A Lotmanian Approach to the Ideological Function of Honour in Early Modern English Texts

  • Jesús López-Peláez Casellas Universidad de Jaén
Keywords: honour, early modern England, Yuri Lotman, typology of cultures, moral treatises, conduct books, Thomas Elyot, Robert Ashley, James Cleland, Lodowicke Bryskett


This essay aims at presenting a semiotic study of the ideological function of the concept of honour in early modern prose writing in England. By means of both a critical study of the major axiological and epistemological dimensions of sixteenth and seventeenth century honour, and a cultural semiotic approach to this notion (Lotman’s typology of cultures), it is my belief that it will be possible to clarify the social and ideological meaning and function of early modern honour, and to account for the transformations that the concept underwent during this period of transition, especially as can be observed in non-literary works (moral treatises and conduct books, mainly). Additionally, this is also intended to contribute to further study of the form and function of the code and concept of honour in the English literature (drama and poetry) of this period.


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