Description : Animals, as Lévi-Strauss wrote, are good to think with. This collection addresses and reassesses the variety of ways in which animals were used and thought about in Renaissance culture, challenging contemporary as well as historic views of the boundaries and hierarchies humans presume the natural world to contain. Taking as its starting point the popularity of speaking animals in sixteenth-century literature and ending with the decline of the imperial Ménagerie during the French Revolution, Renaissance Beasts uses the lens of human-animal relationships to view issues as diverse as human status and power, diet, civilization and the political life, religion and anthropocentrism, spectacle and entertainment, language, science and skepticism, and domestic and courtly cultures. Within these pages scholars from a variety of disciplines discuss numerous kinds of texts--literary, dramatic, philosophical, religious, political--by writers including Calvin, Montaigne, Sidney, Shakespeare, Descartes, Boyle, and Locke. Through analysis of these and other writers, Renaissance Beasts uncovers new and arresting interpretations of Renaissance culture and the broader social assumptions glimpsed through views on matters such as pet ownership and meat consumption. Renaissance Beasts is certainly about animals, but of the many species discussed, it is ultimately humankind that comes under the greatest scrutiny.
Description : Beasts and Beauties examines the relationship between domesticity and power by focusing on the contemporaneous development of the invention of the 'pet' and the delineation of the home as a uniquely private enclosure, where the pater familias ruled over his own secluded world of domesticated wife, children, servants, and animals.
Description : "A collection of essays examining the place of animals in history and culture and their influence on life and art, from the Renaissance to the present"--Provided by publisher.
Description : The voluminous contemporary critical work on English Renaissance androgyny and transvestism debates has not fully uncovered the ancient Greek and Roman roots of the gender controversy. Erotic Beasts and Social Monsters argues that the variant Renaissance views on the androgyne's symbolism are, in fact, best understood with reference to classical representations of the double-sexed or gender-baffled figure, and with the classical merging of that figure with images of beasts and monsters. Grace Tiffany's discussion of ancient beast-androgynes draws on satire as well as myth, citing Archilochus alongside Homer, Aristophanes with Euripides, and Juvenal next to Ovid and Apuleius. She thus illuminates a gender dispute as old as Western culture itself.
Description : This text addresses the multiple, complex and overlapping, sometimes contradictory and frequently strange forms of knowledge in circulation during a period recognized as a turning point in the intellectual history of Western Europe, and which is described as 'early modern' or 'Renaissance'.
Description : Shakespeare scholars and cultural theorists critically investigate the relationship between early modern culture and contemporary political and technological changes concerning the idea of the 'human.' The volume covers the tragedies King Lear and Hamlet in particular, but also provides posthumanist readings of other Shakespearean plays.
Description : Susan Wiseman analyses mythical and natural creatures in English Renaissance writing, including Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest.
Description : The first major socio-cultural study of manuscript letters and letter-writing practices in early modern England. Daybell examines a crucial period in the development of the English vernacular letter before Charles I's postal reforms in 1635, one that witnessed a significant extension of letter-writing skills throughout society.
Description : Since the beginning of the twentieth century, critics have predominantly offered a negative estimate of John Donne’s Metempsychosis. In contrast, this study of Metempsychosis re-evaluates the poem as one of the most vital and energetic of Donne’s canon. Siobhán Collins appraises Metempsychosis for its extraordinary openness to and its inventive portrayal of conflict within identity. She situates this ludic verse as a text alert to and imbued with the Elizabethan fascination with the processes and properties of metamorphosis. Contesting the pervasive view that the poem is incomplete, this study illustrates how Metempsychosis is thematically linked with Donne’s other writings through its concern with the relationship between body and soul, and with temporality and transformation. Collins uses this genre-defying verse as a springboard to contribute significantly to our understanding of early modern concerns over the nature and borders of human identity, and the notion of selfhood as mutable and in process. Drawing on and contributing to recent scholarly work on the history of the body and on sexuality in the early modern period, Collins argues that Metempsychosis reveals the oft-violent processes of change involved in the author’s personal life and in the intellectual, religious and political environment of his time. She places the poem’s somatic representations of plants, beasts and humans within the context of early modern discourses: natural philosophy, medical, political and religious. Collins offers a far-reaching exploration of how Metempsychosis articulates philosophical inquiries that are central to early modern notions of self-identity and moral accountability, such as: the human capacity for autonomy; the place of the human in the ‘great chain of being’; the relationship between cognition and embodiment, memory and selfhood; and the concept of wonder as a distinctly human phenomenon.