Shakespeare's Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion

By Lynn Enterline | Go to book overview

Introduction
“Thou art translated”

This book places moments of considerable emotional power in Shakespeare’s poetry—narrative and dramatic portraits of what his contemporaries called “the passions”—alongside the discursive and material practices of sixteenthcentury English pedagogy. The analysis moves between grammar school archives and literary canon, using linguistic, rhetorical, and literary detail to put pressure on institutional goals and effects. And it brings evidence about the theatricality of everyday life in humanist grammar schools to bear on Shakespeare’s representations of character and emotion—particularly expressions of “love” and “woe.” Throughout the book, I rely on the axiom that rhetoric has two branches that continually interact: tropological (requiring formal, literary analysis) and transactional (requiring social and historical analysis). Humanist training in rhetorical copia was designed to intervene in social reproduction, to sort out which differences between bodies (male and female) and groups (aristocrats, the middling sort, and those below) were necessary to defining and producing proper English “gentlemen.” But the method I adopt in this book brings out a rather different story from the one schoolmasters invented to promote their new pedagogical platform and argue for its beneficial effects on the commonwealth. That is, when Shakespeare creates the convincing effects of character and emotion for which he is so often singled out as a precursor of “modern” subjectivity, he signals his debt to the Latin institution that granted him the cultural capital of an early modern gentleman precisely when undercutting the socially normative categories schoolmasters invoked as their educational goal.

Each chapter traces the classical texts, rhetorical techniques, and school disciplinary practices that enabled Shakespeare to invent characters and emotions so often taken to resemble modern ones, demonstrating in the process

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Shakespeare's Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction - "Thou Art Translated" 1
  • Chapter 1 - Rhetoric and the Passions in Shakespeare’s Schoolroom 9
  • Chapter 2 - Imitate and Punish 33
  • Chapter 3 - The Art of Loving Mastery 62
  • Chapter 4 - The Cruelties of Character in the Taming of the Shrew 95
  • Chapter 5 - "What’s Hecuba to Him?" 120
  • Notes 153
  • Bibliogrdphy 183
  • Index 193
  • Acknowledgments 199
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