Fulke Greville’s Dedication broaches many themes familiar from the early modern literature on friendship, such as the ideal of an affective politics based on consensus rather than coercion, and the need for rulers to accept the frank criticism of their subjects. It is through friendship that Greville approaches the question that he regarded as one of the central problems of political life: how to achieve a balance between the need for order, and man’s natural desire for freedom and equality. Throughout the period, authors ranging from Erasmus and Juan Luis Vives to John Milton struggled with the problem of male female friendship, trying to square the circle by attempting to harmonize the inequality arising from woman’s subjection to the will of her husband to spiritual equality and friendship. Greville’s Dedication presents Sidney as a man of exemplary political and moral virtues, embodying the highest ideals of Elizabethan England, construed retrospectively as a lost golden age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)