In the latter half of this chapter we have used Day as our guide to map out

In the latter half of this chapter we have used day

This preview shows page 100 - 102 out of 233 pages.

In the latter half of this chapter, we have used Day as our guide to map out three socially positioned interaction styles – ‘‘humility and entreaty,’’ ‘‘pleasures and courtesy,’’ and ‘‘supposal and assurance.’’ The English Secretary gives us insight into interaction repertoires for Eliza- bethan culture, including scripts available for enacting hierarchic rela- tions and reinforcing social distinction and scripts that posit relations of e ff ective equality. As with Erasmus, Day’s logic of social practice under- stands risk mitigation, or repair work, as bound up in fundamental ways with the discursive articulation of social relations. Relations are not static things: their scriptings shift and change with the business at hand, so that while set forms to be imitated and assimilated can be provided for typical speech-acts occurring in typical relations, nonetheless the negotiation of a friendship or of a client–patron relation always requires some element of improvisational ingenuity in the particular instance. Furthermore, in this logic of social practice, the connection between risk management and relational articulation provides a motive for rhetorical copiousness in verbal interaction: repeat performances and improvis- atory ampli fi cation are needed to accomplish the requisite relational maintenance work, work that also tends to make for the reproduction of existing relations and power structures. Nonetheless, this social logic available in the epistolary handbooks also highlights relations as enact- ments or performances and so opens up the ideology reinforced by repetition to an apprehension of alternative possibilities for perform- ance. Setting Erasmus’s scripting of relations beside Day’s, we can see how such a performative understanding of social relation could make competing ideologies of relationship available to Elizabethans, and in this way perhaps even make social change thinkable. As a coda to this chapter, let us consider the improvisational ingenuity with which Shakespeare performs the eloquent relation of client to patron in his only surviving ‘‘letters,’’ the dedicatory epistles prefacing  Eloquent relations in letters
Image of page 100
Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece , both addressed ‘‘To the Right Honourable Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, and Baron of Titch fi eld’’: Right Honourable, I know not how I shall o ff end in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden. Only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised , and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I have honoured you with some graver labor. But if the fi rst heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart’s content, which I wish may always answer
Image of page 101
Image of page 102

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 233 pages?

  • Fall '19

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask ( soon) You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors