Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors

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?

Persistent Identifier

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

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