Katharine A. Craik, Reading Coryats Crudities (1611)
Coryats Crudities, Thomas Coryat's account of his five-month tour of Europe, was published in 1611. This article argues that Coryat's "crudities" resist ideals of humanist pedagogy, where rhetorical digestio involved the proper organization and assimilation of knowledge. Coryat and his mock panegyrists explore connections between writing and intemperance, discussing the painful effects of pleasurable reading experiences on the bodies of aristocratic men. In so doing, they coin a new generic position for Crudities as a travelogue that resists truth telling but is nevertheless not quite a traveler's tall tale.
Clay Daniel, Milton's Neo-Platonic Angel?
Readers generally agree that Raphael administers--probably inappropriately--Neo-Platonic correction to Adam when the man extols Eve's beauty (Paradise Lost 8.523-51). However, Raphael only appears to endorse Neo-Platonism in order to entangle a "wary" Adam fatally--and Neo-Platonically--curious about "proportional ascent, which cannot be / But to be gods, or angels demi-gods" (PL 9.936-7). Adam is maneuvered into defending himself by confessing his real fault: his construction of Eve's soul within the context of his desire for Neo-Platonic ascent, confirming (for Raphael) the direction of Adam's fall. A similiar subtlety is evident in Raphael's exposition of the order of creation (PL 5.469-505).
Cynthia E. Garrett, Sexual Consent and the Art of Love in the Early Modern English Lyric
This essay traces a neglected strain of early modern English neo-Ovidianism, showing how Ovid's claim in Ars Amatoria that women enjoy rape gains currency through lyrics in popular miscellanies and song collections. Some of the lyrics include a female voice to provide quasi-legal testimony of consent, while others adopt Ovid's erotodidacticism, with a male sexual preceptor instructing the uninitiated in the paradoxical lesson that women's "no" means "yes." The anonymous writers of these lyrics use the Ars to license comic treatment of sexual assault, circulating Ovid's precept as a secret lesson in a contemporary school of love.
Gregory Kneidel, Samuel Daniel and Edification
The 1590s witnessed a fashionable preoccupation with the decay of the intellectual, social, and moral order that Renaissance humanism strove to uphold. Partially the product of Protestant antipoetic sentiment, this preoccupation forced the period's literati to explain how secular learning can be used to reform the English church and nation. In his verse dialogue Musophilus (1599) and his prose Defence of Ryme (1603), Samuel Daniel defends humanist poetics by melding a polemical Puritan interpretation of Paul's dictum "let all things be done unto edifying" (I Cor. 14:26) with a conservative cultural medievalism. This defense is an unacknowledged moment in the development of scriptural poetics in the English Renaissance.
Marla Hoffman Lunderberg, John Donne's Strategies for Discreet Preaching
This article argues that Donne forges a middle ground between pragmatics of service and opportunities to voice individual will in combining fulsome praise with forthright criticism. Contemporary usage of the word "discretion" shows sixteenth- and seventeenth-century thinkers to have imagined it as a middle ground between cowardice and foolishly rash action; this paper argues that Donne negotiates the challenges of seeking patronage through a "rhetoric of discretion." Donne's sermons provide a particularly rich arena for examining this rhetoric as the court preacher both discusses and enacts how best to negotiate the frequent disparity between secular pressure and sacred word. …