Equity in English Renaissance LiteratureEquity in English Renaissance Literature

This book accounts for the previously inadequately explained transformation in the meaning of equity in sixteenth century England, a transformation which, intriguingly, first comes to light in literary texts rather than political or legal ...

Author: Andrew Majeske

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135510077


Page: 232

View: 159

This book accounts for the previously inadequately explained transformation in the meaning of equity in sixteenth century England, a transformation which, intriguingly, first comes to light in literary texts rather than political or legal treatises. The book address the two principal literary works in which the transformation becomes apparent, Thomas More's Utopia and Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, and sketches the history of equity to its roots in the Greek concept of epieikeia, uncovering along the way both previously unexplained distinctions, and a long-obscured esoteric meaning. These rediscoveries, when brought to bear upon the Utopia and Faerie Queene, illuminate critical though relatively neglected textual passages that have long puzzled scholars.

Legal Reform in English Renaissance LiteratureLegal Reform in English Renaissance Literature

32 Aquinas extended the concept of legal equity further by arguing that 'the lawgiver's intention is presumed to have been guided by the “collective welfare” (communis utilitas)'. The collective welfare, in turn, was to be determined by ...

Author: Virginia Lee Strain

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 9781474416306


Page: 229

View: 647

This book investigates rhetorical and representational practices that were used to monitor English law at the turn of the seventeenth century. The late-Elizabethan and early-Jacobean surge in the policies and enforcement of the reformation of manners has been well-documented. What has gone unnoticed, however, is the degree to which the law itself was the focus of reform for legislators, the judiciary, preachers, and writers alike. While the majority of law and literature studies characterize the law as a force of coercion and subjugation, this book instead treats in greater depth the law's own vulnerability, both to corruption and to correction. In readings of Spenser's 'Faerie Queene', the 'Gesta Grayorum', Donne's 'Satyre V', and Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure' and 'The Winter's Tale', Strain argues that the terms and techniques of legal reform provided modes of analysis through which legal authorities and literary writers alike imagined and evaluated form and character. Reevaluates canonical writers in light of developments in legal historical research, bringing an interdisciplinary perspective to works. Collects an extensive variety of legal, political, and literary sources to reconstruct the discourse on early modern legal reform, providing an introduction to a topic that is currently underrepresented in early modern legal cultural studiesAnalyses the laws own vulnerability to individual agency.

Custom Common Law and the Constitution of English Renaissance LiteratureCustom Common Law and the Constitution of English Renaissance Literature

The Utopian commonwealth , this chapter will argue , thus evokes the peculiarity of the English system , its ... See Cormack , 102–29 ; A.J. Majeske , Equity in English Renaissance Literature : Thomas More and Edmund Spenser ( New York ...

Author: Stephanie Elsky

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192605856


Page: 240

View: 907

Custom, Common Law, and the Constitution of English Renaissance Literature argues that, ironically, custom was a supremely generative literary force for a range of Renaissance writers. Custom took on so much power because of its virtual synonymity with English common law, the increasingly dominant legal system that was also foundational to England's constitutionalist politics. The strange temporality assigned to legal custom, that is, its purported existence since 'time immemorial', furnished it with a unique and paradoxical capacity—to make new and foreign forms familiar. This volume shows that during a time when novelty was suspect, even insurrectionary, appeals to the widespread understanding of custom as a legal concept justified a startling array of fictive experiments. This is the first book to reveal fully the relationship between Renaissance literature and legal custom. It shows how writers were able to reimagine moments of historical and cultural rupture as continuity by appealing to the powerful belief that English legal custom persisted in the face of conquests by foreign powers. Custom, Common Law, and the Constitution of English Renaissance Literature thus challenges scholarly narratives in which Renaissance art breaks with a past it looks back upon longingly and instead argues that the period viewed its literature as imbued with the aura of the past. In this way, through experiments in rhetoric and form, literature unfolds the processes whereby custom gains its formidable and flexible political power. Custom, a key concept of legal and constitutionalist thought, shaped sixteenth-century literature, while this literature, in turn, transformed custom into an evocative mythopoetic.

Law and Empire in English Renaissance LiteratureLaw and Empire in English Renaissance Literature

reckless or tyrannical act, Cymbeline's exercise of prerogative constitutes a ''responsible'' surrender to universal notions of justice.65 Cymbeline accepts the place of Roman equity over British law, and then goes on to agree to submit ...

Author: Brian C. Lockey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139458573



View: 258

Early modern literature played a key role in the formation of the legal justification for imperialism. As the English colonial enterprise developed, the existing legal tradition of common law no longer solved the moral dilemmas of the new world order, in which England had become, instead of a victim of Catholic enemies, an aggressive force with its own overseas territories. Writers of romance fiction employed narrative strategies in order to resolve this difficulty and, in the process, provided a legal basis for English imperialism. Brian Lockey analyses works by such authors as Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney in the light of these legal discourses, and uncovers new contexts for the genre of romance. Scholars of early modern literature, as well as those interested in the history of law as the British Empire emerged, will learn much from this insightful and ambitious study.

Conscience in Early Modern English LiteratureConscience in Early Modern English Literature

An important legal concept in early modern England, equity theorizes how conscience meshes with common law. ... For comprehensive accounts of equity, see Fortier, The Culture of Equity; Majeske, Equity in English Renaissance Literature.

Author: Abraham Stoll

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108418737


Page: 231

View: 416

This is an examination of how early modern poets attempt to capture the experience of being in the grip of conscience.

The Oxford Handbook of the Age of ShakespeareThe Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare

Important discussions of equity and Renaissance English literature more broadly can be found in: Andrew Majeske, Equity in English Renaissance Literature: Thomas More and Edmund Spenser (New York: Routlege, 2006); Bradin Cormack, ...

Author: R. Malcolm Smuts

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191074165


Page: 704

View: 343

The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare presents a broad sampling of current historical scholarship on the period of Shakespeare's career that will assist and stimulate scholars of his poems and plays. Rather than merely attempting to summarize the historical 'background' to Shakespeare, individual chapters seek to exemplify a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies currently used in historical research on the early modern period that can inform close analysis of literature. Different sections examine political history at both the national and local levels; relationships between intellectual culture and the early modern political imagination; relevant aspects of religious and social history; and facets of the histories of architecture, the visual arts and music. Topics treated include the emergence of an early modern 'public sphere' and its relationship to drama during Shakespeare's lifetime; the role of historical narratives in shaping the period's views on the workings of politics; attitudes about the role of emotion in social life; cultures of honour and shame and the rituals and literary forms through which they found expression; crime and murder; and visual expressions of ideas of moral disorder and natural monstrosity, in printed images as well as garden architecture.

Early Modern Catholics Royalists and CosmopolitansEarly Modern Catholics Royalists and Cosmopolitans

English Transnationalism and the Christian Commonwealth Brian C. Lockey ... 66 See Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, 177. ... 73 Eggert, Showing Like A Queen, 27; Majeske, Equity in English Renaissance Literature, 108.

Author: Brian C. Lockey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317147091


Page: 388

View: 633

Early Modern Catholics, Royalists, and Cosmopolitans considers how the marginalized perspective of 16th-century English Catholic exiles and 17th-century English royalist exiles helped to generate a form of cosmopolitanism that was rooted in contemporary religious and national identities but also transcended those identities. Author Brian C. Lockey argues that English discourses of nationhood were in conversation with two opposing 'cosmopolitan' perspectives, one that sought to cultivate and sustain the emerging English nationalism and imperialism and another that challenged English nationhood from the perspective of those Englishmen who viewed the kingdom as one province within the larger transnational Christian commonwealth. Lockey illustrates how the latter cosmopolitan perspective, produced within two communities of exiled English subjects, separated in time by half a century, influenced fiction writers such as Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Anthony Munday, Sir John Harington, John Milton, and Aphra Behn. Ultimately, he shows that early modern cosmopolitans critiqued the emerging discourse of English nationhood from a traditional religious and political perspective, even as their writings eventually gave rise to later secular Enlightenment forms of cosmopolitanism.

Shakespeare Revenge Tragedy and Early Modern LawShakespeare Revenge Tragedy and Early Modern Law

... Equity (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1999) Maitland, F. W., Selected Historical Essays, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press in association with Selden Society, 1957) Majeske, Andrew, Equity in English Renaissance Literature: ...

Author: Derek Dunne

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9781137572875


Page: 229

View: 657

This book, the first to trace revenge tragedy's evolving dialogue with early modern law, draws on changing laws of evidence, food riots, piracy, and debates over royal prerogative. By taking the genre's legal potential seriously, it opens up the radical critique embedded in the revenge tragedies of Kyd, Shakespeare, Marston, Chettle and Middleton.

Skepticism and Belief in Early Modern EnglandSkepticism and Belief in Early Modern England

Biscardi “On Aequitas and Epieikeia,” 7. Cicero, Topica, trans. H.M. Hubbell (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), IV.23. Majeske, Equity in English Renaissance Literature, 19. Ibid., 19. Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, ...

Author: Melissa M. Caldwell

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 9781317054559


Page: 250

View: 663

The central thesis of this book is that skepticism was instrumental to the defense of orthodox religion and the development of the identity of the Church of England. Examining the presence of skepticism in non-fiction prose literature at four transitional moments in English Protestant history during which orthodoxy was challenged and revised, Melissa Caldwell argues that a skeptical mode of thinking is embedded in the literary and rhetorical choices made by English writers who straddle the project of reform and the maintenance of orthodoxy after the Reformation in England. Far from being a radical belief simply indicative of an emerging secularism, she demonstrates the varied and complex appropriations of skeptical thought in early modern England. By examining a selection of various kinds of literature-including religious polemic, dialogue, pamphlets, sermons, and treatises-produced at key moments in early modern England’s religious history, Caldwell shows how the writers under consideration capitalized on the unscripted moral space that emerged in the wake of the Reformation. The result was a new kind of discourse--and a new form of orthodoxy--that sought both to exploit and to contain the skepticism unearthed by the Reformation.