The Imperfect Friend: Emotion and Rhetoric in Sidney, Milton, and Their Contexts

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University of Toronto Press, 01.01.2008 - 293 Seiten

Many writers in early modern England drew on the rhetorical tradition to explore affective experience. In The Imperfect Friend, Wendy Olmsted examines a broad range of Renaissance and Reformation sources, all of which aim to cultivate 'emotional intelligence' through rhetorical means, with a view to understanding how emotion functions in these texts. In the works of Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), John Milton (1608-1674), and many others, characters are depicted conversing with one another about their emotions. While counselors appeal to objective reasons for feeling a certain way, their efforts to shape emotion often encounter resistance.

This volume demonstrates how, in Renaissance and Reformation literature, failures of persuasion arise from conflicts among competing rhetorical frameworks among characters. Multiple frameworks, Olmsted argues, produce tensions and, consequently, an interiorized conflicted self. By situating emotional discourse within distinct historical and socio-cultural perspectives, The Imperfect Friend sheds new light on how the writings of Sidney, Milton, and others grappled with problems of personal identity. From their innovations, the study concludes, friendship emerges as a favourite site of counseling the afflicted and perturbed.

 

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Inhalt

Counselling the Unstable Self Conflicting Emotional Frameworks Persuasion and Inwardness
3
Unyielding Judge or Gentle Physician? The Friend as Counsellor in Guazzos The Civile Conversation and Sidneys Old Arcadia
20
Poetry as Orator and Physician in Sidneys Defence
54
The Politics of Emotion in Hospitality Rivalry and Erotic Love Sidneys New Arcadia
76
Anger as an Instrument of Justice The Vehement versus the Mild Style in Miltons Early Prose
106
Emotion as Defined by the Discourse of Honour Spiritual Warfare and Rhetorical Agon in Paradise Lost
128
SeventeenthCentury Protestant Rhetoric Cause and Cure of Fallen Emotion
146
Marriage as a Site of Counsel in Marriage Handbooks Miltons Divorce Pamphlets and Paradise Lost
175
Conclusion
209
Notes
217
Index
273
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Über den Autor (2008)

Wendy Olmsted is a professor in the New Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago.

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