This chapter engages both the irony of old age and the old age of irony. Building on an understanding of senility and dementia as reg- isters of voice, it makes three principal assertions: ﬁrst, that a form of listeningwe might term ironic may allow for less depersonaliza- tion of those we hear to be senile; second, that an ironic relationship to the biologization of everythingavoids a return to nature/culture binaries; and third, that irony for both Plato and for Vico is framed as a temporal register of the aging of things. Using Socrates as an example of a ﬁgure whose aging is outside of nature yet under the law, the essay explores the tension between living with the difﬁcult elderly and seeking to displace them in order to maintain the time- lessness of culture.
Marriage, Status, and Moral Conduct in “The Merchant’s Tale”
, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Shipman’s Tale,” in Benson, The Riverside Chaucer , 203–208, at line 103. 33 Chaucer, “Merchant’s Tale,” 1253–1257: “Whether it was for religious reasons or senility, I cannot say, but this knight had such a great desire to be a
Shakespeare and the Modern Monarchy
craze to senility: ‘Probably Alzheimer’s’. 43 But Bennett notices how often Shakespeare’s subject is indeed inhibition, and a refusal to emote personified by a Prince of Hesitation who has ‘that within which passes show’ ( Hamlet , 1.2.85). So, whether
John M. Fyler
Isidore of Seville’s definition, by ‘pronuntiatio’, by tone of voice; and there are no pointers for delivery beyond a few caustic hints, as in the claim that January wants to marry, ‘Were it for hoolynesse or for dotage’ (1253), doddering senility being