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The Unrepentant RenaissanceFrom Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton$
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Richard Strier

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226777511

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226777535.001.0001

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Against The Rule Of Reason: Praise Of Passion From Petrarch To Luther To Shakespeare To Herbert

Against The Rule Of Reason: Praise Of Passion From Petrarch To Luther To Shakespeare To Herbert

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 1 Against The Rule Of Reason: Praise Of Passion From Petrarch To Luther To Shakespeare To Herbert
Source:
The Unrepentant Renaissance
Author(s):

Richard Strier

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226777535.003.0002

This chapter explores virtues and the ethical life first through the eyes of Petrarch, where the love of virtue is doubly important than the simple knowledge of it. Petrarch sees effort and violence as required in order to penetrate the heart—the object of ethical teaching. The chapter also explores the Reformation and Luther’s reinterpretation of Christianity’s theological framework. The author explains the profound and far-reaching implications that Luther’s reinterpretation would produce for the period. The rest of the chapter discusses the ways that the Renaissance and Reformation defences of passion entered into the English vernacular literature. Two plays of Shakespeare contribute to this awareness: The Comedy of Errors and King Lear. Finally, the devotional poetry of George Herbert is also studied due to his defense of unfettered emotion.

Keywords:   ethical life, Petrarch, ethical teaching, Reformation, Renaissance, passion, Shakespeare, King Lear, George Herbert

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