Drill and Allocution as Emotional Practices in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Poetry, Plays and Military Treatises
Dutch war poems and siege plays of the Eighty Years’ War often confront us with questions about military leadership. Some authors describe the army as an agile moving front of fighters under full control of its commander, other touch upon the emotional implications, such as the emotional encouragement and guidance that is also needed on the battlefield. This chapter considers two examples of ‘military speech’ in particular: the emotional effect or implications of short commands and orders on which seventeenth-century drill practices are based and the allocutio or harangue, the military speech before battle, as an ancient tradition that is rediscovered in early modern military treatises. By discussing drill and allocution as emotional practices this chapter investigates the emotions that have to be suppressed and those that would provide the conditional mental framework the early modern soldier needed to carry out military commands and to risk his life on the battlefield.