Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Sarah Ensor

Subjects

Katherine Philips (1632-1664) -- Criticism and interpretation, English poetry -- Early modern (1500-1700) -- Criticism and interpretation

DOI

10.15760/honors.122

Abstract

Recent critics in early modern poetry, women’s literature, and queer studies have attempted to factor Katherine Philips’s friendship poetry into a history of homoerotic suspicion. Her metaphysical poems have been offered as a publically significant, potential erotics of textual, rather than physical, embodiment. This thesis responds by returning to the significance of the in-significance of textual representations of feminine erotics, as well as to earlier criticism of Philips as a poet of non-public life and chastity. An examination of notions of innocence in Philips’s configurations of friendship highlights an excess of innocence and a passion predicated on exception, restraint, and impossibility. Attention to Philips’s peculiar complicity with early modern misogynist discourses asks: what formulations of suspicion are activated by Philips, and the discourses themselves, rather than by our histories?

Comments

An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and English

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/15450

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