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Masculinity, Gender and Identity in the English Renaissance Lyric

Details

  • Page extent: 272 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.4 kg

Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521153751)

In early modern lyric poetry, the male poet or lover often appears not as powerful and masterly but rather as broken, abject, and feminine. Catherine Bates examines the cultural and literary strategies behind this representation and uncovers radically alternative models of masculinity in the lyric tradition of the Renaissance. Focusing on Sidney, Ralegh, Shakespeare, and Donne, she offers astute readings of a wide range of texts – a sonnet sequence, a blazon, an elegy, a complaint, and an epistle. She shows how existing critical approaches have too much invested in the figure of the authoritative male writer to be able to do justice to the truly radical nature of these alternative masculinities. Taking direction from psychoanalytic theories of gender formation, Bates develops critical strategies that make it possible to understand and appreciate what is genuinely revolutionary about these texts and about the English Renaissance lyric tradition at large.

• Makes an important contribution to our understanding of gender in the early modern period • Distinct perspectives on canonical poets such as Shakespeare, Sidney and Donne • Theoretically underpinned argument which can be applied to other European literature

Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; 2. Masochism in Astrophil and Stella; 3. Fort! Da! The phallus in 'What tongue can her perfections tell?'; 4. Abjection and melancholia in The Ocean to Cynthia; 5. Feminine identifications in A Lover's Complaint; 6. The lesbian phallus in Sapho to Philaenis; Index.

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