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dc.contributor.authorYoungman, Williamen_US
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 8442389
dc.description.abstractIn L'envoy de Chaucer a Scogan, Chaucer, evidently an old man, playfully announces the end of his writing career, declaring that his muse rusts in its sheath and claiming that age stops narration, symbolized by the rust and disuse of Chaucer's "muse." Yet describing in elegant verse this muse's senescence actually reinforces the idea that this old, textualized Chaucer never stops writing, and that age supplies the real subject of the envoy. The posture of an aged writer or speaker composing his end is far from unique in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and indeed defines a set of key elements of literature in that period. My dissertation, "Rewriting Old Age from Chaucer to Shakespeare: The Invention of English Senex Style," explores the connection between literary and material form as it traces the paradoxical treatment of old men from the Reeve in The Canterbury Tales to John Gower's reanimated role in Shakespeare's Pericles. Incorporating fifteenth century authors, such as Thomas Hoccleve, and scribes and printers, such as John Shirley and William Caxton, together with Chaucer, and Gower, my dissertation argues that what I call senex style connects these images of old men from Chaucer to Shakespeare through a study of rhetorical postures, employing style in a capacious fashion. By focusing on a set of elements, which although shared are deployed differently, I contend that authors and speakers employ in new ways a paradoxical set of characteristics in depictions of old men taken from classical literature. As a reflection of a historical relationship between impairment and ability, senex style served as a response to a period of history which witnessed media changes from script to print. By attending both to the limitations of patrilinear literary history and the construction of time and history through the images of broken bodies, and, poised as an intervention between early English and disability studies, this examination of senex style demonstrates how the figure of the old man bridges categories of language and body, by examining non-normative and less-thanable selves that are defined not only by bodily impairments but also rhetorical postures of disability and prosthesis.en_US
dc.subjectearly modernen_US
dc.titleRewriting Old Age From Chaucer To Shakespeare: The Invention Of English Senex Styleen_US
dc.typedissertation or thesisen_US Language and Literature Universityen_US of Philosophy D., English Language and Literature
dc.contributor.coChairGalloway, Andrew Scotten_US
dc.contributor.coChairRaskolnikov, Mashaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberZacher, Samanthaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHowie, Cary Sen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMann, Jenny Cen_US

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