Less than ideal? The intellectual history of male friendship and its articulation in early modern drama

Trevor, Wendy Ellen (2010). Less than ideal? The intellectual history of male friendship and its articulation in early modern drama. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis examines the intellectual history of male friendship through its articulation in non-Shakespearean early modern drama; and considers how dramatic texts engage with the classical ideals of male friendship. Cicero’s \(De amicitia\) provided the theoretical model for perfect friendship for the early modern period; and this thesis argues for the further relevance of early modern translations of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and in particular, Seneca’s De beneficiis, both of which open up meanings of different formulations and practices of friendship. This thesis, then, analyses how dramatists contributed to the discourse of male friendship through representations that expanded the bounds of amity beyond the paradigmatic ‘one soul in two bodies’, into different conceptions of friendship both ideal and otherwise. Through a consideration of selected dramatic works in their early modern cultural contexts, this thesis adds to our understanding of how amicable relations between men were arranged, performed, read and understood in the early modern period.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme, The University of Birmingham
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/614


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