In this volume, the author offers a substantial reconsideration of same-sex relations in the early modern period, and argues that early modern writers – rather than simply celebrating a classical friendship model based in dyadic exclusivity and a rejection of self-interest – sought to innovate on classical models for idealized friendship. This book redirects scholarly conversations regarding gender, sexuality, classical receptions, and the economic aspects of social relations in the early modern period. It points to new directions in the application of queer theory to Renaissance literature by examining group friendship as a celebrated social formation in the work of early modern writers from Shakespeare to Milton.
This volume will be of interest to scholars of the early modern period in England, as well as to those interested in the intersections between literature and gender studies, economic history and the economic aspects of social relations, the classics and the classical tradition, and the history of sexuality.
Preface: Towards an Increased Understanding of Friendship 1. "The Sum of Perfect Amity": Friendship Networks at the Inns of Court 2. We Are the Jasons, We Have Won the Fleece": Prodigious Amity in The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida 3. "In a Joint and Corporate Voice": The All-Too-Friendly Households in Arden of Faversham and Timon of Athens 4. "All Those Friends That I Thought Buried": Patronage and Multiplicity in Lanyer’s Salve Deus and Shakespeare’s Sonnets 5. "This Host of Friends": The Promise of Plurality in Milton's Epitaphium Damonis and Paradise Lost Afterword: Friendship and The Tempest's Working Utopia