By Mark Breitenberg
To fresh reviews of Renaissance subjectivity, frightened Masculinity in Early smooth England contributes the argument that masculinity is inevitably frightened and risky in cultures that distribute energy and authority in line with patriarchal prerogatives. Drawing from present arguments in feminism, cultural experiences, historicism, psychoanalysis and homosexual reviews, Mark Breitenberg explores the dialectic of wish and nervousness in masculine subjectivity within the paintings of a variety of writers, together with Shakespeare, Bacon, Burton, and the ladies writers of the "querelles des femmes" debate, specially Jane Anger. Breitenberg discusses jealousy and cuckoldry anxiousness, hetero and homoerotic wish, humoural psychology, anatomical distinction, cross-dressing and the belief of honor and attractiveness. He strains masculine nervousness either as an indication of ideological contradiction and, satirically, as a effective strength within the perpetuation of Western patriarchal platforms.
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Additional info for Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England
69 28 Anxious masculinity in early modern England Each of the following chapters is a kind of story in its own right written about a single text or a configuration of texts from the period roughly between the late Elizabethan period and the Puritan revolution. In the chapters where I have sustained a long discussion of a single author, a particular work or, in the case of Bacon, an entire corpus, my objective has been to locate these stories within what Foucault called the "discursive formation" of early modern England.
Simpson for allegedly murdering his wife in a jealous rage have become national preoccupations. And in perhaps the most visible display of anxious masculinity, Hollywood has recently released a number of films that may be said to comprise a new genre, one I have not surprisingly termed "anxious masculinity films": the most widely viewed and discussed include "Fatal Attraction," "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," "Basic Instinct," "Sea of Love" and "Disclosure," films that typically focus on aggressive, independent women who in a variety of ways threaten the men with whom they are involved.
10 According to this logic, the discourse of melancholy displays the melancholic man as possessing many of the characteristics of the most misogynistic constructions of woman precisely in order to purify masculinity from this "feminine" disease. For reasons I think specific to the anxious sex/gender system in early modern England, Burton most closely follows Galen's version of negative melancholy, both in his inveterate misogyny and also in his portrait of the melancholic as in many ways feminine, or as potentially effeminized, as well as in the pervasive threat to masculine reason posed by melancholy excess.
Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England by Mark Breitenberg