«by JANE ELIZABETH KINGSLEY-SMITH A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY The ...»
He refers to Petrarch locating his identity there and writing from a position of exile. This displacement became a condition of Renaissance self-fashioning. Giamatti uses Spenser's foundlings as an example: The children were translated in order to be trained, removed in order that they could rediscover themselves or be reborn, because only by distance could they acquire the flexibility necessary for identity. Exile is the precondition for selfconsciousness, culturally or individually', 95.
deeper understanding of man's position in the world, and to self-sufficiency. 20 This philosophy is profoundly Stoic and is represented and often expounded by the idealised shepherd. In Robert Greene's romance Menaphon (1589), Democles the King of Thessaly,
himself disguised, greets a gathering of shepherds thus:
Arcadian Swaines, whose wealth is content, whose labours are tempred with sweete loves, whose mindes aspyre not, whose thoughts brooke no envie;
onely as rivalls in affection, you are friendly emulators in honest fancie... 21 Similarly, the shepherd, Coridon, extols the pastoral life to Ganimede and Aliena in Thomas
Lodge's Rosalynde (1590):
Envie stirres not us, wee covet not to climbe, our desires mount not above our degrees, nor our thoughts above our fortunes. Care cannot harbour in our cottages, nor doo our homely couches know broken slumbers: as we exceede not in diet, so we have inough to satisfie: and Mistres I have so much Latin, Satis est quodsufficit. [Sufficient is enough].22 In particular, the shepherds expound invulnerability to Fortune, the goddess whose enmity is often seen as responsible for their banishment. 2j In Menaphon, Sephestia refers to herself as one of 'Fortunes outlawes' (35). In Rosalynde, the banished heroine fears to fall in love because it will place her even further at the mercy of this goddess (204).24 Yet there is also an assumption in these plays that the patient suffering of men will be rewarded. Phoebus is the 20 Young writes, 'The self-contained and isolated life of the shepherd and the pastoral community was a kind of symbol for an equivalent state of mind'. The Heart's Forest, 30.
21 Menaphon in Menaphon by Robert Greene and A Margarite ofAmerica by Thomas Lodge ed. by G. B.
Harrison (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1927), 94.
22 Rosalynde in Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, vol. 2, 189. See also Meliboe in VI.IX. 19-25 of Spenser's Faerie Queene. He too refers to the contented humility of shepherds and to their ease of slumber.
23 In The Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune, Venus and Fortune each try to prove their pre-eminence in a contest to determine the fate of the lovers, Hermione and Fidelia. Fortune must try to destroy their love whilst Venus will work for a happy conclusion. Fortune begins by arranging for Hermione's banishment.
24 This passage is quoted later in the chapter. Aliena suggests that Venus has overcome Fortune in Saladyne's case. She tells him: 'Your selfe exiled from your wealth, friends & countrey by Torismond, (sorrowes enough to suppresse affections) yet amidst the depth of these extreamities, Love will be Lord, and shew his power to bee more predominant than Fortune', Narrative and Dramatic Sources, vol. 2, 235.
deity who recognises Aramanthus' Stoicism in The Maid's Metamorphosis. He tells him:
Phoebus acknowledges how totally unmerited Aramanthus' banishment was and proceeds to reward him with a place among the Muses as long as he lives and with fame when he dies.
Phoebus also decides that it is time for Aramanthus to be reunited with his daughter, supposed drowned, but now revealed to be the play's heroine, Eurymine.
In Idea and Act in Elizabethan Fiction, Davis suggests that pastoral is a site for the
dramatisation of an ideal self:
this central aspect of the action is always made explicit by the disguise that the hero must assume before he can enter the pastoral land. He must, in effect, relinquish his identity and become someone else. He must strip off his proper clothing, change his name, and put on the clothes and manners of a shepherd. But that "someone else" is really an image of the person that he, the hero, might become. Moreover, since the pastoral life expresses explicit ideas of value, the pastoral disguise signifies not only the discovery of a new aspect of the self, but the conscious acceptance of new values as well.""6 The assumption of shepherd's garb is associated with a particular 'philosophical' cast of mind. In Arcadia, Musidorus sings 'Come shepherd's weeds, become your master's 25 The Maid's Metamorphosis ed. John S. Farmer (London: The Tudor Reprinted and Parallel Texts, 1908). no page or line numbers given.
26 Idea and Act, 61.
mind:/Yield outward show what inward change he tries'. 27 In Menaphon, Sephestia becomes
the shepherdess, Samela, in hope of such contentment:
with my cloathes I will change my thoughts; for being poorelie attired I will be meanelie minded, and measure my actions by my present estate, not by former fortunes. (33) It is an action that denies ambition and may thus appear as a form of repression or selftruncation. Yet the idea of achieving Stoic contentment is also associated with liberty and
with self-expansion. In De Constantia, Seneca writes:
Liberty is having a mind that rises superior to injury, that makes itself the only source from which its pleasures spring, that separates itself from all external things in order that man may not have to live his life in disquietude, fearing everybody's laughter, everybody's tongue.28 Such detachment from present suffering and from the world alters the exile's perception of his condition by placing it in an altogether different context. Duke Senior in As You Like It typifies such a transformation of the exiled state. Yet this treasured Stoic liberty could translate into another consolation for exile with libertarian associations. In John Lyly's Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578), the eponymous hero writes a letter to his exiled friend, Botonio. His consolation, a paraphrase of Plutarch's arguments in Of Exile or Banishment, offers the usual Stoic platitudes: that man can transform his circumstances by the power of philosophy; that the wise man is a citizen of the world; that it may be virtuous to be exiled if the state itself is corrupt. Yet Euphues also emphasises the pleasures of exile. This Epicurean 21 The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia ed. by Maurice Evans (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987), 169. See also Musidorus' identification of contentment with his shepherd's estate, 173.
28 Seneca, De Constantia, in Moral Essays tr. by John W. Basore (London: Heinemann, 1928), 3 vols., vol. 1, 48-105, 103. The argument that exile is an ideal opportunity for the pursuance of philosophy will be examined in detail with regard to The Tempest.
vein is explored by Plutarch but has its roots in Seneca himself. 29 Euphues tells Botonio to consider thus the benefits of not holding any office in the state: 'I am free from the injuries of the strong and malice of the weak. I am out of the broils of the seditious, and have escaped the threats of the ambitious'. Yet, it is rare, Euphues suggests, for the exile to take this
as he that having a fair orchard, seeing one tree blasted, recounteth the discommodity of that and passeth over in silence the fruitfulness of the other;
so he that is banished doth always lament the loss of his house and the shame of his exile, not rejoicing at the liberty, quietness, and pleasure that he enjoyeth by that sweet punishment, (italics mine)30 In his definition of pastoral, Renato Poggioli identifies a central conflict between the reality and pleasure principles/ 1 He recognises the emphasis in pastoral upon self-sufficiency and
humility but argues that this is not necessarily asceticism:
As a conscious or unconscious philosopher, the shepherd is neither a stoic nor a cynic, but rather an epicurean [...] [he] may find sensual delight, as well as moral contentment, by merely satisfying his needs; by discarding the obsessive luxury and laborious comfort of "high life" for simple living, with its homespun clothes, homely furnishings, and unseasoned meals/2 The association of pastoral exile with pleasure also informs attitudes towards disguise. The transformation of identity lies at the heart of the experience of exile. The ability to take control of this transformation is central to pastoral romance and drama. Within the forest 29 In his De Otio, Seneca argues that the philosopher's withdrawal into private life to 'cultivate the virtues' is of benefit to his society. He rejects the Epicurean associations of this standpoint and insists on philosophical study as another form of public duty. Moral Essays vol. 2, 180-201. In De Officiis, Cicero also defends retirement from the state on the basis of ill-health or the pursuit of philosophy but expresses caution about man's true
motivations for doing so, De Officiis tr. by Walter Miller (London: Heinemann, 1913), 71-5. On the crosspollination between Stoicism and Epicureanism see Audrey Chew, Stoicism in Renaissance English Literature:
An Introduction (New York: Peter Lang, 1988), 95-106.
30 Lyly, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit, Euphues and His England eA. by Morris William Croll and Harry demons (London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd., 1916), 174.
31 See also A Natural Perspective, 75.
32 The Oaten Flute: Essays on Pastoral Poetry and the Pastoral Ideal (Cam., Mass.: Harvard University Press.
circle, metamorphosis is not a threat imposed from outside but an opportunity for selffashioning. It encourages the relinquishing of old attachments and duties for the topsy-turvy world of holiday. At the same time, it allows the exploration of self-potential, most obviously seen in Rosalind's skirmishes of wit and authority in the masculine identity of Ganimede. 33 This delight in metamorphosis also extends to the transformations wrought by Cupid. As we shall see, Orlando's role as lover is an essential part of his education. Moreover, for Rosalind and Orlando the experience of love is clearly depicted as an expansion of self rather than a fearful dissolution. It allows the exile to forget his former degraded place in the world and to relocate that world in the microcosmic potential of his lover.
Finally, the experience of alienation and displacement is assuaged in the forest through the fostering of the individual's social ambitions. That Renaissance pastoral propounded the politically expedient idea of a 'beautiful relation between rich and poor', was famously expressed by William Empson in Some Versions of Pastoral. 4 Louis A. Montrose offers an illuminating reconsideration of the courtly ethic behind pastoral. He points to the suppression or marginalization of material pastoralism: the husbandmen of Virgil's Georgics have been 'banished' and the lifestyle of the shepherd has been purged of references to labour or hardship. The gentleman's identification with the shepherd obfuscates the real social and economic injustice of their positions in a Christian world which poses that all men are equally 33 Marinelli describes the importance of a dual perspective in pastoral particularly as regards oneself: 'if we are so unshakeably rooted to a conception of ourselves and that conception is assaulted and overthrown, the destruction of the personality may be the inevitable result. But to be able to imagine several positions rather than one is the hallmark of a larger and more buoyant mind and of a more engaging personality as well', Pastoral, 38.
34 Some Versions of Pastoral (London: Chatto & Windus, 1950), 11-2. Humphrey Tonkin concurs, suggesting that the natural world in Bk 6 of the Faerie Queene reinforces the social hierarchy and the profound social (and therefore moral) distinction between Sir Calidore and Pastorella, and the shepherd, Coridon. See Spenser's Courteous Pastoral: Book Six of the Faerie Queene (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), 290-1.
fallen, suffering Adam's penalty of labour.33 Rather than directly opposing this Christian equality with aristocratic values, pastoral elides the social functions of courtier and shepherd by redefining pastoral as a life of otium. poetry and courtly love where virtue is defined as gentility. Nevertheless, the courtier's innate superiority shines through the shepherd's humble weeds. He is often significantly more attractive, better spoken, capable of more conceited poetry, and always of a nobler spirit. Hence, as it serves to assuage class antagonism, pastoral
also works to reflect an idealised court:
Such a poetry is not concerned to embrace the lot of Elizabethan husbandmen or to advance egalitarian ideas but to recreate an elite community in pastoral form. In such pastorals, ambitious Elizabethan gentlemen who may be alienated or excluded from the courtly society that nevertheless continues to define their existence can create an imaginative space within which virtue and privilege coincide. (427) This narrative of wish-fulfilment transforms the gentleman alienated from the Elizabethan court into an exile in Arcadia, from whence he is released to assume a position at the centre of power. This may not be vain fantasy. Montrose suggests that success in the pastoral genre could realise a poet's ambitions to be accepted into that elite community (433). Within the plays and romances themselves, a sojourn in the forest repeatedly works to encourage the hopes of the aspiring heir in his darkest hour and even to prepare him for future responsibility.
Hence, the consolation for exile in pastoral romance and drama is twofold. On one hand, it is a consolation based on the transformations wrought by the mind, encouraging a new perspective on the world. At the same time, however, the forest will facilitate the social ambitions of its exiles and will restore them through a sequence of fortuitous encounters that Of Gentlemen and Shepherds: The Politics of Elizabethan Pastoral Form', ELH 50 (1983), 415-59, 432.
may be accredited to a particular deity, a magician or some unknown force at the heart of the forest. I want to turn now to As You Like It and the particular consolations for exile found in Arden.