Abstract and Keywords
Critiquing the amount of scholarly attention paid to the body and to intense, overwhelming feelings, this chapter examines how individuals, mainly the landed ranks, experienced and dealt with affect in daily life and relationships. While scholarship emphasizes suppression and disapproval of passion, this chapter views the management of affect as not only the repression of feelings but also as the encouragement and elicitation of them. It examines the available coping strategies for dealing with strong feelings such as anger or grief. It stresses the interconnections between affect and morality. Affect, judgment and conduct constituted a dynamic interchange in Shakespearean England. Feelings involve judgement and evaluation and are intimately connected to thoughts, norms, and culture. Finally, it points to the importance of the performative nature of affect in this period, concluding that culturally mandated or sanctioned emotions were not necessarily less authentic than spontaneous feelings.
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