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The ‘Shepheards Nation’Jacobean Spenserians and Early Stuart Political Culture 1612-25$
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Michelle O'Callaghan

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186380.001.0001

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George Wither, Citizen Prophet

George Wither, Citizen Prophet

(p.147) 4 George Wither, Citizen Prophet
The ‘Shepheards Nation’

Michelle O'Callaghan

Oxford University Press

As Wither believes that he is the Master of his self, his self-assertion exudes the ideal representative of individualism during the period of Renaissance. However, individualism does not exactly account for Wither's expression of the self as he sometimes refers to the human race, the country, his principles, and other such aspects. After analysing Wither's Motto, Lamb found that the ‘I’ in ‘I am Master of my selfe’ refers to a social self, therefore pointing out how the individual identity is not made up merely of individual self identity, but is also comprised of an identity that is perceived to be collective and social. Because of how the latter aspect is usually undermined during the Renaissance, this period is perceived to be limiting as it serves as a ‘privileged moment of individualization’.

Keywords:   Master, self, George Wither, Wither's Motto, individual identity, social self, self identity, collective social identity

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