Civic Humanism and Gender Politics in Jonson’s Catiline

Auteur: Gaggero, Christopher
Titre: Civic Humanism and Gender Politics in Jonson’s Catiline
Revue/Collection: SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 - Volume 45, Number 2
Annèe edition: 2005
Pages: 401-424
Mots-clès: Héritage - Fortuna - Legacy
Description: [Abstract] Most intellectual and cultural historians accept J. G. A. Pocock's claim that civic humanist discourse petered out in England after the middle of the sixteenth century, to return in a republican form only in the 1640s. Markku Peltonen and David Norbrook have recently challenged Pocock's narrative and shown the influence of civic humanist and republican ideas between 1580 and 1640. Neither denies, though, that civic humanism was a marginal discourse during this time. Like Pocock, they see increasing political absolutism as the primary factor explaining its marginalization. In this essay, I suggest another apparently unrelated factor: concern about women's public roles. I do not mean to substitute one factor for the other, but to argue that the rise of political absolutism and the decline of civic humanism entailed a rethinking of gender roles and relations. The ideology of absolutism, addressing the microcosm of the household as well as the macrocosm of the kingdom, rethought men's relationship to women as well as the sovereign's relationship to his (feminized or perhaps infantilized) subjects. It involved a distinct gender politics, one that differed in significant respects from that of...
Sigle auteur: Gaggero 2005