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The Resource Civil idolatry : desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, Richard F. Hardin

Civil idolatry : desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, Richard F. Hardin

Label
Civil idolatry : desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton
Title
Civil idolatry
Title remainder
desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton
Statement of responsibility
Richard F. Hardin
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
This book discusses the tensions in major Renaissance literary texts between the cult of monarchy and its subversions by Christianity. It corrects some modern scholars' assumptions of a prevailing divine-right theory of monarchy. A recurring theme from the English mystery plays to Milton proposes an inherent tendency of monarchy toward idolatry. The chapter on Erasmus makes a case for a strong tradition of political libertarianism that became a notable emphasis in English humanism. Then follow three essays on Spenser (especially Faerie Queene V and View), Shakespeare (especially the political plays of the late 1590s), and Milton (political writings, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained.). Ozment and others have shown that the Reformation fostered the desacralizing of secular life, an impulse that Schneidau has seen as central to the Hebrew-Christian tradition. Texts like the infamous Vindiciae contra Tyrannos support this interpretation as regards monarchy, rather than the received views of Kantorowicz, which are perhaps more relevant to the Continent. The king-figure in the English mystery plays is often the butt of satire, in contrast to his more dignified counterpart in some Continental drama. The king-figure enters the morality-play tradition as the "pride of life," a transition observed in the hybrid play Mary Magdalene. Erasmus's writings develop from a unified political and religious sensibility in accord with what Mesnard calls his evangelisme politique. For Erasmus, order is not an end in itself but serves the ends of peace, which in turn allow the human soul the optimum liberty to choose or reject the virtuous life. Thomas More's earlier agreement with, and later departure from, Erasmus's views on political authority are related to the Henrician political crisis. Spenser's anti-absolutism and Erasmus-like concept of peace, order, and liberty are disclosed in explications of the Isis Temple, Souldan, Gerioneo, and Grantorto episodes of Faerie Queene V. These and other writings show the poet's belief in the need for aristocracy to act in the service of truth. Shakespeare's "second tetralogy" moves toward Henry V's renouncing "idol ceremony," in contrast to Julius Caesar, which presents a model of disordered polity. Civil idolatry (Milton's phrase) in that play and in Milton's long poems leads to tyranny and ritualism, accompanied by fear and awe. This logic is woven into the texture of hell in Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained advances the position through its redefinition of conquest and fatherhood in response to the "conquest theory" and patriarchalism with which monarchists justified their cause. Ultimately Milton places the blame for civil idolatry on the majority, who prefer a condition of subservience and awe because, as Shakespeare's Henry V declared, it relieves them of the responsibilities of consciousness. The epilogue glances at new directions in a comparison of the coronations of Charles II and of William and Mary
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hardin, Richard F
Dewey number
820.9/358
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Index
index present
LC call number
PR428.P6
LC item number
H34 1992
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Spenser, Edmund
  • Shakespeare, William
  • Milton, John
  • English literature
  • Politics and literature
  • Politics and literature
  • Kings and rulers in literature
  • Church and state in literature
  • Monarchy in literature
  • Religion in literature
  • Littérature anglaise
  • Politique et littérature
  • Politique et littérature
  • Rois et souverains dans la littérature
  • Église et État dans la littérature
  • Monarchie dans la littérature
  • Religion dans la littérature
  • Littérature anglaise
  • Littérature anglaise
  • Littérature anglaise
  • Politique et littérature
  • Rois et souverains
  • Église et État
  • Monarchie
  • Religion
  • König
  • Ideologie
  • Literatur
  • Geschichte (1500-1700)
  • Monarchie
  • Religion
  • Englisch
Label
Civil idolatry : desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, Richard F. Hardin
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 244-262) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Religion and Rule -- 1: King of This World -- 2: Erasmus: Christian Liberty and Renaissance Majesty -- 3: Spenser: Anatomy of Tyranny -- 4: Shakespeare: Liberty and Idol Ceremony -- 5: Milton and Civil Idolatry -- Epilogue: No Ceremony No Bishop, No Bishop No King
Control code
24175510
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
267 pages
Isbn
9780874134261
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
90050937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
(WaOLN)1434193
Label
Civil idolatry : desacralizing and monarchy in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, Richard F. Hardin
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 244-262) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: Religion and Rule -- 1: King of This World -- 2: Erasmus: Christian Liberty and Renaissance Majesty -- 3: Spenser: Anatomy of Tyranny -- 4: Shakespeare: Liberty and Idol Ceremony -- 5: Milton and Civil Idolatry -- Epilogue: No Ceremony No Bishop, No Bishop No King
Control code
24175510
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
267 pages
Isbn
9780874134261
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
90050937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
(WaOLN)1434193

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