Bringing together some of the best current practitioners of historical and formal criticism, Reading Renaissance Ethics assesses the ethical performance of renaissance texts as historical agents in their time and in ours.
Exploring the nature and mechanics of cultural agency, the book explains with greater clarity just what is at stake when canon-formation, aesthetic evaluation and curricular reform are questioned and revised. Taking seriously the question of what to read requires us to consider exactly what it is that we do when we read and when we write about our reading. Reading Renaissance Ethics asks what sorts of events took place when Renaissance texts were first read and how this differs from the way we read and teach them now.
"Grossman assembles an extremely diverse collection of short essays on this theme by highly reputed Renaissance scholars…" -- Catherine Gimelli Martin, Studies in English Literature, Winter 2008
Acknowledgements. Contributors. List of Illustrations. Part 1: 1. Introduction: Reading Renaissance Ethics Part 2: The Ethics of Renaissance Forms 2. Gender, Justice and the Gods in The Faerie Queene, Book 5 David Lee Miller 3. The Ethics of Posing: Visual Epideixis in Some 17th Century Dutch Group Portraits Harry Berger, Jr. 4. Textual Ethics: Reading Transference and Translation: Milton and Tragedy Marshall Grossman 5. Aesthetics as Critique in Samson Agonistes Victoria Kahn Part 3: Historicizing Renaissance Ethics 6. The Ethics of Renaissance Bible Translation Vivienne Westbrook 7. Eating Montaigne Paul Yachnin 8. Marvell’s 'Scaevola Scoto-Brittannus' and the Ethics of Political Violence David Norbrook Part 4: Philosophy and Renaissance Ethics 9. The Ethics of Inspiration Gordon Teskey 10. Shakespeare Against Morality Richard Strier 11. The Skeptical Ethics of John Donne: The Case of Ignatius his Conclave Anita Gilman Sherman 12. Winning the Initiative Angus J. S. Fletcher Part 5: Assessments 13. Ethics or Politics? An Exchange Passing through the Areopagitica Sharon Achinstein and Marshall Grossman 14. Reading Reading Renaissance Ethics: 'with modesty enough' Theodore B. Leinwand