Book chapter

Holbrook, Peter. (2019). Drama. In In Walker, Claire, Barclay, Katie and Lemmings, David (Ed.). A cultural history of the emotions in the Baroque and Enlightenment Age pp. 71-84 Bloomsbury Publishing. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781474207041.ch-004
AuthorsHolbrook, Peter
EditorsWalker, Claire, Barclay, Katie and Lemmings, David

Peter Holbrook This chapter advances a simple thesis, one bearing some connection, I think, to T. S. Eliot’s famous “dissociation of sensibility” argument: that is, that the development of the post-Shakespearean drama sees a drastic schematization, and simplification, of the representation of the emotions — of interior life generally. Eliot’s vaulting assertion was that human experience became a less complex and involved thing in the course of the seventeenth century. Literature, in particular the influence of John Milton (1608–74) and John Dryden (1631–1700) on English poetry, was the occasion for Eliot’s essay, but the argument really had more to do with a cultural history of secularization and rationalization, of the rise of science and reason, and, from Eliot’s perspective, the concomitant loss of a culture of faith and belief. For Eliot, the fall away from the world he imagined pre-English Civil War poets to have inhabited — in which thought and feeling...

Page range71-84
Book titleA cultural history of the emotions in the Baroque and Enlightenment Age
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
SeriesA cultural history of the emotions ; volume 4
The cultural histories series
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5040/9781474207041.ch-004
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