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Rhetorical Swordfighting and Satire in Thomas Watson’s Hekatompathia

Rhetorical Swordfighting and Satire in Thomas Watson’s Hekatompathia AbstractThomas Watson’s critics have suggested that The Hekatompathia, Or Passionate Centurie of Love ambitiously aspired to be a pedagogical text, but if this work is designed to teach, then this essay suggests Watson’s manipulations of genre, style, and intertexts combine to offer a pedagogy for poets, a compilation of rhetorical postures one may employ to simultaneously deliver and disguise socio-political satire in Elizabethan England. This essay first discusses how Hekatompathia additionally signals its satirical aims by participating in the pasquinade tradition, and positioning a “pasquine piller” at the volta of this sequence of one hundred passions. Next, it shows how Watson’s “passions” intertextually recall Pierre de Ronsard’s Discours des Misères de ce Temps, a collection of lyrics satirizing the French factionalism that has led to civil war, as well as Thomas Jeney’s later English translation that turns a mirror to princes toward Queen Elizabeth. Upon recognizing the Ronsardian subtexts of courtly factionalism and civil unrest associated with Watson’s “passions,” one may see how they are compounded as the poet sets them forth in the “pathetical style” of Seneca and Lucan. The civil wars of ancient Rome and subsequent imperial tyranny are frequently held up as a cautionary tales for early modern English and European rulers, but Watson’s simultaneous translation of the French Wars of Religion relocates these civil broils in England, implicating Elizabethan court dissidence and hypocrisy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Explorations in Renaissance Culture Brill

Rhetorical Swordfighting and Satire in Thomas Watson’s Hekatompathia

Explorations in Renaissance Culture , Volume 48 (1): 34 – Apr 11, 2022

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0098-2474
eISSN
2352-6963
DOI
10.1163/23526963-04801001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThomas Watson’s critics have suggested that The Hekatompathia, Or Passionate Centurie of Love ambitiously aspired to be a pedagogical text, but if this work is designed to teach, then this essay suggests Watson’s manipulations of genre, style, and intertexts combine to offer a pedagogy for poets, a compilation of rhetorical postures one may employ to simultaneously deliver and disguise socio-political satire in Elizabethan England. This essay first discusses how Hekatompathia additionally signals its satirical aims by participating in the pasquinade tradition, and positioning a “pasquine piller” at the volta of this sequence of one hundred passions. Next, it shows how Watson’s “passions” intertextually recall Pierre de Ronsard’s Discours des Misères de ce Temps, a collection of lyrics satirizing the French factionalism that has led to civil war, as well as Thomas Jeney’s later English translation that turns a mirror to princes toward Queen Elizabeth. Upon recognizing the Ronsardian subtexts of courtly factionalism and civil unrest associated with Watson’s “passions,” one may see how they are compounded as the poet sets them forth in the “pathetical style” of Seneca and Lucan. The civil wars of ancient Rome and subsequent imperial tyranny are frequently held up as a cautionary tales for early modern English and European rulers, but Watson’s simultaneous translation of the French Wars of Religion relocates these civil broils in England, implicating Elizabethan court dissidence and hypocrisy.

Journal

Explorations in Renaissance CultureBrill

Published: Apr 11, 2022

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