“Obligation here is injury”: Exemplary Friendship in Katherine Philips's Coterie

Penelope Anderson

in Friendship's Shadows

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748655823
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676620 | DOI:
“Obligation here is injury”: Exemplary Friendship in Katherine Philips's Coterie

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Katherine Philips's coterie circle and the aid it provides to James Philips after the restoration raises the following question: how can their marriage persist despite their political differences? This chapter suggests that part of the answer lies in Philips's ability to transform two problems — the husband and wife's divergent political loyalties and the historical upheavals that put first one, then the other, on the victors' side — into the relation of friendship. In translating conflicts of marriage and political obligation into the language of friendship, Philips makes use of a discourse that addresses these problems from its earliest instantiations in Aristotle and Cicero. In amicitia, Philips appropriates a tradition that articulates an ideal, acknowledges the failures to meet it, and then recreates the bonds of obligation.

Keywords: James Philips; political differences; friendship; marriage; amicitia

Chapter.  19679 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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