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Author Scodel, Joshua, 1958-

Title Excess and the mean in early modern English literature / Joshua Scodel
Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2002]
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Description 1 online resource (viii, 367 pages)
Series Literature in history
Literature in history (Princeton, N.J.)
Contents Introduction: ancient paradigms in modern conflicts -- pt. 1. Two early modern revisions of the mean -- 1. Donne and the personal mean -- 2. "Mediocrities" and "extremities": Baconian flexibility and the Aristotelian mean -- pt. 2. Means and extremes in early modern Georgic -- 3. Moderation, temperate climate, and national ethos from Spenser to Milton -- 4. Concord, conquest, and commerce from Spenser to Cowley -- pt. 3. Erotic excess and early modern social conflicts -- 5. Passionate extremes and noble natures from Elizabethan to Caroline literature -- 6. Erotic excess versus interest in mid- to late-seventeenth-century literature -- pt. 4. Moderation and excess in the seveneteenth-century symposiastic lyric -- 7. Drinking and the politics of poetic identity from Jonson to Herrick -- 8. Drinking and cultural conflict from Lovelace to Rochester -- pt. 5. Reimagining moderation: the Miltonic example -- 9. Paradise lost, pleasurable restraint, and the mean of self-respect -- Postscript: sublime excess, dull moderation, and contemporary ambivalence
Summary This book examines how English writers from the Elizabethan period to the Restoration transformed and contested the ancient ideal of the virtuous mean. As early modern authors learned at grammar school and university, Aristotle and other classical thinkers praised "golden means" balanced between extremes: courage, for example, as opposed to cowardice or recklessness. By uncovering the enormous variety of English responses to this ethical doctrine, Joshua Scodel revises our understanding of the vital interaction between classical thought and early modern literary culture. --From publisher's description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-352) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Didactic literature, English -- History and criticism.
English literature -- Classical influences.
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
Ethics in literature.
Literature and society -- England -- History -- 16th century.
Literature and society -- England -- History -- 17th century.
Moderation in literature.
Polarity in literature.
Temperance in literature.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2001059168
ISBN 0691090289 (acid-free paper)
1400814634 (electronic bk.)
1400824931 (electronic bk.)
9780691090283 (acid-free paper)
9781400814633 (electronic bk.)
9781400824939 (electronic bk.)