The 4 types of self-fashioning

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Machiavellian

What does it consist of?

Manipulation, competition for power/status.

Which texts have examples of this?

  • The Prince: Niccolo Machiavelli 'he who considers it necessary to secure himself in his new principality, to win friends, to overcome either by force or fraud, to make himself beloved and feared by the people.' 
  • Richard III: His wooing of Ann into marriage 'that kill'd her husband and his father, To take her in her heart's extremest hate.'
  • Volpone: Mosca manipulates Volpone, Volpone manipulates pretty much everyone else in the play.
  • Moll Flander: Moll manipulated Limmy into marrying her (granted it didn't pay off in the long term) and she also manipulated the crowd of upper-classes by saying she was robbed whereas the reality is that she stole the gold watch. 
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Ethical-humanist

What it consists of: classical education as a  key to ethical self-improvement. I.e. you can climb up the social ladder by being educated.

Texts that demonstrate this: 

  • Oronoko: He is heavily respected by the white narrator despite his colour due to his education. Moreover, when he is a slave, he is treated far more better than his companions. 
  • Moll Flanders: In the latter half of the book, she is a well-known criminal. This is because the 'Governess' knew some thieves that taught Moll some of their many techniques. 
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Capitalist

What does it consist of: Capitalist self-fashioning focuses on economic self-interest; rational, calculation of self-interest and resourcefulness. 

Examples of texts that demonstrate this: 

  • Moll Flanders: Moll marries in order to obtain money. When this doesn't work she resorts to crime and even meets up with one of her ex-husbands in order to obtain some of her mother's inheritance. 
  • The Prince: The Prince focuses on the idea of rational disscions and the calculation of self-interest. 
  • Canterbury tales:  The Wife of Bath may have had several husbands for finacial sercurity. 
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Protestant

What this means: Individuals becoming their own priests/ interpreters of the word of God.

Texts that demostrate this:

  • Richard III: Richard mentions god serveal times. 
  • The 2nd Shepards play: the sinners pretend to be god in order to help with their scheme. Naturally it doesn't work. 
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