Intimacy and sexuality in the age of Shakespeare / James M Bromley.

By: Bromley, James MPublisher: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011Description: viii, 210 p. : illISBN: 9781107015180 (hardback)Subject(s): English literature-Early modern, 1500-1700-History and criticism | Sex in literature | Intimacy (Psychology) in literature | Self in literature | Homosexuality in literatureDDC classification: 822 SHA 09 Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: interiority, futurity, and affective relations in Renaissance literature; 1. Intimacy and narrative closure in Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander; 2. A funny thing happened on the way to the altar: the anus, marriage, and narrative in Shakespeare; 3. Social status and the intimacy of masochistic sexual practice in Beaumont and Fletcher and Middleton; 4. Nuns and nationhood: intimacy in convents in Renaissance drama; 5. Female homoeroticism, race, and public forms of intimacy in the works of Lady Mary Wroth; Epilogue: invitation to a queer life.
Summary: "James Bromley argues that Renaissance texts circulate knowledge about a variety of non-standard sexual practices and intimate life narratives, including non-monogamy, anal eroticism, masochism and cross-racial female homoeroticism. Rethinking current assumptions about intimacy in Renaissance drama, poetry and prose, the book blends historicized and queer approaches to embodiment, narrative and temporality. An important contribution to Renaissance literary studies, queer theory and the history of sexuality, the book demonstrates the relevance of Renaissance literature to today. Through close readings of William Shakespeare's 'problem comedies', Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander, plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, Thomas Middleton's The Nice Valour and Lady Mary Wroth's sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and her prose romance The Urania, Bromley re-evaluates notions of the centrality of deep, abiding affection in Renaissance culture and challenges our own investment in a narrowly defined intimate sphere"--Summary: "In his 1583 The Anatomy of Abuses, Philip Stubbes famously charged that drama taught audiences how to "play the Sodomits, or worse."1 Stubbes's capacious "or worse," I would suggest, refers to certain affective relations that eventually became illegible under the rubrics of modern intimacy. In this book, I map the circulation of knowledge about these queer affections, not only in the plays that Stubbes targets, but also in poetry and prose written between 1588 and 1625. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the intimate sphere coalesced around relations characterized by two elements: interiorized desire and futurity. Interiorized desire locates the truth about the self and sexuality inside the body, thereby organizing and limiting the body's pleasures based on a hierarchized opposition between depths and surfaces. Access to futurity involves the perceived sense of a relationship's duration and its participation in legitimate social and sexual reproduction. These changes, of which Stubbes's charge is one of many indices, laid the foundation for modern understandings of normative intimacy as coextensive with long-term heterosexual monogamy. Coupling, and more specifically marriage, was invested with value as a site where affection was desirable -"--
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 186-203) and index.

Machine generated contents note: Introduction: interiority, futurity, and affective relations in Renaissance literature; 1. Intimacy and narrative closure in Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander; 2. A funny thing happened on the way to the altar: the anus, marriage, and narrative in Shakespeare; 3. Social status and the intimacy of masochistic sexual practice in Beaumont and Fletcher and Middleton; 4. Nuns and nationhood: intimacy in convents in Renaissance drama; 5. Female homoeroticism, race, and public forms of intimacy in the works of Lady Mary Wroth; Epilogue: invitation to a queer life.

"James Bromley argues that Renaissance texts circulate knowledge about a variety of non-standard sexual practices and intimate life narratives, including non-monogamy, anal eroticism, masochism and cross-racial female homoeroticism. Rethinking current assumptions about intimacy in Renaissance drama, poetry and prose, the book blends historicized and queer approaches to embodiment, narrative and temporality. An important contribution to Renaissance literary studies, queer theory and the history of sexuality, the book demonstrates the relevance of Renaissance literature to today. Through close readings of William Shakespeare's 'problem comedies', Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander, plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, Thomas Middleton's The Nice Valour and Lady Mary Wroth's sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and her prose romance The Urania, Bromley re-evaluates notions of the centrality of deep, abiding affection in Renaissance culture and challenges our own investment in a narrowly defined intimate sphere"--

"In his 1583 The Anatomy of Abuses, Philip Stubbes famously charged that drama taught audiences how to "play the Sodomits, or worse."1 Stubbes's capacious "or worse," I would suggest, refers to certain affective relations that eventually became illegible under the rubrics of modern intimacy. In this book, I map the circulation of knowledge about these queer affections, not only in the plays that Stubbes targets, but also in poetry and prose written between 1588 and 1625. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the intimate sphere coalesced around relations characterized by two elements: interiorized desire and futurity. Interiorized desire locates the truth about the self and sexuality inside the body, thereby organizing and limiting the body's pleasures based on a hierarchized opposition between depths and surfaces. Access to futurity involves the perceived sense of a relationship's duration and its participation in legitimate social and sexual reproduction. These changes, of which Stubbes's charge is one of many indices, laid the foundation for modern understandings of normative intimacy as coextensive with long-term heterosexual monogamy. Coupling, and more specifically marriage, was invested with value as a site where affection was desirable -"--

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