Excess and the mean in early modern English literature / Joshua Scodel.
This book examines how English writers from the Elizabethan period to the Restoration transformed and contested the ancient ideal of the virtuous mean. As early modern authors learned at grammar school and university, Aristotle and other classical thinkers praised "golden means" balanced b...
Princeton, N.J. :
Princeton University Press,
|Series:||Literature in history (Princeton, N.J.)
- Introduction: ancient paradigms in modern conflicts
- pt. 1. Two early modern revisions of the mean
- 1. Donne and the personal mean
- 2. "Mediocrities" and "extremities": Baconian flexibility and the Aristotelian mean
- pt. 2. Means and extremes in early modern Georgic
- 3. Moderation, temperate climate, and national ethos from Spenser to Milton
- 4. Concord, conquest, and commerce from Spenser to Cowley
- pt. 3. Erotic excess and early modern social conflicts
- 5. Passionate extremes and noble natures from Elizabethan to Caroline literature
- 6. Erotic excess versus interest in mid- to late-seventeenth-century literature
- pt. 4. Moderation and excess in the seveneteenth-century symposiastic lyric
- 7. Drinking and the politics of poetic identity from Jonson to Herrick
- 8. Drinking and cultural conflict from Lovelace to Rochester
- pt. 5. Reimagining moderation: the Miltonic example
- 9. Paradise lost, pleasurable restraint, and the mean of self-respect
- Postscript: sublime excess, dull moderation, and contemporary ambivalence.