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Outlaw Rhetoric – Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare's England - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Outlaw Rhetoric: Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare's England

Jenny C. Mann


A central feature of English Renaissance humanism was its reverence for classical Latin as the one true form of eloquent expression. Yet sixteenth-century writers increasingly came to believe that England needed an equally distinguished vernacular language to serve its burgeoning national community. Thus, one of the main cultural projects of Renaissance rhetoricians was that of producing a “common” vernacular eloquence, mindful of its classical origins yet self-consciously English in character. The process of vernacularization began during Henry VIII's reign and continued, with fits and starts ... More

Keywords: rhetoric, English Renaissance, vernacularization, vernacular rhetorical guides, everyday English, outlawry, William Shakespeare

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449659
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449659.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jenny C. Mann, author
Assistant Professor of English, Cornell University