Friendship in Renaissance England

Marlow, Christopher (2003) Friendship in Renaissance England. Literature Compass, 1 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1741-4113

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-4113.2004.00011.x...

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Abstract

Friendship studies is one of the fastest growing new fields in Renaissance Literature, and this article attempts to suggest why this might be the case. By discussing friendship's Classical provenance, its pivotal role in humanist textual practice, and fictionalisations of the friendship theme, it provides an overview of the emergence of the concept into the light of the Renaissance period. Yet the article also discusses some of the more revealing critical insights into that literary history. Such insights include the connection between the rhetoric of friendship and the discourse of companionate marriage, anxieties surrounding the public display of male–male affection, and the disruption of friendship by Derridean ‘differance’. The article ends by making reference to the ‘unfriendliness’ with which most people met in their daily lives, and suggests that those conditions might offer one reason why the theme was such a popular one.

Additional Information:Friendship studies is one of the fastest growing new fields in Renaissance Literature, and this article attempts to suggest why this might be the case. By discussing friendship's Classical provenance, its pivotal role in humanist textual practice, and fictionalisations of the friendship theme, it provides an overview of the emergence of the concept into the light of the Renaissance period. Yet the article also discusses some of the more revealing critical insights into that literary history. Such insights include the connection between the rhetoric of friendship and the discourse of companionate marriage, anxieties surrounding the public display of male–male affection, and the disruption of friendship by Derridean ‘differance’. The article ends by making reference to the ‘unfriendliness’ with which most people met in their daily lives, and suggests that those conditions might offer one reason why the theme was such a popular one.
Keywords:Classical studies, Friendship studies, Renaissance literature, Discourse, Rhetoric
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:1162
Deposited On:14 Sep 2007

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