowledge’ that constitutes an ‘experience of “wonder”’, spectators wishing Hermione into being and in the process realising ‘something about themselves, about their own desires’. 16 That the ‘statue scene’ is in some way aesthetically transcendental also shapes Anthony Dawson and Paul

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama

aesthetics’. 35 Diehl was pioneering in her recognition that theatrical spectacle might form a part of visual culture, yet she ultimately considered a ‘Protestant aesthetics’ to have been impossibly flawed and self-destructive, playwrights ‘killing what they love’ as they demystified ‘the older, miraculous forms of theatricality’. 36 Diehl therefore considered early modern English drama to be in process of

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama

youth, Middleton uses Spenserianism to clarify and communicate his values; as a mature artist, he forges his own path, but in order to express the same basic political and religious values. The politics of satire and the burning of Middleton’s Micro-Cynicon  (1599) Cyndia Clegg has documented the unsystematic, arbitrary way that the Elizabethan authorities undertook censorship, and Annabel Patterson explores the psychological impact of such unpredictability on writers, the psychic effects of “subtle intersections of state censorship with self-censorship, as fear

in Spenserian satire