This book challenges the way in which current critical orthodoxy tend to invite the emotional assent of readers more on the basis of admirable principles, than on conclusive textual evidence. The affective use of language by critics such as Greenblatt, Jardine, Eagleton and Greer, in furtherance of their argument, recalls the Aristotelian concepts of ethos and pathos, and conveys the stance of the writer by stimulating the reader's emotion. Affectivity is as much a feature of writing about Renaissance texts today, as it was of the texts themselves. To what extent do contemporary critical agendas distort of overlook the complexity of emotion in works by writers such as Marlowe, Milton and Lucy Hutchinson? This book aims to provide new reading strategies, applying schema theory, deixis and other linguistic models, both to original texts and to modern criticism, whilst drawing on the Renaissance's own complex and problematic understanding of pathos.

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