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"All is but hinnying sophistry": The Puritanical Role of Early Modern Logic in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair

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Abstract:

This paper engages the principles of early modern logic to analyze Ben Jonson's use of literary style to critique of and engage with English Puritanism in Bartholomew Fair (1614). Scholarship of Jonson's work has tended to split dichotomously: critics such as Sackton and Canaan have considered Jonson's use of rhetoric, while Patrick Collinson and John Creaser have emphasized the historical circumstances informing Bartholomew Fair. In this paper I propose an innovative analytical approach that unites these two currently disparate lines of critical inquiry. Logic stood the heart of all early modern intellectual operations, both ideological and discursive: it supplied writers the materials and stylistic structures necessary to formulate their texts, while from the 1580s English Puritans adopted a specific mode of logic (Ramist logic) which they deemed best conveyed and embodied their religious concerns. In this paper I will apply the precepts of Ramist logic to analyze the contrasting speech styles and structures of both Puritanical and ungodly characters at the Fair to argue that Jonson uses discursive strategies to parody not only Puritan nomenclature but also Puritan discursive logic.
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Name: RSA Annual Meeting
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http://www.rsa.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481596_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wilson, Emma. ""All is but hinnying sophistry": The Puritanical Role of Early Modern Logic in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481596_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wilson, E. A. ""All is but hinnying sophistry": The Puritanical Role of Early Modern Logic in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481596_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper engages the principles of early modern logic to analyze Ben Jonson's use of literary style to critique of and engage with English Puritanism in Bartholomew Fair (1614). Scholarship of Jonson's work has tended to split dichotomously: critics such as Sackton and Canaan have considered Jonson's use of rhetoric, while Patrick Collinson and John Creaser have emphasized the historical circumstances informing Bartholomew Fair. In this paper I propose an innovative analytical approach that unites these two currently disparate lines of critical inquiry. Logic stood the heart of all early modern intellectual operations, both ideological and discursive: it supplied writers the materials and stylistic structures necessary to formulate their texts, while from the 1580s English Puritans adopted a specific mode of logic (Ramist logic) which they deemed best conveyed and embodied their religious concerns. In this paper I will apply the precepts of Ramist logic to analyze the contrasting speech styles and structures of both Puritanical and ungodly characters at the Fair to argue that Jonson uses discursive strategies to parody not only Puritan nomenclature but also Puritan discursive logic.


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