The Self and Subjectivity in The Middle Ages

(3269 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Defining self and subjectivity

As a term, “self” refers to the inward perception of a person's individual character. It is a term that relates to how we see our own personality and our actions; it guides our interaction with other individuals and those institutions of which our society is comprised. As Stephen Greenblatt notes:

…there are always selves – a sense of personal order, a characteristic mode of address to the world, a structure of bounded desires – and always some element of deliberate shaping in the formation and expression of identity. (Stephen Greenblatt. Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1980, 1)
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Cummings, Raymond. "The Self and Subjectivity in The Middle Ages". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 November 2007
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]