The Grammar Rules of Affection: Passion and Pedagogy in Sidney, Shakespeare, and Jonson

By Ross Knecht

© 2021

Renaissance writers habitually drew upon the idioms and images of the schoolroom in their depictions of emotional experience. Memorable instances of this tendency include the representation of love as a schoolroom exercise conducted under the disciplinary gaze of the mistress, melancholy as a process of gradual decline like the declension of the noun, and courtship as a practice in which the participants are arranged like the parts of speech in a sentence. The Grammar Rules of Affection explores this synthesis of the affective and the pedagogical in Renaissance literature, analysing examples of it in major texts by Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson.

Drawing on philosophical approaches to emotion, theories of social practice, and the history of education, this book argues that emotions appear in Renaissance literature as conventional, rule-guided practices rather than internal states. This claim represents a novel intervention in the historical study of emotion, departing from the standard approaches to emotions as either corporeal phenomena or mental states. Combining linguistic philosophy and theory of emotion, The Grammar Rules of Affection works to overcome this dualistic crux by locating emotion in the expressions and practices of everyday life.

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  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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  • AVAILABLE MAY 2021

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    ISBN 9781487508470
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Quick Overview

This interdisciplinary study argues that the intersection of pedagogical and affective language in Renaissance literature shows that emotion was conceived as a conventional practice.

The Grammar Rules of Affection: Passion and Pedagogy in Sidney, Shakespeare, and Jonson

By Ross Knecht

© 2021

Renaissance writers habitually drew upon the idioms and images of the schoolroom in their depictions of emotional experience. Memorable instances of this tendency include the representation of love as a schoolroom exercise conducted under the disciplinary gaze of the mistress, melancholy as a process of gradual decline like the declension of the noun, and courtship as a practice in which the participants are arranged like the parts of speech in a sentence. The Grammar Rules of Affection explores this synthesis of the affective and the pedagogical in Renaissance literature, analysing examples of it in major texts by Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson.

Drawing on philosophical approaches to emotion, theories of social practice, and the history of education, this book argues that emotions appear in Renaissance literature as conventional, rule-guided practices rather than internal states. This claim represents a novel intervention in the historical study of emotion, departing from the standard approaches to emotions as either corporeal phenomena or mental states. Combining linguistic philosophy and theory of emotion, The Grammar Rules of Affection works to overcome this dualistic crux by locating emotion in the expressions and practices of everyday life.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Ross Knecht is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Emory University.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    1. “Precept and Practice”: Theories of Grammar from the Medieval to the Early Modern Period

    2. “Heart-Ravishing Knowledge”: Love and Learning in Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella

    3. The Ablative Heart: Love as Rule-Guided Action in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

    4. “Shapes of Grief”: The Grammatical and the Ineffable in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

    5. “Drunken Custom”: Rules, Embodiment, and Exemplarity in Jonson’s Humors Plays

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Works Cited

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