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Indecorous ThinkingFigures of Speech in Early Modern Poetics$
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Colleen Ruth Rosenfeld

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823277919

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823277919.001.0001

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Queenly Fig Trees: Figures of Speech and Decorum

Queenly Fig Trees: Figures of Speech and Decorum

(p.73) Chapter 3 Queenly Fig Trees: Figures of Speech and Decorum
Indecorous Thinking

Colleen Ruth Rosenfeld

Fordham University Press

Chapter three examines how artifice at its most conspicuous assigns an original set of values to the people and objects that populate imaginative worlds. Attending to the work of the epithet in Mary Wroth’s Urania, I argue that an indecorous poetics—one that manufactures stylistic surplus and excess—actively revises traditional hierarchies of value in order to generate an imaginative world that revels in the superlative degree. It may be, as Demetrius suggested in On Style, that using figures of speech to describe a wobbling teacup produces an indecorous alignment of words to things but such a use also distinguishes imaginative realms and their alternative constructions of possibility.

Keywords:   decorum, epithet, figures of speech, indecorous, poetics, style, The Urania, value, world, Mary Wroth

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