‘Be wise in thy governing’: Managing emotion and controlling masculinity in early modern Scottish poetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Focussing on lyric poetry of sixteenth-century Scotland found in the Bannatyne and Maitland Manuscripts, this chapter examines the associations between masculinity and emotion. Much of this poetry is concerned with male desire and the uneven distribution of sexual and emotional power between male lover and female beloved. At the same time masculine vulnerability to the controlling forces of passion is highlighted and the importance of regulating disordered emotions is stressed. Other poems are cast in an advice literature form, with a wise father instructing his son in the socially acceptable ways in which to develop a particular form of adult masculinity, including self-governance, order and discipline. Lyric poetry portrays the ideal forms that hegemonic masculinity, or authoritative manhood, could assume, but also the anxieties that arise when inevitably the ideal is not sustained.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNine Centuries of Man
Subtitle of host publicationManhood and Masculinities in Scottish History
EditorsLynn Abrams, Elizabeth L Ewan
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Chapter1
Pages21-38
ISBN (Electronic)9781474403900, 9781474403917
ISBN (Print)9781474403894, 9781474437837
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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