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Fulke Greville and the Culture of the English Renaissance$
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Russ Leo, Katrin Röder, and Freya Sierhuis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198823445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198823445.001.0001

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Centaurs of the Mind

Centaurs of the Mind

Imagination and Fiction-making in the Work of Fulke Greville

(p.99) 6 Centaurs of the Mind
Fulke Greville and the Culture of the English Renaissance

Freya Sierhuis

Oxford University Press

This chapter champions the erotic sonnets of the Caelica cycle, often ignored in favour of the philosophical and religious poems of the middle, and final section of the sequence; highlighting both their playful eroticism and philosophical depth. The love poetry which scrutinizes the relationship between the mistress and the lover in terms of projection and fetishization, on closer inspection turns out to share the same philosophical grounds as the poems which examine the mechanisms of spiritual slavery later in the cycle. While certain poems, such as Caelica 39, 43, and 56 explicate the link between courtly love and idolatry, this chapter argues how Greville’s poetry contributes to the debates on the status of the imagination in Renaissance poetics, faculty psychology, and religious controversy, by exploring its affective investment in the act of poetic fiction-making.

Keywords:   Caelica, courtly love, sonnet, idolatry, imagination, faculty psychology, poetics

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