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dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Alex
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Toria Anne
dc.description.abstractThis thesis traces the use of pity in early modern English literature, highlighting in particular the ways in which the emotion prompted personal anxieties and threatened Burckhardtian notions of the self-contained, autonomous individual, even as it acted as a central, crucial component of personal identity. The first chapter considers pity in medieval drama, and ultimately argues that the institutional changes that took place during the Reformation ushered in a new era, in which people felt themselves to be subjected to interpersonal emotions – pity especially – in new, overwhelming, and difficult ways. The remaining three chapters examine how pity complicates questions of personal identity in Renaissance literature. Chapter Two discusses the masculine bid for pity in courtly lyric poetry, including Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella and Barnabe Barnes’s Parthenophil and Parthenophe, and considers the undercurrents of vulnerability and violation that emerge in the wake of unanswered emotional appeals. This chapter also examines these themes in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Sidney’s Arcadia. Chapter Three also picks up the element of violation, extending it to the pitiable presentation of sexual aggression in Lucrece narratives. Chapter Four explores the recognition of suffering and vulnerability across species boundaries, highlighting the use of pity to define humanity against the rest of the animal kingdom, and focusing in particular on how these questions are handled by Shakespeare in The Tempest and Ben Jonson, in Bartholomew Fair. This work represents the first extended study of pity in early modern English literature, and suggests that the emotion had a constitutive role in personal subjectivity, in addition to structuring various forms of social relation. Ultimately, the thesis contends that the early modern English interest in pity indicates a central worry about vulnerability, but also, crucially, a belief in the necessity of recognising shared, human weakness.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.subjectEarly modernen_US
dc.subjectWilliam Shakespeareen_US
dc.subjectMorality playsen_US
dc.subjectPhilip Sidneyen_US
dc.subjectEdmund Spenseren_US
dc.subjectBen Jonsonen_US
dc.subjectKing Learen_US
dc.subjectTitus Andronicusen_US
dc.subjectThe Rape of Lucreceen_US
dc.subjectBarnabe Barnesen_US
dc.subjectBartholomew Fairen_US
dc.subjectThe tempesten_US
dc.subject.lcshEnglish literature--Early modern, 1500-1700--History and criticismen_US
dc.subject.lcshSympathy in literatureen_US
dc.subject.lcshIdentity (Psychology) in literatureen_US
dc.title'Piteous overthrows' : pity and identity in early modern English literatureen_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US
dc.rights.embargoreasonThesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 10th October 2023en_US

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