Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England Series Number 19

Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England Series Number 19

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Slander constitutes a central social, legal and literary concern of early modern England. A category of discourse which transgresses the law, it offers a more historically grounded and fluid account of power relations between poets and the state than that offered by the commonly accepted model of official censorship. An investigation of slander reveals it to be an effective, unstable and reversible means of repudiating one's opposition that could be deployed by rulers or poets. Spenser, Jonson and Shakespeare each use the paradigm of slander to challenge official criticism of poetry, while contemporary legal theory associates slander with poetry. However, even as rulers themselves make use of slander in the form of propaganda to demonize those they perceive to be their foes, ultimately they are unable to contain completely the threat posed by slanderous accusations against the state.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 164 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 10mm | 250g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521586372
  • 9780521586375
  • 1,081,415

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: censorship versus slander; 1. The paradox of slander; 2. Allegories of defamation in The Faerie Queene Books IV-VI; 3. Satire and the arraignment of the Poetaster; 4. Slander for slander in Measure for Measure; Conclusion; Notes; Works cited; Index.
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Review quote

'... this thoughtful and thought-provoking book deserves a warm welcome.' Renaissance Journal "The discussion of Lucio as a poet and critic of the state is particularly intriguing." B. E. Brandt, Choice "Kaplan's study of slander discusses three major texts: FQ, Poetaster , and Measure for Measure . Dorothy Stephens, Spenser Newsletter "...a tightly-controlled and lucidly written book, which I recommend with enthusiasm." Bibliotheque D'Humanisme "...the future of `cultural studies' of English Renaissance literature seems to be in capable hands..." Arnold W. Preussner, English Language Notes
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Rating details

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