Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oxford, Polytropoi and Wily Odysseus

Droeshout Engraving of Dr. Panurgus - British Museum

To this grave doctor millions do resort
 Satirical broadside on folly that is to be found in all ranks of society: the interior of an apothecary's shop, with the doctor purging with a dose of wisdom a countryman seated on a close-stool who defecates foolish notions represented by asses and geese; a wealthy city merchant waits to be given a dose of plain-dealing; a young courtier's head is inserted into a furnace so that his idle pastimes go up in a cloud of smoke carrying playing-cards, a backgammon board, tennis rackets, musical instruments, extravagant clothes, etc.; a fashionably dressed woman holding a squirrel on a lead is about to follow in the place of the courtier. In a panel below are two clergymen, one complaining of the strain of running more than one parish, the other, who has received the doctor's purge, finding that the work of one parish is quite enough. 1620s; this impression 1672

Print made by Martin or Michael Droeshout
 Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): that they may go ‘ride the ass’, and all sail along ... in the ship of fools’

 From _Strategem and the Vocabulary of Military Trickery_ Everett L. Wheeler

..."Stealing" in English may have an immediate negative moral coloring, but the Greek kleptein (to steal, to deceive, to conceal) and its cognate nouns klope (theft, deceit, surprise) and klemma (theft, stratagem, fraud) portray a variety of nuances. The contrast between force (bia) and trickery (dolos) extends in a sense to the distinction in Greek Law between robbery (harpage) and thievery (klope) - once again a matter of open vs. secret means. The root definition of kleptein, moreover, is not "to steal" but "to act secretly". Hermes, particularly in his capacity as Hermes Dolios, was a god of stealth, whose trickery assumed connotations of magic. In fact, according to myth Hermes' talent for trickery was passed to Odysseus : Autolycus, Odysseus' maternal grandfather and a som of Hermes in post-Homeric sources, excelled all men in deceitfulness (kleptosyne). (snip)

The final group in the first category of the most frequent terms for STRATAGEM includes PANOURGEIN (to play the villain), PANOURGIA (villainy), and PANOURGOS (as noun: villain, rogue; as adjective: cunning, crafty, clever). This group of words in contrast to others in this category, lacks Homeric roots and originates in the Athenian theater of the fifth century BC. Villains of the stage display intelligence and cleverness, but misapply their creative talents for the wrong goals - hence a pejorative tone for these words. Plato distinguishes PANOURGIA from Sophia as knowledge divorced from justice and other virtue, while Aristotle makes a similar dichotomy between clever men who are prudent (phronimoi) and those who are panourgoi. The concession made to the intelligence of the villain appears in the coupling of PANOURGOS with other adjectives: for Demosthenes Philip II of Macedon is PANOURGOS and DEINOS (cunning and clever) in a negative sense. Plato links PANOURGOS to sophos only later to turn this positive association on its head, and the same technique is applied elsewhere, when he asserts wily men (POLYTROPOI) , such as Odysseus, owe this trait to their PANOURGIA and phronesis (prudence).


Polytropoi - wily men - ULYSSES-POLITROPUS-AMORPHUS -Oxford-type character in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels

Panourgos -- all-working, villain, rogue, FACTOTUM, jack-of-all-trades, ready-for-all-crimes



skilful, clever in a good sense, fit to undertake and accomplish anything, dexterous, wise, sagacious, skilful in a bad sense, crafty, cunning, knavish, treacherous, deceitful

Admirable/forceful style (deinos):

Yes, TRUST THEM NOT, for there is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that, with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide (note-deception), supposes (note - supposes/pretends) he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute JOHANNES FACTOTUM, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie. – Greene’s ‘Groatsworth’

 zanni, plural zanni or zannis,  stock servant character in the Italian improvisational theatre known as the commedia dell'arte. Zanni were valet buffoons, clowns, and knavish jacks-of-all-trades. All possessed common sense, intelligence, pride, and a love of practical jokes and intrigue; they were, however, often quarrelsome, cowardly, envious, spiteful, vindictive, and treacherous. The term is thought to be a diminutive form of Giovanni common to Bergamo, in Lombardy, where the zanni character originated, and it refers to male servants. Dei Zanni (“the zanni”) was a generic term for the commedia dell’arte itself.


Jonson, Alchemist

To the Reader

If thou beest more, thou art an understander, and then I trust thee. If thou art one that takest up, and but a pretender, beware of what hands thou receivest thy commodity; for thou wert never more fair in the way to be COZENED, than IN THIS AGE, in poetry, especially in plays: wherein, now the concupiscence of dances and of antics so reigneth, as to run away from nature, and be afraid of her, is the only point of art that tickles the spectators. But how out of purpose, and place, do I name art? When the professors are grown so obstinate contemners of it, and presumers on their own naturals, as they are deriders of all diligence that way, and, by simple mocking at the terms, when they understand not the things, think to get off wittily with their ignorance. Nay, they are esteemed the more learned, and sufficient for this, by the many, through their excellent vice of judgment. For they commend writers, as they do fencers or wrestlers; who if they come in robustuously, and put for it with a great deal of violence, are received for the braver fellows: when many times their own rudeness is the cause of their disgrace, and a little touch of their adversary gives all that boisterous force the foil. I deny not, but that these men, who always seek to do more than enough, may some time happen on some thing that is good, and great; but very seldom; and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of their ill. It sticks out, perhaps, and is more eminent, because all is sordid and vile about it: as lights are more discerned in a thick darkness, than a faint shadow. I speak not this, out of a hope to do good to any man against his will; for I know, if it were put to the question of theirs and mine, the worse would find more suffrages: because the most favour common errors. But I give thee this warning, that there is a great difference between those, that, to gain the opinion of copy, utter all they can, however unfitly; and those that use election and a mean. For it is only the disease of the unskilful, to think rude things greater than polished; or scattered more numerous than composed.

Mount bank:
 Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza, and our James !
 - Jonson
 "A Wording Poet": Othello among the Mountebanks
Mirabella, Bell

... The word mountebank, in fact, comes from the Italian saltimbanco and montimbanco, and from the verb montare, to which Moryson refers, meaning to mount or jump on a bank or stage. Linguistic display was vital, and mountebanks who were smooth talkers wooed audiences with glittering, usually humorous speeches. According to the English Jesuit, J. Rastell, "their Greatest Grace is in the Countenance and Tongue;" they speak "so eloquently," "that it is wonderful" (65). Coryate describes them as the "most eloquent fellows" (272) who would "tell their tales with such admirable volubility and plausible grace ..." (273). u But the eloquence is haunted by duplicity. In Italy the montimbanchi were also called ciarlatani, from the verb ciarlare, meaning to speak idly, to chatter. The noun ciarla means loquacity but also gossip and false report, and ciarle means nonsense, indicating that although the ciarlatani were loquacious, what they had to say was idle, false, perhaps to be enjoyed, but not to be believed.


 Oberndorf, Johann.
Title: The anatomyes of the true physition, and counterfeit mounte-banke wherein both of them, are graphically described, and set out in their right, and orient colours. Date: 1602

 ...So that beeing himselfe [the mountebank]  more variable then the Polyp, hee is in twentie seuerall Mindes in an houre, turning and winding, too and fro, like a Tragedians Buskin, and vttering quite Contra|ryes.


 Shakespeare - The ADMIRABLE Dramatic Poet - The WONDER of the Stage:

Those who were deinoi legein, "skillful in speaking and interpretation," assumed political superiority over the untrained idiotai, "laymen," whose reaction to the Sophists Voit describes as "the uncanny wonder of laymen at the expert, uncomprehended and out of reach." To be deinoi legein, that is, meant to be deinoi in general, flat out wonderful. Dionysius of Halicarnassus reports that Gorgias "astounded (Kateplexato) the Assembly," and lumps him with those who "confused the ordinary members of the audience (ton idioten) by using recondite and exotic words, and by resorting to unfamiliar figures of speech and other novel modes of expression" ("Lysias," 3). Plato satirizes Sophistic claims to deinotes in the opening of the _Apology_, where Socrates, the ironic layman, resists his accusers' insinuation that he is deinou ontos legein, "a skillful speaker" - "unless, of course by a skillful speaker they mean one who speaks the truth" (17B). Deinotes is thus equated with PANOURGIA, deception, a charge that echoes in Renaissance critiques of styles as sophistic. These charges, from Plato on down, are only in a minor sense aesthetic: they register anxiety about the political power the eloquent can wield. Those pursuing and defending admirable style in the late sixteenth century may have resurrected sophistic epistemology, which embraced contingency, but te power accruing to those capable of evoking wonder was at least as great an attraction, and was certainly the focus of most attacks.

(James Biester, _Lyric Wonder_, p.46)

Deinos (legein) / δεινὸς (λἑγειν) / clever, wondrous, terrible (speaker)
 Liddell—terrible, fearful, mighty, powerful, wondrous, marvelous, able, clever, skilful

Pernot- Referred to as a genre of style in Demitrios' On Style, along with grand middle and simple. The deinos style is characterized by vigor, compactness, spontaneity, and abruptness, with the works of Demosthenes and Demades presented as examples.

Style/Kharaktere as the Mirror of Character: Edward de Vere figured as Amorphus, The Deformed:

Cynthia's Revels, Jonson

The C H A L L E N G E.


BE it known to all that profess Courtship, by these Presents (from the white sattin Reveller, to the Cloth of Tissue and Bodkin,) that we, ULYSSES-POLITROPUS-AMORPHUS, MASTER of the noble and subtil Science of Courtship, do give leave and license to our Provost, Acolastus-Polypragmon- Asotus, to play his Masters Prize, against all Masters what- soever in this subtile Mystery, at these four, the choice and most cunning Weapons of Court COMPLEMENT, viz. the bare Accost; the better Reguard; the solemn Address; and the perfect Close. These are therefore to give notice to all comers, that he, the said Acolastus-Polypragmon-Asotus, is here present (by the help of his Mercer, Taylor, Millener, Sempster, and so forth) at his designed hour, in this fair Gallery, the present day of this present month, to perform and do his uttermost for the atchievement and bearing away of the Prizes, which are these: viz. For the bare Accost, two Wall-eyes, in a face forced: For the better Reguard, a Face favourably simpring, with a Fan waving: For the solemn Address, two Lips wagging, and never a wise word: For the perfect Close, a Wring by the hand, with a Ban- quet in a corner. And Phœbus save Cynthia.




Polytropos means much-turned or much-traveled, much-wandering. It is the defining quality of Odysseus, used in the first line of the Odyssey and at 10.330. As used by Hippias with respect to Odysseus (365b) it includes being false or lying and carries the connotations of wily and shifty. Antisthenes, a follower of Socrates who wrote Socratic dialogues, also argued against the claim that Homer meant to blame Odysseus by calling him polytropos; Antisthenes claims that it is praise for being "good at dealing with men...being wise, he knows how to associate with men in many ways." See Charles H. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp.121-24.


Odyssey, Homer - transl. Samuel Butler

 Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.

 Gabriel Harvey, Latin address to the Earl of Oxford

Let that Courtly Epistle —
more polished even than the writings of Castiglione himself —
witness how greatly thou dost excel in letters.
I have seen many Latin verses of thine, yea,
even more English verses are extant;
thou hast drunk deep draughts not only of the Muses of France and Italy,
but hast learned the manners of many men, and the arts of foreign countries.
It was not for nothing that Sturmius , 2 himself was visited by thee;
neither in France, Italy, nor Germany are any such cultivated and polished men.

O thou hero worthy of renown, throw away the insignificant pen, throw away bloodless books,
and writings that serve no useful purpose; now must the sword be brought into play,
now is the time for thee to sharpen the spear and to handle great engines of war.
On all sides men are talking of camps and of deadly weapons; war and the Furies are everywhere,
and Bellona reigns supreme.


 Jonson, The Alchemist
To the Reader

 ...for thou wert never more fair in the way to be COZENED, than IN THIS AGE, in poetry, especially in plays...(Jonson)


Jonson, _Timber_
Jam literæ sordent. - Pastus hodiern. ingen. - The time was when men
would learn and study good things, not envy those that had them.
Then men were had in price for learning; now letters only make men
He is upbraidingly called a poet, as if it were a contemptible nick-
name: but the professors, indeed, have made the learning cheap -
railing and tinkling rhymers, whose writings the VULGAR more greedily
read, as being taken with the SCURRILITY and petulancy of such wits.
He shall not have a reader now unless he jeer and lie.  It is the
food of men' s natures; the diet of the times; gallants cannot sleep
The writer must lie and the gentle reader rests happy to hear the
worthiest works misinterpreted, the clearest actions obscured, the
innocentest life traduced: and in such a licence of lying, a field so
fruitful of slanders, how can there be matter wanting to his
laughter?  Hence comes the EPIDEMICAL INFECTION; for how can they
escape the CONTAGION of the writings, whom the virulency of the
calumnies hath not staved off from reading?

(Epidemical Infection - *To see thee in our waters yet appear*)

Humanist scholars trashed Oxford and destroyed his fame - The Scholemaster was a foundational text in the attack on 'self-loving' aristocrats and their culture - it was dedicated to Sir William Cecil. Perhaps Oxford had already showed himself to be a little too 'wilful', and a little too interested in Italy. 


Ascham, The Scholemaster
(posthumously published 1570, Dedicated to Sir William Cecil, Knight)

  ...Yet, if a ientleman will nedes trauell into Italie, he shall do well, to looke on the life, of the wisest traueler, that euer traueled thether, set out by the wisest writer, that euer spake with tong, Gods doctrine onelie excepted: and that is Vlysses in Homere. Vlysses, and his trauell, I wishe our trauelers to looke vpon, not so much to feare them, with the great daungers, that he many tymes suffered, as to instruct them, with his excellent wisedome, which he alwayes and euerywhere vsed. Yea euen those, that
odys. a.
be learned and wittie trauelers, when they be disposed to prayse traueling, as a great commendacion, and the best Scripture they haue for it, they gladlie recite the third verse of Homere, in his first booke of Odyssea, conteinyng a great prayse of Vlysses, for the witte he gathered, & wisdome he vsed in his traueling.
      Which verse, bicause, in mine opinion, it was not made at the first, more naturallie in Greke by Homere, nor after turned more aptlie into Latin by Horace, than it was a good while ago, in Cambrige, translated into English, both plainlie for the sense, and roundlie for the verse, by one of the best Scholers, that euer S. Iohns Colledge bred, M. Watson, myne old frend, somtime Bishop of Lincolne, therfore, for their sake, that haue lust to see, how our English tong, in auoidyng barbarous ryming, may as well receiue, right quantitie of sillables, and trewe order of versifiyng (of which matter more at large hereafter) as either Greke or Latin, if a cunning man haue it in handling, I will set forth that one verse in all three tonges, for an Example to good wittes, that shall delite in like learned exercise.

Homerus. pollon d anthropon iden astea kai noon egno.
Qui mores hominum multorum vidit & vrbes.
M. Watson.

All trauellers do gladly report great prayse of Vlysses,
For that he knew many mens maners, and saw many Cities.

      And yet is not Vlysses commended, so much, nor so oft, in Homere, bicause he was POLYTROPUS, that is, skilfull in many mens manners and facions, as bicause he was polymetis, that is, wise in all

Vlyss. {polytropos.
{ polymetis.

Pallas from heauen.
Alcynous. od. 2.Cyclops. od. 1.
Calypso. od. e.

{ od. m.

Circes.    od. k.
od. l.
purposes, & ware in all places: which wisedome and warenes will not serue neither a traueler, except Pallas be alwayes at his elbow, that is Gods speciall grace from heauen, to kepe him in Gods feare, in all his doynges, in all his ieorneye. For, he shall not alwayes in his absence out of England, light vpon a ientle Alcynous, and walke in his faire gardens full of all harmelesse pleasures: but he shall sometymes, fall, either into the handes of some cruell Cyclops, or into the lappe of some wanton and dalying Dame Calypso: and so suffer the danger of many a deadlie Denne, not so full of perils, to distroy the body, as, full of vayne pleasures, to poyson the mynde. Some Siren shall sing him a song, sweete in tune, but sownding in the ende, to his vtter destruction. If Scylla drowne him not, Carybdis may fortune swalow hym. Some Circes shall make him, of a plaine English man, a right Italian. And at length to hell, or to some hellish place, is he likelie to go: from whence is hard returning, although one Vlysses, and that by Pallas ayde, and good counsell of Tiresias once escaped that horrible Den of deadly darkenes.
      Therfore, if wise men will nedes send their sonnes into Italie, let them do it wiselie, vnder the kepe and garde of him, who, by his wisedome and honestie, by his example and authoritie, may be hable to kepe them safe and sound, in the feare of God, in Christes trewe Religion, in good order and honestie of liuyng: except they will haue them run headling, into ouermany ieoperdies, as Vlysses had done many tymes, if Pallas had not alwayes gouerned him: if he had not vsed, to stop his eares with waxe: to bind him selfe to the mast of his shyp: to feede dayly, vpon that swete herbe Moly with the blake roote and white floore, giuen vnto hym by Mercurie, to auoide all the inchantmentes of Circes. Wherby, the Diuine
od. m.
od. k.
Moly Herba.
Psal. 33.
Poete Homer ment couertlie (as wise and Godly men do iudge) that loue of honestie, and hatred of ill, which Dauid more plainly doth call the feare of God: the onely remedie agaynst all inchantementes of sinne.

Suspicio and Jonson's First Folio Encomium:

Suspicio - the figure of figures

As a link between Greek and Roman characterizations of admirable style, suspicio is crucial. Quintilian complains that his contemporaries "regard allusion as better than directness of speech" and "regard it as a real sign of genius that it should require a genius to understand our meaning". Associating cloaked expression with the schools of declamation, and saying it "is really not far removed from jesting," he claims it succeeds because "the hearer takes pleasure in detecting the speaker's concealed meaning, applauds his own penetration and regards another man's eloquence as a compliment to himself". Quintilian describes a similar operation in the audiences's reaction to riddles or "adianoeta":

Such expressions are regarded as ingenious, daring and eloquent, simply because of their ambiguity, and quite a number of persons have become infected by the belief that a passage which requires a commentator must for that very reason be a masterpiece of elegance. Nay, there is even a class of hearer who find a special pleasure in such passages; for the fact that they can provide an answer to the riddle fills them with an ecstasy of self-congratulation, as if they had not merely heard the phrase, but invented it.

Through suspicio, Quintilian explains, "we excite some suspicion to indicate that our meaning is other than our words would seems to imply," a meaning not "contrary to that which we express" as in simple irony "but rather a hidden meaning which is left to the hearer to discover." Twice he points our that many rhetoricians consider suspicio the only true figure (Latin figura, Greek schema), or the figure of figures. (Biester, James, Lyric Wonder, pp. 105-6)
Horace - Aegri-Somnia - Sick Men's Dreams- To see thee in our waters yet appear


Or, the Art of Modern Poetry
James Miller

... Suppose you're skill'd in the Parnassian Art,
To purge the Passions, and correct the Heart,
To paint Mankind in ev'ry Light, and Stage,
Their various Humours, Characters, and Age,
To fix each Portion in its proper Place
And give the Whole one Method, Form and Grace;
What's that to us? who pay our Pence to see
The great Productions of Profundity,
Shipwrecks, and Monsters, Conjurers, and Gods,
Where every Part is with the whole at odds.

With Truth and Likelihood we all are griev'd,
And take most Pleasure, when we're most deceiv'd,
Now wrote obscure, and let your Words move slow,
Then with full Light, and rapid Ardor glow;
In one Scene make your Hero cant, and whine,
Then roar out Liberty in every Line;
Vary one Thing a thousand pleasant Ways,
Shew Whales in Woods, and Dragons in the Seas.
To shun a Fault's the ready Way to fall,
Correctness is the greatest Fault of all.


 A phrase selected by Puttenham as an example of an 'intollerable vice' in writing had been associated with the Earl of Oxford. This phrase was subsequently spoken by the affected courtier Amorphus in Jonson's _Cynthia's Revels_. Curiously, the phrase does not appear in full in the 1601 Quarto (while Oxford was alive) - but does appear in the 1616 and 1640 editions of Jonson's 'Works'.


Jonson, _Cynthia's Revels_. 

AMORPHUS. And there's her minion, Crites: why his advice more than

Amorphus? Have I not invention afore him? Learning to better

that INVENTION above him? and INFANTED with PLEASANT TRAVEL --


Ben Jonson, _Cynthia's Revels_


These in the Court meet with Amorphus, or the deformed, a Traveller that hath drunk of the Fountain, and there tells the WONDERS of the Water. They presently dispatch away their Pages with Bottles to fetch of it, and themselves go to visit the Ladies. But I should have told you — (Look, these Emets put me out here) that with this Amorphus, there comes along a Citizens Heir, Asotus, or the Prodigal, who (in imitation of the Traveller, who hath the Whetstone following him) entertains the Begger, to be his Attendant. ——


 Much Ado about Nothing, Act III, Sc iii -

Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this
fashion is? how giddily a' turns about all the hot
bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty?
sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers
in the reeky painting, sometime like god Bel's
priests in the old church-window, sometime like the
shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten tapestry,
where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?


All this I see; and I see that the fashion wears
out more apparel than the man. But art not thou
thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast
shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?


Second Watchman
Call up the right master constable. We have here
recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that
ever was known in the commonwealth.

First Watchman

And one Deformed is one of them: I know him; a'
wears a lock.


Masters, masters,--

Second Watchman

You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.


 Style and Gender in Public Performance
Amy Richlin
in Roman Eloquence: Rhetoric in Society and Literature

(ed. William J Dominik)

If one major source of anxiety about style was the danger of effeminacy, another - and related - source was the danger of resembling an actor. The sexuality of actors was itself suspect and actors (partly on that account) suffered a diminished status as infames - much like men marked as MOLLES. William Fitzgerald has suggested that poetry, as a public performance, might have been seen as itself akin to acting, hence tending to cast a shadow on the sexual integrity of poets. Certainly this was the case for oratory; the handbooks are full of insistent disclaimers explaining how orators, though as talented as actors, though very like actors, are really not like actors at all.

Comments on the theatre by other writers explain what underlies these [caveats]. Columella, who wrote on the quintessentially Roman and manly art of agriculture in the mid-first dentury CE, begins his book with a classic locus de saeculo that includes the following comment on the theatre (1 pr. 15): 'Astonished, we marvel at the gestures of effeminates (effeminatorum), that, by womanish movement, they counterfeit a sex denied to men by nature, and deceive the eyes of the spectators.' But both dancing and the theatre were extremely popular in Roman culture, even that hero of Roman conservatism, Scipio Aemilianus, 'moved that triumphal and military body of his to a rhythmical beat' (Sen. Tranq.17.4).

If Scipio wAs a manly dancer, this oxymoronic state seems to have been the precarious goal of the Roman orator. Quintilian's treatment of actio ('movement') is full of cautions about lapses in masculinity. Effeminate actio repels him (Inst. 4.2.390: 'They bend their voices and incline their necks and flail their arms against their sides and act sext (lasciviunt) in their whole style of subject matter, words and composition; finally, what is like a monstrosity (monstro), the actio pleases, while the case is not intelligible.'

Jonson - Cynthia's Revels, paste-board case


 Admirable Wit: Deinofēs and the Rise and Fall of Lyric Wonder - James Biester
Abstract: When lyric poets in late Renaissance England responded to the demand for wonder in poetry and all courtly activity by astonishing audiences through style, they drew upon the Greek rhetorical tradition, which presents roughness and obscurity as coordinate methods of making style deinos, or admirable. In the Life of Cowley, Samuel Johnson also sees roughness and obscurity as coordinate qualities in the verse of the "metaphysical poets" he says erred in pursuit of wonder. Before admirable style went out of fashion, poet-critics praised its ability to provoke the audience's inferences and to transcend persuasión by "ravishing" the audience's will, precisely the effects that Demetrius attributes to the charaktēr deinos in On Style. Yet deinolēs is the term used to describe both the most powerful style and the clever style of SOPHISTIC epideixis, and this breadth of meaning helps explain both the rise and fall of wit.
Gabriel Harvey satirized the Earl of Oxford in Speculum Tuscanismi:

Since Galatea came in, and Tuscanism gan usurp,
Vanity above all: villainy next her, stateliness Empress
No man but minion, stout, lout, plain, swain, quoth a Lording:
No words but valorous, no works but womanish only.
For life Magnificoes, not a beck but glorious in show,
In deed most frivolous, not a look but Tuscanish always.
His cringing side neck, eyes glancing, fisnamy smirking,
With forefinger kiss, and brave embrace to the footward.
Large bellied Cod-pieced doublet, uncod-pieced half hose,
Straight to the dock like a shirt, and close to the britch like a diveling.
A little Apish flat couched fast to the pate like an oyster,
French camarick ruffs, deep with a whiteness starched to the purpose.
Every one A per se A, his terms and braveries in print,
Delicate in speech, quaint in array: conceited in all points,
In Courtly guiles a passing singular odd man,
For Gallants a brave Mirror, a Primrose of Honour,
A Diamond for nonce, a fellow peerless in England...

Gabriel Harvey, Rhetor
On Art.

Can anyone be an artist without art? Or have you ever seen a bird flying without wings, or a horse running without feet? Or if you have seen such things, which no one else has ever seen, come, tell me please, do you hope to become a goldsmith, or a painter, or a sculptor, or a musician, or an architect, or a weaver, or any sort of artist at all without a teacher? But how much easier are all these things, than that you develop into a supreme and perfect orator without the art of public speaking. There is need of a teacher, and indeed even an excellent teacher, who might point out the springs with his finger, as it were, and carefully pass on to you the art of speaking colorfully, brilliantly, copiously. But what sort of art shall we choose? Not an art entangled in countless difficulties, or packed with meaningless arguments; not one sullied by useless precepts, or disfigured by strange and foreign ones; not an art polluted by any filth, or fashioned to accord with our own WILL and judgment; not a single art joined and sewn together from many, like a quilt from many rags and skins (way too many rhetoricians have given this sort of art to us, if indeed one may call art that which conforms to no artistic principles). We want rather an art that is concise, precise, appropriate, lucid, accessible; one that is decorated and illuminated by precise definitions, accurate divisions, and striking illustrations, as if by flashing gems and stars; one that emerges, and in a way bursts into flower, from the speech of the most eloquent men and the best orators. Why so? Not only because brevity is pleasant, and clarity delightful, but also so that eloquence might be learned in a shorter time, and with less labor and richer results, and so that it might stand more firmly grounded, secured by deeper roots. For thus said the gifted poet in his Ars Poetica: "Whatever instruction you give, let it be brief." Why?  He gives two reasons: "So that receptive minds might swiftly grasp your words and accurately retain them." And indeed, as the same poet elegantly adds: "Everything superfluous spills from a mind that's full."
 But those little CROWS and APES of Cicero were long ago driven from the stage by the hissing and laughter of the learned, as they so well deserved, and at last have almost vanished; and I now hope to find not only eager and attentive auditors, but friendly spectators as well, not the sort who scrupulously weigh every individual detail on the scales of their own refined tastes, but who interpret everything in a fair and good-natured way. I too in fact wanted, if I was able--but perhaps I was not--to speak in as Ciceronian a style as the Ciceronianest of them all. Forgive me, illustrious Ciceronians, if I ought not use that word in the superlative.

Greene's Groatsworth:

With thee I ioyne yong Iuuenall, that byting Satyrist, that lastlie with mee together writ a Comedie. Sweete boy, might I aduise thee, be aduisde, and get not many enemies by bitter wordes: inueigh against vaine men, for thou canst do it, no man better, no man so wel: thou hast a libertie to reprooue all, and none more; for one being spoken to, all are offended, none being blamed no man is iniured. Stop shallow water still running, it will rage, or tread on a worme and it will turne: then blame not Schollers vexed with sharpe lines, if they reproue thy too much libertie of reproofe.

And thou no lesse deseruing than the other two, in some things rarer, in nothing inferiour; driuen (as my selfe) to extreme shifts, a little haue I to say to thee: and were it not an idolatrous oth, I would sweare by sweet S. George, thou art vnworthy better hap, sith thou dependest on so meane a stay. Base minded men all three of you, if by my miserie ye be not warned: for vnto none of you (like me) sought those burres to cleaue: those Puppets (I meane) that speake from our mouths, those Anticks garnisht in our colours. Is it not strange that I, to whom they al haue beene beholding: is it not like that you, to whome they all haue beene beholding, shall (were yee in that case that I am now) bee both at once of them forsaken? Yes, trust them not: for there is an vpstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Iohannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey. O that I might intreate your rare wits to be imploied in more profitable courses: & let those Apes imitate your past excellence, and neuer more acquaint them with your admired inuentions. I know the best husband of you all will neuer proue an Usurer, and the kindest of them all will neuer seeke you a kind nurse: yet whilest you may, seeke you better Maisters; for it is pittie men of such rare wits, should be subiect to the pleasure of such rude groomes.

In this I might insert two more, that both haue writ against these buckram Gentlemen: but let their owne works serue to witnesse against their owne wickednesse, if they perseuere to mainteine any more such peasants. For other new-commers, I leaue them to the mercie of these painted monsters, who (I doubt not) will driue the best minded to despise them: for the rest, it skils not though they make a ieast at them.

 The Wonder of the Stage:

 Horace, Epistles

VI. To Numicius.

Nil Admirari.

Not to admire, Numicius, is the best,
The only way, to make and keep men blest.
The sun, the stars, the seasons of the year
That come and go, some gaze at without fear:
What think you of the gifts of earth and sea,
The untold wealth of Ind or Araby,
Or, to come nearer home, our games and shows,
The plaudits and the honours Rome bestows?
How should we view them? ought they to convulse
The well-strung frame and agitate the pulse?
Who fears the contrary, or who desires
The things themselves, in either case admires;
Each way there's flutter; something unforeseen
Disturbs the mind that else had been serene.
Joy, grief, desire or fear, whate'er the name
The passion bears, its influence is the same;
Where things exceed your hope or fall below,
You stare, look blank, grow numb from top to toe.
E'en virtue's self, if followed to excess,
Turns right to wrong, good sense to foolishness.


Wittgenstein - Wikipedia

Philosophical Investigations was published in two parts in 1953. Most of Part I was ready for printing in 1946, but Wittgenstein withdrew the manuscript from his publisher. The shorter Part II was added by his editors, Elizabeth Anscombe and Rush Rhees. Wittgenstein asks the reader to think of language as a multiplicity of language-games within which parts of language develop and function. He argues that philosophical problems are bewitchments that arise from philosophers' misguided attempts to consider the meaning of words independently of their context, usage, and grammar, what he called "language gone on holiday".
According to Wittgenstein, philosophical problems arise when language is forced from its proper home into a metaphysical environment, where all the familiar and necessary landmarks and contextual clues are removed. He describes this metaphysical environment as like being on frictionless ice: where the conditions are apparently perfect for a philosophically and logically perfect language, all philosophical problems can be solved without the muddying effects of everyday contexts; but where, precisely because of the lack of friction, language can in fact do no work at all. Wittgenstein argues that philosophers must leave the frictionless ice and return to the "rough ground" of ordinary language in use. Much of the Investigations consists of examples of how the first false steps can be avoided, so that philosophical problems are dissolved, rather than solved: "the clarity we are aiming at is indeed complete clarity. But this simply means that the philosophical problems should completely disappear.
 James Burke's "The Day the Universe Changed" contains a story: “Someone apparently went up to the great philosopher Wittgenstein and said ‘What a lot of morons back in the Middle Ages must have been to have looked, every morning, at the dawn and to have thought what they were seeing was the Sun going around the Earth,’ when every school kid knows that the Earth goes around the Sun, to which Wittgenstein replied ‘Yeah, but I wonder what it would have looked like if the Sun had been going around the Earth?’” Burke’s point is that it “would have looked exactly the same: you see what your knowledge tells you you’re seeing.