Eros and Music in Early Modern Culture and Literature: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Eros and Music in Early Modern Culture and Literature

1st Edition

By Claire Bardelmann


266 pages

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Hardback: 9781138579811
pub: 2018-05-16
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What is the relationship between Eros and music? How does the intersection of love and music contribute to define the perimeter of Early Modern love? The Early Moderns hold parallel discourses on the metaphysical doctrines of love and music as theories of harmony. Statements of love as music, of music as love, and of both as harmonic ideals, are found across a wide range of cultural contexts, highlighting the understanding of love as a cultural construct. The book assesses the complexity of cultural discourses on this linkage of Eros and music. The ambivalence of music as an erotic agent is enacted in the controversy over dancing and reflected in the ubiquitous symbolism of music instruments. Likewise, the trivialization of musical imagery in madrigal lyrics and love poetry highlights a sense of degradation and places the love-music relationship at the meeting point of two epistemes. The book also shows the symbolic deployment of the intertwined ideas of love and music in the English epyllion, and offers close readings of Shakespeare’s poems The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis.

The book is the first to propose an overview of the theoretical, cultural and poetical intersections of Eros and music in Early Modern England. It discusses the connections in a richly interdisciplinary manner, drawing on a wealth of primary material which includes rhetoric, natural philosophy, educational literature, medicine, music theory and musical performance, dance books, performance politics, Protestant pamphlets and sermons, and emblem books.

Table of Contents


About the Author

Claire Bardelmann is Associate Professor at the University of Lorraine, France, where she teaches Early Modern Drama. She has an academic background in English and Musicology. She holds an Agrégation in English, and a PhD in Musicology (Paris-Sorbonne University) which investigates the relationship between music and Early Modern literature. The author of many articles in books and journals including Cahiers Elisabéthains, she is the co-editor (with Pierre Degott) of Musique et théâtre dans les Iles Britanniques.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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