IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1713: Dangerous Devices?: The Functions of Pleasure in Middle English Literature and Drama

Thursday 4 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Nottingham Institute for Medieval Research, University of Nottingham / Nottingham Medieval Studies, University of Nottingham
Organiser:Clare Wright, School of English, University of Nottingham
Moderator/Chair:Joanna Martin, School of English, University of Nottingham
Paper 1713-aThe Pleasures and Dangers of Description: Middle English Poetry and Ekphrasis
(Language: English)
Michael Rodman Jones, School of English, University of Nottingham
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Rhetoric
Paper 1713-b'Thi loveliche hondis love hath to-rent / And thi lithe armes wel streit itent': Images of Pathos, Pleasure, and the Passion in the Middle English Christological Lyric
(Language: English)
Natalie Jones, Department of English Language & Literature, University College London
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety
Paper 1713-cAffective Pleasure: Bodily Experience and Spiritual Change in Late Medieval Drama
(Language: English)
Clare Wright, School of English, University of Nottingham
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Performance Arts - Drama
Abstract

This interdisciplinary session investigates how pleasure functions as a literary and dramatic device in the Middle English period. From the pleasures of description in Chaucer to the spiritual excesses of the religious lyric and bodily indulgence in drama, the panel will explore how physical, intellectual, and spiritual pleasures were invoked, used and manipulated to meet the objectives of Middle English readers, writers, and dramatists. In each instance, the panel will discuss contemporary questions about the ethics of using such devices, and consider both their benefits and their potential to endanger the mind, soul, and moral state of an individual.