1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England by Helen Wilcox

By Helen Wilcox

1611: Authority, Gender, and the be aware in Early glossy England explores problems with authority, gender, and language inside of and around the number of literary works produced in a single of so much landmark years in literary and cultural history.

  • Represents an exploration of a yr within the textual lifetime of early sleek England
  • Juxtaposes the diversity and diversity 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 12 months 1611, the surroundings of language, and the guidelines from which the permitted model of the English Bible emerged

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Additional resources for 1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England

Sample text

He refers to the ‘great rock’, the brilliantly craggy form at the centre of Inigo Jones’s set, and specifically notes that the moon was ‘showing above through an aperture, so that its progress through the night could be observed’ (Jonson 10 (1950), 522–3). The passing of time is thus made a part of the set’s visual effects and, as the action proceeds, the audience is constantly reminded of the temporal nature of the experience: ‘O, that he so long doth tarrie’, cry the impatient Chorus as they wait for Oberon, and later much is made of the cock’s crow, a sign of the coming end of the night and so the exact time for the Prince to emerge – he who fills ‘every season, ev’ry place’ with his ‘grace’, and in whose face ‘Beautie dwels’ (Jonson 7 (1941), 343).

To keepe the world alive, And uphold it; without mee, All againe would Chaos bee. (360) The male figures of the masque’s final scene – the newly liberated Love, the priests of the Muses and, most importantly, James – are presented as emblems of ordered authority, holding chaos at bay. They are complemented by the female Graces and, at the climax of the masque, the arrival of the Queen and her 11 ladies, whose beauty is an emblem of all that is natural: had the women not been released from captivity, in ‘losing these, you lost her [Nature] too’ (Jonson 7:370).

Though the Prince does not speak a word in the course of the masque, and much of the impact of the work depends upon design, colour and music, 30 Jonson’s Oberon and friends: masque and music in 1611 the role of language in this entertainment should not be underestimated. Words are, in themselves, a recurring topic in the verse, as well as its medium. The leader of the unruly satyrs, Silenus, overhears two of them discussing the wooing of ‘Nymphes’ and immediately rebukes them: Chaster language.

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