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Literary Criticism 17th Century

The Grammar Rules of Affection

Passion and Pedagogy in Sidney, Shakespeare, and Jonson

by (author) Ross Knecht

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Category
17th Century, Renaissance, Renaissance, Philosophy & Social Aspects
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487538330
    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
    $50.00
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781487508470
    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
    $50.00

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Description

Renaissance writers habitually drew upon the idioms and images of the schoolroom in their depictions of emotional experience. Memorable instances of this tendency include the representation of love as a schoolroom exercise conducted under the disciplinary gaze of the mistress, melancholy as a process of gradual decline like the declension of the noun, and courtship as a practice in which the participants are arranged like the parts of speech in a sentence. The Grammar Rules of Affection explores this synthesis of the affective and the pedagogical in Renaissance literature, analysing examples from major texts by Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson.

 

Drawing on philosophical approaches to emotion, theories of social practice, and the history of education, this book argues that emotions appear in Renaissance literature as conventional, rule-guided practices rather than internal states. This claim represents a novel intervention in the historical study of emotion, departing from the standard approaches to emotions as either corporeal phenomena or mental states. Combining linguistic philosophy and theory of emotion, The Grammar Rules of Affection works to overcome this dualistic crux by locating emotion in the expressions and practices of everyday life.

About the author

Ross Knecht is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Emory University.

Ross Knecht's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This well-researched book illuminates an excellent topic from the history of early modern philology and the relationship of literature and grammar-school education: how classroom teaching and the learning of grammar in the age of Shakespeare frequently connected language to emotions, and how this connection was manifested in different forms of conduct presented in drama and poetry by writers who absorbed the grammar curriculum in school."

<em>Renaissance and Reformation</em>