Pastoral Poetry of the EnglishRenaissance
1 Theocritus Idyll viii
Translated anonymously from the Greek
From Sixe Idillia ... chosen out of ... Theocritus (1588). This idyll is part of the core Theocritus canon,
though scholars have doubted his authorship; some have suggested that the poem amalgamates what
were originally separate pieces.
The viii. Idillion.
Menalcas a Shephearde, and Daphnis a Netehearde, two Sicilian lads, contending who
should sing best, pawne their whistles, and choose a Gotehearde, to be their Iudge. Who
giueth sentence on Daphnis
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.
This book attempts to interrogate the literary, artistic and cultural output of early modern England. Following Constance Classen's view that understandings of the senses, and sensory experience itself, are culturally and historically contingent; it explores the culturally specific role of the senses in textual and aesthetic encounters in England. The book follows Joachim-Ernst Berendt's call for 'a democracy of the senses' in preference to the various sensory hierarchies that have often shaped theory and criticism. It argues that the playhouse itself challenged its audiences' reliance on the evidence of their own eyes, teaching early modern playgoers how to see and how to interpret the validity of the visual. The book offers an essay on each of the five senses, beginning and ending with two senses, taste and smell, that are often overlooked in studies of early modern culture. It investigates Robert Herrick's accounts in Hesperides of how the senses function during sexual pleasure and contact. The book also explores sensory experiences, interrogating textual accounts of the senses at night in writings from the English Renaissance. It offers a picture of early modern thought in which sensory encounters are unstable, suggesting ways in which the senses are influenced by the contexts in which they are experienced: at night, in states of sexual excitement, or even when melancholic. The book looks at the works of art themselves and considers the significance of the senses for early modern subjects attending a play, regarding a painting, and reading a printed volume.
This book examines the satirical poetry of Edmund Spenser and argues for his importance as a model and influence for younger poets writing satires in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The book focuses on reading satirical texts of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in relation to one another, with specific attention to the role that Edmund Spenser plays in that literary subsystem. The book connects key Spenserian texts in The Shepheardes Calender and the Complaints volume with poems by a range of authors in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including Joseph Hall, Thomas Nashe, Tailboys Dymoke, Thomas Middleton, and George Wither to advance the thesis that Spenser was seen by his contemporaries as highly relevant to satire in Elizabethan England. For scholars of satire, the book offers a fuller discussion and theorization of the type of satire that Spenser wrote, “indirect satire,” than has been provided elsewhere. A theory of indirect satire benefits not just Spenser studies, but satire studies as well. For scholars of English Renaissance satire in particular, who have tended to focus on the formal verse satires of the 1590s to the exclusion of attention to more indirect forms such as Spenser’s, this book is a corrective, an invitation to recognize the importance of a style of satire that has received little attention.
religious. Most critical theory of the pastoral in that age (or indeed later) has stressed
this allegorical function.
But the Middle Ages also opened fresh springs of rustic poetry, harking back to folk
tradition and restoring the setting of actual rural and shepherd life. Embodied in new
lines of lyric and song, such poetry became increasingly sophisticated, often through
classical elements drawn not only from Virgil but from the nature-settings of Horace’s
Odes and the mythic world of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Various lines of poetry began
through the twin historicisms of cultural materialism and cultural
poetics (or ‘new historicism’).2 The periodising title early modern is part of a movement
away from notions such as ‘the EnglishRenaissance’ or from ‘the Tudor period’,
although such names are retained by some of historicism’s adherents.3 That the emergence of the phrase ‘early modern’ seems to mark a strategic attempt to delineate what
otherwise appears to be a depressingly familiar ramification of what I suppose we must
now term ‘old’ historicism doesn’t diminish its institutional eﬀectivity.4
through a redirection of the gaze, or by
presenting themselves as adhering to a particular set of societal conditions.
Herbert Grabes’s seminal work The Mutable Glass: Mirror-imagery in
Titles and Texts of the Middle Ages and EnglishRenaissance explores comprehensively the multiple meanings applied to the mirror in the early modern
period, covering a vast number of exemplary texts from the period. He notes
that the ‘various properties of mirrors’ were ‘frequently the chief stimulus for
employing the mirror-metaphor’, and includes the ‘false or flatt’ring’ glass,
kind of scepticism that eventually ensures the end of the successful
prosecution of the witch’ (The Witch in History, p. 283). Frances Dolan,
Dangerous Familiars (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994), suggests that
plays ‘might ultimately have helped to spare women’s lives’ (p. 217). Lisa
Hopkins, The Female Hero in EnglishRenaissance Tragedy (Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), makes the case for The Witch of Edmonton
specifically (p. 98), while Greenblatt makes similar claims for Macbeth.
Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama
Seventeenth Centuries , Philadelphia, University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1964, remains the best account of the impact of
the new ethnology.
Andrew Hadfield, Literature, Travel, and
Colonial Writing in the EnglishRenaissance , Oxford,
Clarendon Press, 1998
Antony and Cleopatra and visual musical experience
Identity in EnglishRenaissance Tragedy
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997).
33 The close links between music and the supernatural in early modern culture
and drama have been widely explored; particularly significant studies include
Gary Tomlinson, Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993); Amanda Eubanks Winkler, O Let
Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on
the Seventeenth-Century English Stage (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press,
2006); Linda Phyllis Austern