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This essay discusses the problem of the relationship between power and knowledge, considering Milton's idea that true knowledge can provide the conditions for a thorough reform of society. In his political tracts, Milton expresses the idea that a new formation of political information and knowledge is required to limit the manipulative power of the politicians or partisan writers over susceptible people. According to Milton, the means of solving the problem of social control which stands in the way of a general reformation is to ensure the better circulation of knowledge and proper ethics. The process of King Charles I's condemnation and the event of his execution in 1649 raised some controversies about whether his trial was justified and the meanings that it had politically. Many pamphlets condemning the King or Parliament were published that voiced different views and explanations of the event. Royalists claimed that the execution was not carried out according to the proper procedures of the law. This view was opposed by Milton who argued in his political tracts that the King was a tyrant rather than a just ruler who abused his power and broke his contract with the people. Therefore, his execution was fully justified. Milton's concerns were not limited to the exploration of the King's wrong-doing nor the attacks of those who disagreed with him. He was also concerned with the problem of rhetoric which was shrewdly employed by the Royalist apologists to deceive the opponents. In Eikonoklastes, he aims to expose the crimes of King's regime. By showing how much of King's rule was dependent upon ill-conceived political machinations rather than a proper governmental policy, he attempts to demystify the King's image and to counter the false forms of knowledge created by Royalist propaganda. According to his argument, the King was not a locus of political authority rooted in intellectual leadership supported by true knowledge but a key figure in political imposture armed with the vanity of mere words. Although the King was far from being the earthly manifestation of the godly rule which Milton expected at the time, the people, nevertheless, tended to approve his tyrannical rule and engage in his idolatry. In this context, Milton's self-appointed task was to ensure that the people would be equipped with the ability to choose the interpretation which would best reveal the true nature of the King's words and deeds so that they could become no longer his dupes but his judges. As Milton continually stresses, the power of the state remains the province of the people rather than being inherent in authority. Therefore, as he suggests in Eikonoklastes, there is a need for active readership on the part of the English people in responding to Charles's regime and his carefully-crafted image. As Milton emphasizes in his political tracts of late 1640s and 1650s, it is very important for the readers to see a political situation correctly. One model he suggests is to break the "double sense deluding." It is a model of reading based on reason and judgement that can produce the moral knowledge necessary for the construction of an ideal polity rather than on the external authority of an institution. Warning about the moral and epistemological failure of the King's regime, Milton claims that an ideal new polity should base itself in the search for moral knowledge. The moral knowledge can be epitomized as following: "Truth is but Justice in our knowledge, and justice is but Truth in our practice." This knowledge, if understood properly, can provide the means to tackle some of the political problems of seventeenth-century England and lead to the creation of an ideal polity.
The objective of this essay is to investigate the disgust of one noblewoman towards her werewolf husband in Bisclavret, one of the lais authored by the Anglo-Norman poet Marie de France in the second half of the twelfth century. Bisclavret is a fantasy-fictionlike lai wherein the eponymous werewolf, who is a noble baron in human form, is betrayed and banished by his own wife. Modern scholarship has exhibited a strong dislike towards the werewolf’s wife, condemning her as a selfish, faithless, demoniac adulteress who is driven by disordered sexuality. However, I argue that those critics fail to perceive the mechanism of disgust operating inside the lady, and subsequently they take her behaviors as unintelligible. To identify and explicate the wife’s reactions of disgust and their implications, I will employ the modern disgust theories of sociocultural psychologists, Paul Rozin and April E. Fallon, and of a moral philosopher, Martha C. Nussbaum.
Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid does not fit into the generic features of the romance. Instead, it incorporates various genres, such as the moral fable and the testament. In particular, Henryson adopts the genre of the testament, which was in fashion at the time. Controversy surrounds whether The Testament of Cresseid should be considered a testament since Henryson mostly describes the life of Cresseid after her betrayal of Troilus while showing her testament in only fourteen lines of the poem. However, Henryson still names his poem The Testament of Cresseid, which shows that the poem is not about the Cresseid who is punished, but about the Cresseid who is excused and saved through her testament. Considering that it was not common for a medieval woman to leave a will, Henryson gives Cresseid an opportunity to raise her own voice. This again highlights the theme of The Testament of Cresseid as a testament.
While focusing on Jessica and her conversion, this essay purports to investigate the ways in which Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is engaged in the early modern discourse on nation and race. Even though she is not as prominent as Shylock or Portia, Jessica seems to be the central character in understanding the relevance of the Jews in the formation of early modern national identity. My discussions of Jessica is expected to cast light on the ways in which early modern Europeans grappled with competing notions of religion, race and gender under the name of nation. What Jessica and her conversion remind us is that early modern nationhood must be read in connection with religion, race, and gender. By taking up Jessica as a primary figure of conversion, I suggest that the racial, theological, national tensions of early modern England come together in her escapade and marriage. Jessica's resistance to the patriarchal law drives wedge into the early modern notion of nation and national identity based upon blood and genealogy. Shakespeare's representation of Jessica's conversion through elopement and marriage, I argue, at once suppresses and reveals the cultural anxiety about the political economy of early modern English nationhood. With the Venetian investment in converting the Jews, both Shylock and Jessica, Shakespeare's play rehearses the guilt-ridden relation of Christianity to Judaism that might have dominated the psyche of early modern Europeans.
This essay explores the signification of “popular” Shakespeare in contemporary Korea. After defining the meaning(s) of popular culture, the essay surveys Shakespeare’s cultural history in Britain and America. Shakespeare’s transformation from folk culture to high culture and popular culture suggests that highbrow/ lowbrow culture is not a rigid category. Paradoxically, Shakespeare as popular culture relies on the Bard’s cultural capital accumulated through his non-popularization and canonization as highbrow culture. Unlike his popularity in the West, Shakespeare’s presence is meager in Korean popular culture. Most Shakespearean theatre productions remain highbrow, even when they attempt to popularize the Bard. Three popular entertainments produced in the 2000s are examined in turn: Comic Show Romeo&Juliet (2008), Club Twelfth Night (2010), and Musical Hamlet (2007). These productions suggest that Shakespeare exists only in name(and thus virtually absent) or is elevated to the middlebrow taste. Genuine popularity presupposes appreciation. Popular Shakespeare in a positive sense, of being widely liked or originating from the people, seems inconceivable in current Korean culture, where Shakespeare is known only superficially as chunk of world classics.
This paper uncovers a reference to puritan contentions about baptism in The Chaste Maid in Cheapside so far unnoticed by scholarship. Puritan objections to the liturgy for baptism had remained fairly constant from early on in the Reformation: the surplice worn by the minister in church services, crossing of the infant’s forehead, surrogation of the godparents for the infant in baptismal interrogatories, and lay baptism. More radical attacks on baptism as prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer called for abolishing the institution of godparents itself, preferring the father of the infant to present the child for baptism. Baptismal presentation by the father brought the Protestant emphasis on baptism as an instrument for the implementation of discipline to its logical conclusion; the father pledged profession of the faith on behalf of his child and he was to be tasked with its spiritual education. Coupled with the demand for empowering parish ministers to be able to excommunicate parishioners, the projected abolishment of godparents amounted to limiting membership of the congregation to “visible saints,” thus negating the inclusive principle of the church of England. I argue that it is this puritan agenda that is dramatized when Walter Whorehound serves as a godfather in his natural daughter’s baptism, and brought to the audience’s attention when the puritan gossips congratulate Mrs. Allwits on having her daughter “well kersened i’ the right way,/ Without idolatry or superstition,/ After the pure manner of Amsterdam.” The mockery of puritan baptism should not be understood to constitute conclusive evidence of Middleton’s personal anti-puritanism, however; for the play’s satire is ecumenical even in its travestying of King James’s pet project of Lenten observance.
This paper reveals that the Fool in William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear exceeds its role as a traditional court jester as a figure of homo sacer. Lear’s Fool resembles a medieval court jester who is hired to entertain his royal master, but it is my contention that this particular Fool not only fulfills the traditional role but also deviates from a typical description of a court buffoon. In fact, Lear’s fool is generative in bringing about affective change in Lear from the solipsistic monarch to a self-conscious man. What allows this influential power to take effect is the Fool’s state of inclusive exclusion. His extra-judicial positionality conditioned by the suspension of the sovereign law once sanctions his belonging in Lear’s royal circle but simultaneously displaces him from it. The Fool inhabits a type of an ostracized life that Giorgio Agamben calls homo sacer. As such, his untethered status enables him to re-fashion the unfavorable connotation associated with the concept of non-belonging, and unearth the teeming potentiality inherent in the state of exception. In highlighting Lear’s fault and re-envisioning the nature of sovereignty, the Fool’s non-identity is crucial as well. The Fool’s namelessness allows the Fool to become a united subject, an alternative to a unified subject. The Fool troubles the division between the interior and exterior, and the public and private, on which Lear’s sovereign power rests. The paper argues that the Fool, as Lear’s expression of sovereignty, sheds light on the idea that to speak is to perform and to perform is to do politics.
This essay is designed to view Pope as a gardener who played a key role in the development of the landscape garden in England. In 18th-century England, the prevailing taste is the formal gardens that derived from France. Le Nôtre is the most famous garden designer standing for the formal gardens. In gardens of this style, everything is layed out according to a strict geometric pattern, divided into symmetrical units composed of parterres, terraces, rectangular pools and fountains, and intersecting avenues of trees. Pope decries this formal garden as too artificial and supports the natural style of garden, saying that we should follow the “amiable Simplicity of unadorned Nature” in gardening. Pope’s idea of this natural gardening is believed to influence the development of landscape gardening and Kent, a famous gardener who insists that nature hates the line. The term landscape gardening implies an association with landscape painting. Pope also says that gardening is like landscape painting. Pope wants to make gardens in terms of a landscape painter’s method. For example, he tries to make gardens like the landscape paintings of Claude Lorrain. His views on gardening are well developed in The Epistle to Burlington. He sees Vitruvius and Palladio as his masters. Vitruvius thinks that garden is an imitation of nature, and firmness, utility and beauty are the three factors in gardening. Pope also tries to live up to these teachings from his master. In this poem, he argues that nature is the most important guiding principle in gardening. Next he argues that the gardener must consult the genius of the place, that is to say, consider the character of the place. And then Pope thinks that gardening is like painting, so the gardener should make his garden as a landscape painter paints a picture by catching special moods. Finally Pope says that it is important to call in the country in the garden. This vision is fulfilled by the introduction of ha-ha or the sunken fence, which was borrowed from the art of fortification and enabled the gardener to open vistas previously shut off fences. What Pope presents as opposed to landscape garden is Timon’s garden. Timon’s garden is an example of formal garden. Timon’s parterre is “a Down”, his lake “an Ocean”. Timon’s garden indicates how nature has been forgotten. Pope is opposed to Timon’s formal garden. He thinks that the best garden is the landscape garden that tries to imitate nature. In conclusion, Pope plays a key role in the development of the landscape garden.
The poet-lover in Astrophil and Stella is generally considered to be conflicting between reason and passion pining for an unattainable beloved lady. The plot and the themes of the sequence are highly conventional, derived from Petrarch and his many Italian, French and Spanish imitators. However, the poet-lover also claims that he protests this Petrarchan convention in his search of fresh and original ways of writing. Thus the sequence has been studied as a counter-discourse of English Petrarchism and has been given more focus on its writing skills. On the other hand, this paper aims to examine the poet-lover not as an anti-Petrarchan lover but as an anti-courtly lover in a way to reveal some unfamiliar and unexpected aspects of a star-crossed lover. This paper examines that the poet-lover is rebellious in accepting the decrees of love, proud in his estimation and presentation of his own values, cruel and dishonorable in vengeance on his ungrateful lady, and presumptuous and impudent in admitting his desire. These uglier and more disappointing characteristics are quite opposite of those the readers generally expect from a lover in the standard of courtly love. While the poet-lover dramatically transforms the standard of courtly love in order to write most persuasively and most attractively, Sidney reveals that the villain images of the poet-lover as an anti-courtly lover is nothing but guises and masks he conveniently adopts and discards in order to carry out experiments in the dramatization of self. The study intended to examine some unfamiliar aspects of the protagonist leads to the conclusion that Sidney manages to infuse his sonnets with an extraordinary vigor and freshness by appropriating the convention and the concepts of courtly love.