By Helen Wilcox
1611: Authority, Gender, and the note in Early sleek England explores problems with authority, gender, and language inside and around the number of literary works produced in a single of such a lot landmark years in literary and cultural heritage.
- Represents an exploration of a 12 months within the textual lifetime of early glossy England
- Juxtaposes the diversity and variety of texts that have been released, performed, learn, or heard within the comparable 12 months, 1611
- Offers an account of the textual tradition of the yr 1611, the surroundings of language, and the tips from which the authorized model of the English Bible emerged
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Extra resources for 1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England
He likens Oberon to Mercury, the ‘god of tongue’ who was said to have wooed Penelope with winning words, and draws a parallel between Oberon and Apollo, the god who sang expressively to the accompaniment of his harp (344). Facility with language, the very basis of the textual culture with which 1611 is so rich, is already to be seen here as fundamental to the projected ideal of royalty. The King, who in Oberon is simultaneously both the Arthur of romance and the James of reality, is said to ‘teach’ his people ‘by the sweetnesse of his sway’, his persuasive rhetoric, ‘And not by force’ (353): language, literally, rules.
Similarly, the great debates of the mid-century are anticipated in the birth of the political theorist James Harington in 1611 and the arrival on the scene of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who in this year was resident at ‘The omnipotency of the word’ 19 Hardwick Hall as tutor to the young William Cavendish (subsequently second Earl of Devonshire) and may well have acted as scribe for Cavendish’s anonymous 1611 publication, A Discourse against Flatterie (Rahe, 246). 1611 also saw the birth of Sir Thomas Urquhart, the Scottish writer who was to translate the works of Rabelais into English and publish them in 1653; in the same year (1611), Robert Herrick, later famed as the author of Hesperides (1648), wrote his earliest known poem, a classically inspired praise of the country life addressed to his brother Thomas (Herrick, 34).
Masques were an integral part of courtly celebrations and central to the iconography of royalty by 1611; their plots often incorporated rebellious energies shown to be overcome by peaceful authority, and their mixture of drama, music, dance and visual splendour was a symbolic display of learning, largesse and patronage. The masque to mark the beginning of 1611, Oberon, The Faery Prince, was no exception: it was the result of collaborative work by some of the greatest creative artists active in England at the time.