Venerable reader, vulnerable exemplar : prince Henry and the genres of exemplarity.
Ullyot, Michael.
261 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-06, Section: A, page: 2231.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2005.
Chapter Two describes the rhetoric of exemplarity in Henry's humanist education and chivalric training. His readings and imitations of exemplary (heroic) texts inspired expectations that his actions would inspire similar texts in the future. When he began enacting these plans, however, Henry's physical exertions and other attempts to prepare for his future narrative precipitated his death in November 1612. Chapters Three and Four chart the path of Henry's legacy from positive expectations to negative experience. Proceeding through the three stages of public mourning (disbelief, confirmation, and rationalization) to the iterations of his legacy for his brother and successor Prince Charles, these chapters describe the reluctant confessions of Henry's vulnerability by poets, chaplains, diplomats, household members, and other observers of his death. Chapter Five considers its literary aftermath, its effect on Trojan exemplars of both Henry and the city of London. Henry's resurrection as a positive exemplar in 1624 reveals that eulogies rely on distortions of history that accumulate over time.This study examines the reading habits and attitudes of Henry, Prince of Wales (1594--1612), and the effects of his premature death on the rhetoric of exemplarity. It historicizes the rhetoric and the hermeneutics of exemplarity in literary and other texts, particularly the advice-literature, dedications, panegyrics, sermons, elegies, and epitaphs written for Prince Henry between 1598 and 1613. These texts divide into two categories: the genres of expectation, which attempt to influence their occasions; and the genres of experience, which interpret the meanings and implications of recent history. The genres of expectation foster a well-intentioned but ultimately destructive self-conscious anticipation of Henry's future heroism. His death precipitates a shift toward the genres of experience, toward texts contending with the contingency of historical occasions. Poets and other observers make the prince a symbol of human vulnerability, converting him from an object to a subject of exemplarity. Against critical orthodoxy, I conclude that exemplars' contingency does not jeopardize their ability to instruct readers, but makes this guidance less selective. Exemplars are credible only when they admit the vulnerability plaguing their past subjects, who are no less situated in history than are their present objects.
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