Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Passion's Triumph over ReasonA History of the Moral Imagination from Spenser to Rochester$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christopher Tilmouth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212378

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212378.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 November 2019

Renaissance Tragedy and the Fracturing of Familiar Terms

Renaissance Tragedy and the Fracturing of Familiar Terms

Chapter:
(p.114) 4 Renaissance Tragedy and the Fracturing of Familiar Terms
Source:
Passion's Triumph over Reason
Author(s):

Christopher Tilmouth (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212378.003.0005

This chapter examines three factors which resist the rationalism of Elizabethan moral philosophy. The first is the human penchant for self-delusion, a theme which is explored in Montaigne's Essays, and via Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. In the latter, Brutus represents Caesar's assassination to himself as a rational imperative, the logical demand of Roman republicanism; yet Brutus is overcome by guilt and doubt about his own motives after the fact. The chapter also considers the ungovernable nature of sexual passion, reason's aspirations to hegemony within the soul notwithstanding. Here, the focal text is Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois, in which the lead characters quickly become slaves to the erotic demands of body and blood. Finally, this chapter also charts the relentless power of self-interest in distorting reason's otherwise moral and upright thought processes. This is the dominant concern in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, a work which in various respects anticipates Hobbes's philosophy.

Keywords:   Montaigne, Julius Caesar, self-delusion, Bussy D'Ambois, sexual passion, Troilus and Cressida, self-interest

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .