Rhetorical Affect in Early Modern Writing: Renaissance Passions Reconsidered

Front Cover
Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 M02 22 - 209 pages
This book challenges the way in which current critical orthodoxy tend to invite the emotional assent of readers more on the basis of admirable principles, than on conclusive textual evidence. The affective use of language by critics such as Greenblatt, Jardine, Eagleton and Greer, in furtherance of their argument, recalls the Aristotelian concepts of ethos and pathos, and conveys the stance of the writer by stimulating the reader's emotion. Affectivity is as much a feature of writing about Renaissance texts today, as it was of the texts themselves. To what extent do contemporary critical agendas distort of overlook the complexity of emotion in works by writers such as Marlowe, Milton and Lucy Hutchinson? This book aims to provide new reading strategies, applying schema theory, deixis and other linguistic models, both to original texts and to modern criticism, whilst drawing on the Renaissance's own complex and problematic understanding of pathos.

About the author (2003)

ROBERT COCKCROFT was born into a textile family and is particularly interested in the structure and texture of language, aesthetic and persuasive. As co-author of Persuading People (1992), he now seeks to combine 'New Rhetorical' linguistic insights with traditional perspectives, in an innovative treatment of Renaissance texts and their modern critics.

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