Conor McKee’s article in Renaissance Studies considers the use of metaphor in the work of sixteenth-century poet and martyr Robert Southwell. He argues that a number of Southwell’s metaphors have a surprisingly literal quality whereby their vehicles are given greater prominence than their tenors. For instance, looking at Southwell’s presentation of the figurative ‘fires of love’, a stock trope of Petrarchan verse, he shows that it is employed as a way to evoke the literal burning of recusant Catholics. He connects this approach to Southwell’s political context as a dissident poet, showing that our tendency to look past the vehicles of metaphors to their referents allowed him to hide political statements in plain sight.
Conor McKee is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of English and Pembroke College.
Link for further information: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/rest.12819