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"A kingdom for a man": The troubled male of Marston's verse satires
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2469-6431
2019 (English)In: Presented at Conference 2019, The Marston Effect: John Marston and Early Modern Culture: Lincoln College, Oxford. 29 to 31 March 2019, Leeds: University of Leeds , 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent years have seen extensive research in fields such as early modern masculinities, violence and the passions, although rarely so in connection with satire. This is despite the fact that the angry male satirist has been at the focus of much criticism of Elizabethan satire, particularly Marston’s, since Alvin Kernan’s seminal The Cankered Muse (1959). The present paper suggests that Marston’s verse satire enacts early modern notions of masculinity, although not simply in the sense of reproducing patriarchal norms. Despite their enthusiastic, Juvenalian attacks on all sorts of male depravity, Marston’s satires do not offer a straightforward reproductions of traditional norms. Rather, through the varying registers of the satirist – which far from always embody the standard ‘angry’ persona – and the tendency to aggressively challenge the reader and various people in the poems, Marston’s satires in one sense explore alternative, non-patriarchal codes of male competition. At the same time, the satirist explicitly denies involvement in typical rituals of male bonding such as drinking and drunkenness. In other words, Marston’s satirical stance involves the fashioning of a deliberately extreme male that stands outside early modern ideals of self-control but also in some respects rejects the notion of excess. Stoicism and Calvinism, both of which have been discussed as ideological frameworks for Marston’s satires, do not offer reassurance in this respect; rather, the paper concludes, the very extremity of Marston’s persona can be said to challenge the (male) reader to himself find an answer to the question: what is a man?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leeds: University of Leeds , 2019.
Keywords [en]
John Marston, satire, Elizabethan satire, early modern literature, masculinity
National Category
Specific Languages General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, English literature; Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-81576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-81576DiVA, id: diva2:1301450
Conference
Conference 2019, The Marston Effect: John Marston and Early Modern Culture. Lincoln College, Oxford. 29 to 31 March 2019
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-02616Available from: 2019-04-01 Created: 2019-04-01 Last updated: 2019-04-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf