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“Lo, Ye All Englishmen”

  • Jennifer Feather
Chapter
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Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies book series (EMCSS)

Abstract

The first two chapters show the process whereby early modern writers from anatomists to playwrights fashion a conception of heroic autonomy by presenting conquest of the body—in the form of anatomizing the corpse or in the form of bodily fortitude—as a kind of combat. This process transforms medieval forms of combat to produce individual autonomy as the basis of early modern selfhood and England as an imperial power. However, relying as these authors do on premodern models of combat, these texts bear the traces of premodern notions of self that persist and are implicit in the production of early modern English notions of self and nation. The dominance of humanist ideals of selfhood and imperial notions of nation have obscured both the violence at their foundations and an alternative genealogy of self and nation that relies on native English, rather than continental texts and on premodern ideas of body and combat. Claiming it as an early modern English text, this chapter reads Malory’s Morte D’Arthur as presenting both a well-defined picture of premodern subjectivity and the consequences of the intellectual changes that help develop the concept of the autonomous, humanist subject.

Keywords

Social Identity Gender Identity Social Order Physical Reality Round Table 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 6.
    Arthur B. Ferguson, The Indian Summer of English Chivalry, Studies in the Decline and Transformation of Chivalric Idealism. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
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    David Hillman, Shakespeare’s Entrails: Belief, Scepticism and the Interior of the Body (New York: Palgrave, 2007).Google Scholar
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    Tomomi Kato, A Concordance to the Works of Sir Thomas Malory (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1974).Google Scholar
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    Ann Astell, Political Allegory in Late Medieval England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jennifer Feather 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Feather

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