Renaissance Tropologies: The Cultural Imagination of Early Modern Englandby Jeanne Shami
Pub. Date: 11/28/2008
Publisher: Duquesne University Press
Tropes provide access into habits of thought and worldviews-they express a climate of opinion and a hermeneutical context. Focusing on the textual activity of major cultural tropes, this study demonstrates the ways in which they enunciate and transform the cultural imagination on matters of love and power in the world, the body politic, and the rising sphere of personal life in early modern England. In 12 essays, prominent Renaissance scholars extend the theoretical analysis and application of the four tropes identified by Gale Carrithers and James Hardy: theatre, moment, journey, and ambassadorship. Renaissance tropologies and habits of thought are here demonstrated through exegesis of the works of Shakespeare, Vaughan, and especially John Donne, whose writings, because they explore the most provocative issues of his day, are a lens through which one can understand the surrounding culture. The text itself is organised around the four tropes, and their cross-disciplinary approach to cultural phenomenon is part of the move toward a more fully historicised rhetorical analysis of texts.
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