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Book Cover
Author Bates, Catherine, 1934-

Title The rhetoric of courtship in Elizabethan language and literature / Catherine Bates
Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  826.30353 B3294/R  AVAILABLE
Description xi, 236 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents 1. The rhetoric of courtship: an introduction -- 2. The semantics of courtship -- 3. Courtship at court: some pageants and entertainments at the court of Elizabeth I -- 4. 'Courtly courtesies': ambivalent courtships in Euphues, Euphues and his England, and the Arcadia -- 5. 'Of Court it seemes, men Courtesie doe call': the Amoretti, Epithalamion, and The Faerie Queene, book VI
Summary In the sixteenth century the modern meaning of courtship--'wooing someone'--developed from an older sense-- 'being at court'. The rhetoric of courtship in Elizabethan language and literature takes this semantic shift as the starting-point for an incisive account of the practice and meanings of courtship at the court of Elizabeth I, a place where 'being at court' pre-eminently came to mean the same as 'wooing' the Queen. Exploring the wider context of social anthropology, philology, and cultural and literary history, Catherine Bates presents courtship as a judicious, sensitive, and rhetorically aware understanding of public and private relations. Gascoigne, Lyly, Sidney, Leicester, Essex, and Spenser are shown to reflect in the fictional courtships of their poetry and prose the vulnerabilities of court life that were created by the system of patronage. These writers exploited the structural and semantic ambivalence of courtship in order to rehearse alternative experiences of failure and success, producing richly polyvalent and complex texts in which often conflicting strategies and devices are seen to compete and overlap with each other. The rhetoric of courtship thus makes an important contribution to Renaissance cultural history, exploring the multiple meanings of 'courtship' in the sixteenth century, and using the court of Elizabeth I as a test case for representations of the courtier's role and power in the literature of the period
Analysis English literature Special subjects Love
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 214-232) and index
Subject Authors and patrons -- England -- History -- 16th century.
Authors and patrons -- England -- History -- 19th century.
Courtesy in literature.
Courtly love in literature.
Courts and courtiers in literature.
Courtship in literature.
English language -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- Rhetoric.
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
Literary patrons -- Great Britain.
Rhetoric -- Early works to 1800.
Rhetoric -- History -- 16th century.
Rhetoric -- 1500-1800
United Kingdom -- Court and courtiers -- History -- 16th century.
United Kingdom -- Court and courtiers.
LC no. 91031573
ISBN 0521414806 (hardback)