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Primary Sources
Asser’s Life of King Alfred, Trans. S. Keynes, M. Lapidge (London: Penguin, 1983), pp. 124ff
Bacon, F., “Of Studies” in Essays in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, vol 1., ed.
Kermode, F., J. Hollander et al., (Oxford: OUP, 1973), p.1443
Secondary sources:
Curtius, R.E., Latin Middle Ages and European Literature, trans.W.R.Trask (Princeton: Princeton
UP, 1953), pp. 17-48.
Fletcher, R.H., A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger, 2007 [1919]), pp. 116-127
Moody, W.V., Lovett, R.M., History of English Literature (New York: Scribner, 1918), pp. 79-76
Kristller, O.P., Renaissance Thought and Its Sources (N.Y., Columbia UP, 1979), pp. 17-21

The question of reading as posed by a humanist:
“Read not to contradict and to confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and
discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and
some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be
read, but not curiously, and some few, to be read wholly and with diligence and attention. Reading
maketh a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man.”
(F. Bacon, Of Studies) [for the whole essay see below section C. Texts]

Main periods of British literature to be studied:
Medieval literature:
Early beginnings-1100
- The Old English
1100 - 1485
- The Middle English
Renaissance literature:
1485 - 1558
- The Tudor Age
- The Elizabethan Age
A. General Historical background
I. Chronology from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
- The Middle Ages are a complex period between Antiquity and the modern times, which extends
from approx. 5th to 15th centuries. They are generally divided into:
The Early Middle Ages [also known improperly as the Dark Ages]; 5 th c.-10th c.
The High Middle Ages 11th c.-13th c. 1000-1300
The Later Middle Ages 14th-15th [or 16th c.] 1300-1500
- This period is generally considered to end with the 15th c. or high Renaissance [yet for certain
authors the Renaissance lasts from 13th c. to 16th c.]


II. Characteristics of the European Middle Ages [see especially Curtius, pp. 17-24, passim.]
1.The disintegration of the Roman Empire
The dissolution of the Roman Empire was a long process with occasional moments of
coalescence in the 4th c. (Constantine), 6th c (Justinian), 7th c. (Heraclius)
(i) The invasions:
- the Roman Empire is confronted with several important invaders, such as the Germanic peoples
and the Arabs
- the Germanic peoples who migrate around the 5th c., and settle in different parts of Europe and
reach North Africa, become assimilated to the local populations. The term Germanic people is
misleading, since it may refer to Franks, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, etc.
- the Arabs, after the death of Mahomed , 7th c. (632), conquered Persia, Siria, Egypt, Roman
Africa and Spain.
- the Arabic invasions determined important changes in the distribution of political centres and in
the Eastern trade and marked a shift of the centre of gravity. Europe was forced to find its own
way and to forge a new identity for itself, by resorting to its own traditions: the Greek and Roman
heritage and the Judaeo-Christian religion
(ii) Characteristics of invasions:
- the Germanic and Arabic invasions are parallel processes but they have an important difference:
- the Germanic people assimilate the Roman culture and Christianity, whereas the Arabic do not,
because they have already a strongly configured religion.
The Arabs:
- Adopted the Greek science and philosophy, which they shaped in accordance with the
their faith
- at a later time the European theologians and scholars rediscovered Greek philosophy
and science through the intermediary writings of the Arabic authors.
The Germanic peoples:
- most of them were romanized and adopted Latin as a main means of communication
(except the Anglo-Saxons, who also used the vernacular)
- during their periods of stability, they surrounded themselves with Roman
rhetoricians, jurists and poets
- the Roman-Germanic legacy was at the basis of the feudal legal and political systems
- related to these migrations, during the early Middle Ages, Europe came to experience two
distinct tendencies:
- a centrifugal, Germanic direction of local land-holding and barter
- a centripetal direction inherited from the Roman Empire, of preservation of the
central (imperial/royal) power

III. England and Europe
(i) Brief historical outline
During the Antiquity England was inhabited by several Celtic tribes of Indo-European origin.
Celtic England was invaded and ruled by the Romans between 55 BC and AD 440, by the AngloSaxons and the Vikings (440-1066), and finally by the Normans in 1066. After this last invasion,
under the Norman rule England experienced several great conflagrations such as the Hundred
Years War and the War of the Roses. This period was followed by an interval of relative stability,
under the Tudor dynasty (1485-1603), which made possible the rise and consolidation of the
national state and, subsequently, the gradual emergence of the British Empire.
(ii) General characteristics of the making of modern England:

- each population that invaded the British Isles brought along its own material and spiritual
- during the Middle Ages, under the Anglo-Saxon and especially under the Norman rule, England
came to be closely associated with Europe and influenced by the continental Latin traditions
- later, under the Tudors, and especially under Elizabeth I, England went through a process of
building up its identity as a modern national state, with a national form of Christianity [the
Anglican Church], and with a national culture expressed in a national language [early modern
English]. These attempts to work out an identity drew heavily not only on the Germanic elements
[Anglo-Saxon, Norman French] but also upon the classical and Christian European traditions.

B. Intellectual history. The shaping traditions
I. Europe and its shaping traditions: the classical world and Judaeo-Christianity
[Curtius, EL, pp. 27-30]
1.The renovatio and translatio imperii
- the dual heritage: the Roman Empire and Judaeo-Christianity
- the disintegration of the Roman Empire left behind the Roman ideas of state, church and culture
Rome had come to conceive its political existence as a universal mission that included Rome, the
town (urbs) and the world (orbis)
- the claim of universality was advocated on two levels:
state (Roman Empire)
church (Christianity)
- St. Augustine (4th c-5th c.), in his De civitate Dei (On the City of God)
claims that Rome is an earthly imitation of Heavenly Jerusalem, meant to carry out and restore
Jerusalem in its original glory at the end of time.
The following ideas related to the fulfillment of time are combined in Augustine’s view:
1. The Roman Empire as part of the world history is in harmony with divine history as
recorded in the Old Testament, [Genesis, Daniel]:
(i) the six days of Creation and
(ii) the six ages of human life
(iii) the other four great empires in the course of history, of which the Roman
Empire is the last before the end of times (cf. Daniel 2: 31-40)
Daniel 2: 31-40
31. Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was
great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible.
32. The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and
the thighs of brass:
33. And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay.
34. Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue
upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces.
35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and
became like the chaff of a summer's thrashingfloor, and they were carried away by the wind: and
there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, became a great mountain,
and filled the whole earth.
36. This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king.
37. Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and

the Romance languages and literatures (Italian. 10: 11: [] Thus. so shall that break and destroy all these. pp. EL. but the dominium is to be "transferred" from one people to another. 39. Ecclesiasticus. Portuguese) based on Latin language made possible the various Revivals or Renaissances . also the period during which this movement was in progress. inferior to thee. because of injustices. in a certain manner. The concepts of Renaissance and Humanism 1. the Heavenly Kingdom was to be carried on and restored through the Roman Empire. Spanish. renovatio imperii [renewal of the empire] 3. and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold. 10:8 “regnum a gente in gentem transfertur propter iniustitias et iniurias et contumelias et diversos dolos” [Douay-Rheims Bible: “A kingdom is translated from one people to another. of silver: and another third kingdom of brass. and the beasts of the field do dwell: he hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand. which occurred primarily with the Romance speaking populations.The great revival of art and letters. which was adopted and came to make up different vernaculars. under the influence of the classical models. hence. and wrongs. The Latin heritage: the significance of romanitas [Curtius.the various European Renaissances. 2. [Oxford English Dictionary] . Biblia Vulgata. from Charlemagne to Henry VIII [Tudor] who claimed to be legitimate heirs of the Holy Roman Empire 2. Hence. .literary Latin . and injuries.4 power. and continued during the 15th and 16th . due to the vicious nature of human beings. which began in Italy in the 14th c.The concept of Renaissance and Renaissances (i)Definitions: . And all places wherein the children of men. and glory: 38. and subdueth all things.popular or vulgar Latin. and divers deceits. Another Biblical idea was added according to which. based on St.”] These ideas were taken over in the political views by various European kings throughout the Middle Ages and up to the Renaissance. 40. the high Renaissance II.a distinction was made between types of Latin: . And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. prepared. The Roman Empire is the last state form that is to last to the Last Judgment.30-35] The Romania: .all the romanized territories in which the Germanic populations adopted and used popular or vulgar Latin made up an area designated as Romania The Latin language: .The Renaissance is also generally described as a conception that situated man in the centre of the universe. As iron breaketh into pieces. lingua rustica or lingua romana . 1 Corinthians. And after thee shall rise up another kingdom. the idea of translatio imperii [transference of the empire] [cf. This idea exemplifies a common eschatological feeling at that time. Paul. the empire (kingdom) cannot stay long with one people. French. which shall rule over all the world.

humanism: . Gr.William Lyly [1468-1522] The 16th c. [1460-1524] . EL. the classical education and philosophical conceptions and prepared the 15th c. [Curtius. Boccaccio) . paideia . Leon Battista Alberti) (c) The English Renaissances: . Renaissances [or Renascences].Roger Ascham [1515-1568]: The Scholmaster . Italian an individual. i. man.] Renaissance marks a break with the Middle Ages and is characterized by . 36-48] . Renaissance in Italy and the early humanists (Dante. in fact there were several revivals. These revivals carried out the idea of the imperial and Christian Rome and together with them. Renaissance In our view: the high Renaissance did mark a shift in the way in which man understood himself in relation to the world: .the term humanism comes from being educated in the liberal arts.The 14th c.Thomas began to rely primarily on the mathematical model. he defined himself as a subject and a source of truth (certainty) for all the other things. in the sense of educated in the humanist arts.John Colet [1467-1519] . and to what it requires to be man. Renaissance in Italy and the Florentine Neoplatonism (Marsilio Ficino.Thomas More [1478-1535] . Pico dela Mirandola. later it came to mean a philosophical system .William Grocyn [1446-1519] . Humanism [see [see Kristller.Medieval humanism during Alfred the Great [849-499] . see especially pp. Renaissance in France and the humanism of the School of Chartres (John of Salisbury) . Lat. humanitas.e.The 10th c.The 15th c. which is something to be acquired through education in the humanities [liberal arts] each Renaissance is accompanied by a retrieval of classical education (b) Forms of European Renaissance and humanism.The 12th c. Petrarch. RTS. humanus.the emergence of individualism .a new understanding of the world and nature from a scientific point of view (b) There was more than one Renaissance.5 (ii) Conflicting views concerning the definition of the Renaissance There are basically two positions: (a)The 15th c. which he situated at the basis of his scientific explanation of the world . which became objects 2. pp. [approx.Thomas Elyot [1490-1546]: The Boke named the Governour . Benedictine Revival under King Edgar The 15th c. humanism: .it was used by Cicero and Aulius Gellius and later taken over by 14 th c. . that occurred throughout the Middle Ages.The Carolingian Renaissance (Charlemagne) and the humanism of the Palatine school (Alcuin of York) . designated an educational programme.. 17-21] (a) Definition .it is somehow related to homo.

unless the bishop wishes to have the book with him. then I also remembered how I saw. if it seems so to you. be set to learning. Therefore I would have them always remain in place. and for ability. One may then instruct in Latin those whom one wishes to teach further and promote to a higher rank. how the churches throughout all England stood filled with treasures and books. then I wondered extremely that the good and wise men who were formerly throughout England. . for they could not understand anything in them. just as I had learned it from Plegmund my archbishop and from Asser my bishop and from Grimbold my masspriest and from John my masspriest. which are most needful for all men to know. translated them all through wise interpreters into their own language. Then when I remembered all this. and sometimes sense for sense. when they had learned them. Here we can still see their footprints. and also all other books. Therefore it seems better to me. And I command in God's name that no man may take the æstel from the book nor the book from the church. When I had learned it I translated it into English. Preface to Gregory’s Cura pastoralis „[…] Then when I remembered all this." sometimes word for word. until they know how to read English writing well.Francis Bacon [1561-1626]: Novum organum scientiarum. and the plots and marshalling of affairs. they translated it all into their own language.' And therefore we have now lost both the wealth and the wisdom. before it had all been ravaged and burnt. and through it they obtained wealth and left it to us. Of Studies Studies serve for delight. because they were not written in their own language. who had completely learned all those books. Instauratio magna. and for ability. and accomplish this. or someone is copying it.6 .' Then I remembered how the law was first composed in the Hebrew language. as with God's help we may very easily do if we have peace. is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute. And afterwards the Romans in the same way. one by one. so that all the youth of free men now in England who have the means to apply themselves to it. but the general counsels. but we cannot track after them. or it is loaned out somewhere. and perhaps judge of particulars. while they are not useful for any other occupation. just as I had understood it. because we would not bend down to their tracks with our minds. and as I could most meaningfully render it. and yet many knew how to read English writing.” Francis Bacon. thanks to God. is in discourse. would not have translated any of them into their own language. for ornament. are nearly everywhere. into that language that we all can understand.TEXTS From King Alfred the Great. And they had very little benefit from those books. And I will send one to each bishopric in my kingdom. and there were also a great many of God's servants. As if they had said: 'Our ancestors. the greater wisdom would be in this land. Then when I remembered how knowledge of Latin had formerly decayed throughout England. and afterwards. who formerly held these places. that we also translate certain books. and in each will be an æstel worth fifty mancuses. But I immediately answered myself and said: 'They did not think that men ever would become so careless and learning so decayed: they deliberately refrained. for ornament. when the Greeks learned it. It is unknown how long there may be such learned bishops as. loved wisdom. then I began among the other various and manifold cares of this kingdom to translate into English the book that is called in Latin Pastoralis. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring. and in English "Shepherd-book. And also all other Christian peoples translated some part of them into their own language. come best from those that are learned.for they would have it that the more languages we knew. Essays C.

If he be not apt to beat over matters. some books are to be read only in parts.7 To spend too much time in studies is sloth. and extracts made of them by others. natural philosophy deep. and above them. if his wit be called away never so little. except they be bounded in by experience. Read not to contradict and confute. to seem to know that he doth not. gentle walking for the stomach. like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Histories make men wise. for in demonstrations. Bowling is good for the stone and reins. shooting for the lungs and breast. but that would be only in the less important arguments. and some few to be chewed and digested. there is no stond or impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies. is affectation. Reading maketh a full man. is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature. . and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another. and with diligence and attention. if a man write little. to use them too much for ornament. conference a ready man. but to weigh and consider. riding for the head. Abeunt studia in mores [Studies pass into and influence manners]. and writing an exact man. if he confer little. nor to believe and take for granted. that need pruning. to make judgment wholly by their rules. moral grave. Some books also may be read by deputy. he had need have a great memory. let him study the Schoolmen. Nay. he had need have much cunning. Crafty men condemn studies. nor to find talk and discourse. and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants. for they teach not their own use. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences. won by observation. simple men admire them. So if a man’s wit be wandering. he must begin again. and the like. poets witty. but not curiously. that is. others to be read. by study. and the meaner sort of books. and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large. and wise men use them. So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt. he had need have a present wit: and if he read little. flashy things. let him study the lawyers’ cases. And therefore. Some books are to be tasted. the mathematics subtle. for they are cymini sectores [splitters of hairs]. but that is a wisdom without them. let him study the mathematics. logic and rhetoric able to contend. and some few to be read wholly. else distilled books are like common distilled waters. others to be swallowed.

.I.. pp.. Keynes. Mercia. Penguin. Isle of Wight The Saxons: Essex. pp. pp. was already a christian . Aidan (Lindisfarne) . Middle Anglia.H. 19-20 Secondary sources: Baugh.. ed. Trans.6th c. 1953) Anonymous. Northumbria . 3-30 Day. The Anglo-Saxon invasions and their organization: . 1948).L. Columba (Iona) . 1963). Ecclesiastical History. 9-84 A. pp.Wessex under King Alfred the Great 2. F. C. 1953). A. Hollander et al. W.. Penguin. S. vol.L. pp. 1-22 Wren. (London: Harrap. 3105 Daiches. ed.. J.6th c.Beowulf (London: Harrap. D. C. Bede (Jarrow and Wearmouth) (ii) The Roman [Gregoria] mission: ..V. The Ecclesiastical History of the English People. 35-52 Moody.. (Oxford: OUP. 25]. F. R. ed. England was invaded by Germanic tribes: The Jutes : Kent.after their invasion.. 15. both versions in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. pp. 1973). pp. M.Sherley-Price. Historical Background: 1. Introduction. Sussex.7th c.he most important kkingdoms that emerged were . Wren. Trans.Sister monasteries houses .. whose Frankish wife. Lovett. Kermode. Lapidge. Ireland becomes a center of Christian spirituality and missionarism.1 (London: Secker & Warburg. Beowulf. the Anglo-Saxons settled down into seven kingdoms [Heptarchy] that began to fight for supremacy . A Critical History of English Literature. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. M.C.8 LECTURE NOTES III ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE Sources: Primary Sources: Anonymous. . Hollander et al. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. Bk. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. 1973).. 1990 Caedmon’s Hymn. (Oxford: OUP. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.L. 1969).After St.Mercia under King Offa ..39-45 Fletcher. The Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity: (i) The Celtic mission: . Beowulf. R.[see detailed account in Bede.8th c. Kermode. 1983 Bede.. Patrick converted the Irish (5th c). J.beginning with the 5th c. pp. M. Ethelberga. (597) a mission was sent by Gregory the Great led by St Augustine. 2007 [1919]). 20-98 Asser’s Life of King Alfred. modern English version in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. ed.S. In Kent he converted Ethelred. 1918). Wessex The Angles: East Anglia.

The Address of the Soul to the Body. Juliana.Christ.The Junius Ms.Christian personalities are describes as warlike figures: Moses [Exodus}.in the 10th .riding place of the whale.two authors best known for their [prose] sermons: Aelfric and Wulfstan B. . Judith .alliteration .. 2.Germanic heroes take over Christian features [Beowulf] (ii) Purposes of Anglo-Saxon literature: entertainment. Widsith. eulogy. . Daniel. morality.Cotton Vitellius: The Life of St. . history .The Book of Genesis. Christ [Dream of the Rood] .major centres: Canterbury and Glastonbury . feather. the Benedictine monks contributed to the manuscript tradition in England . Paulinus converted king Edwin (Northumbria) . preserve important events. The Wonders of the East. Benedict Biscop brought about important Byzantine and Mediterranean influences and organized education.The Vercelli Book: . which are borrowed or adapted . Theodore of Tarsus. Chronology: First period: 7th-9th centuries Poetry: (a) Religious poetry (7th c.. The Dream of the Rood.The Book of Andreas. etc. The Letter of Alexander. Christ and Satan . personalities.Christian themes. Christopher.9 . Exodus. The Fate of Apostles.The Germanic tradition of heroic poetry . moral) (iii) Style (written texts) marked by .to praise or console .The Exeter Book: .Latin and Greek themes. Hadrian.7th c. General aspects of Anglo-Saxon literature (i) Anglo-Saxon literature combines: . Beowulf.caesura into half lines .later. Corpus of manuscripts . Elene 3.bird's joy.Adaptations of style and conventions can be found working in both ways: .c. Deor's Lament . The Seafrer.kennings (fixed metaphors) : sea . etc). Anglo-Saxon literature: 1.): . adapted by Christianity (classical elegy. the ubi sunt theme. The Wanderer. lineages (historical and entertain (the scop or bard) .

Elene) .to link Anglo-Saxon culture to the continent. . .: the fickleness of Fortune Bk. administrator and scholar .) (a) The Alfredian Renaissance: .III. Hadrian) . of Seeing God (wisdom that accompanies the soul in its afterlife) Philosophical: Boethius (6th c. Christ and Satan . fides. Orosius. The Panther. especially to the classical European traditions of ancient Greece and Rome.7th -8th c. scientific treatises.V.III.7th c. The Phoenix (Lactantius) (b) Courtly poetry: .II.: knowledge of the self Bk. Soliloquies (Soliloquia): Bk I.Alfred's educational programme was meant: .IV.: evil never goes unpunished nor good unrewarded Bk. monk (Jarrow). Deor's Lament (c) Heroic poetry: .10 .a significant military leader.Widsith.Aldhelm (rhythmical poetry in Latin) . St. veritas) Bk. also: Genesis.The Anglo-Saxon Bestiary: The Whale.Beowulf.Alfred wanted to develop a complex programme of translations from Latin into Anglo-Saxon: .7th -8th Venerable Bede : Anglo Latin writer. The Jarrow and Wearmouth School (Benedict Biscop) . he wrote grammatical and rhetorical handbooks.He himself translated various works: Historical: (5th c).King Alfred the Great (871-900) of Wessex: . Guthlac.The Dream of the Rood institute some continental legitimacy for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom .) (b) The Benedictine Revival (10th develop a complex programme of translations from Latin into Anglo-Saxon: . -The Ecclesisastical History of the English People: useful information concerning the life and mentality of the Anglo-Saxons Second period: 10th –11th centuries: the early Renaissances: (a) The Alfredian Renaissance (9th-10th c. Christ (Ascension). caritas. charity and truth (sperantia. Juliana.-9th c).): The Consolation of philosophy Bk. bishops must be learned in order to be able to teach others.Caedmon's school: Caedmon's Hymn.Cynewulf's school: The Fate of the Apostles. The Pastoral Care (De cura pastoralis): the duties of the clergy. Andreas. on man's free will which is consonant with God's foreknowledge .true happiness is in God alone Bk. biblical commentaries. Daniel. Historia universalis (The History of the World).to educate the clergy into classical and Christian culture . Exodus. Venerable Bede (7th c). The Canterbury School (Theodore of Tarsus. Historia ecclesiastica gentis anglorum Biblical: The Psalms Theological: Gregory the Great. The Battle of Maldon Prose: . faith.II.Anglo-Latin prose writings and translations (7th c. Augustine. Search for the presence of God through: hope.on the immortality of the soul Bk.

exalting a past belonging to the poet's culture. the earth for the sons the holy Creator. perhaps Homer. Basic information: . Structure [narrative]: . while other [references to Christ. Cotton Vitellius A XV . rites. gentle. eternal. angels. is high-minded.] .Composed in East Anglia probably by a Danish cleric around 700.Aelfric [11thc. Fall of Angels. Characterization of Beowulf: . cross. homilies [sermons] (in Latin and in the vernacular) . He first created Heaven as a roof.Christian elements refer mostly to Old Testament [Cain.Ms. earth of heaven's kingdom the Keeper and his Wisdom as he of marvels lists several attributes of the Godhead. holy relics. the hero. etc] are missing .Beowulf. historiography. recorded by two scribes . glossaries. pp. in Late Wessex dialect.19-20] . 1973). The Benedictine Revival . Kermode. (Oxford: OUP.a picture of a heathen and heroic society coloured by Christian ideals of thought and deed Excerpt: Beowulf [final part] . Textual excerpts from the readings. as well as religious Anglo-Saxon poems 2. all mighty protector. Then the middle-enclosure The eternal Lord. of mankind the Protector thereafter made the Lord Almighty. hagiography (lives of the saints) . and eventually sacrifices himself for his people 4. Aim of the poem . the Deluge]. Swedes . the beginning established.the earliest epic. insisting on those of creator.influences: it is possible the English author may have known the Aeneid]. it deals with Scandinavian characters: Geats.divided into two episodes: B. For men.]: grammars.c]: Sermo Lupi ad Anglos [Wulf’s sermon to the English] C. deities . Hollander et al.under King Edgar): the Benedictine monks wrote books on grammar. subsequently in written form around 1000. as a young warrior and B as old king ..contains significant pagan elements in descriptions of customs.similar to the Roman Aeneid. some of which were current in liturgy Now we must praise Of the Lord the power The work of the Glory-Father. F. TEXT I Caedmon’s Hymn [The Oxford Anthology of English Literature.Wulfstan [11th. The eternal Lord.two other authors contributed to the development of literature soon after: .11 (b) 10th –11th c. ed.elaborate complex of fact and myth 3.. J.the poem was assigned to Caedmon [7th c. but which is expressed under the influence of a foreign civilization (as was Greece to the Latin poet Virgil) . TEXT II Beowulf 1. Danes. courageous.

Thus made their mourning the men of Geatland. heroes mourning their master dear. the widow old. hardy heroes. the worthiest ever that wit could prompt in their wisest men. Wood-smoke rose black over blaze. the battle-brave's beacon.12 […] Then fashioned for him the folk of Geats firm on the earth a funeral-pile. and shame. her hair upbound. The folk of the Weders fashioned there on the headland a barrow broad and high. In heavy mood their misery moaned they. to his kin the kindest. as the boon he asked. to mourn their king. They praised his earlship. Then on the hill that hugest of balefires the warriors wakened. -. chant their dirge. and they laid amid it the mighty chieftain. hot at the heart. the rounds and the rings they had reft erewhile. -trusting the ground with treasure of earls. a band of twelve. and said full oft she dreaded the doleful days to come. deaths enow.The smoke by the sky was devoured. of men he was mildest and most beloved. till the fire had broken the frame of bones. and hung it with helmets and harness of war and breastplates bright. keenest for praise. from hoard in cave. and doom of battle. Round brands of the pyre a wall they built. heartily love. their master's death. where ever it lies useless to men as of yore it was. Then about that barrow the battle-keen rode. They placed in the barrow that precious booty. by ocean-farers far descried: in ten days' time their toil had raised it. Wailing her woe. for their hero's passing his hearth-companions: quoth that of all the kings of earth. . atheling-born. and blent was the roar of flame with weeping (the wind was still). and their chieftain honor. lament to make. his acts of prowess worthily witnessed: and well it is that men their master-friend mightily laud. when hence he goes from life in the body forlorn away. gold in the earth. for Beowulf's death sung in her sorrow.

. The Roman of the Rose [http://romandelarose. M. A. Lovett.S. D (Berkley.1 (London:Secker and Warburg.. D. Vol. R. 23-28 A.html Secondary Sources Baugh. led by Duke William. trans. Mass. and J. with E. pp. pp. Consolation of Philosophy.V.39-45 Fletcher. English society was structured according to feudal rules and tribal links and vassalage connections reinforced one another. 1948). Burge.: Harvard UP. Historical Background .13 LECTURE NOTES IV MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE [1]. Stahl and R. the Anglo-Saxons led by king Harold were defeated by the Normans. 2 of Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts (New York: Columbia University Press.31-88 Day. A Literary History of England (London:Routledge and Kegan Paul. R.harvard.W.. Martianus. G. R.112-156 Moody. 1977). pp. and forced it into a secondary position.. At the same time the rise of universities Oxford and Cambridge. Under William’s followers and later.. it experienced civil war [the War of the Roses. The Discarded Image.. As most of the Norman nobility owned properties both in France and England. ed. A Critical History of English Literature.C. and culture were dominated by the Norman French traditions. 15 th c. University of California Press. Johnson.].. this period contributed with a remarkable ecclesiastical architecture and a flourishing of the decorative arts.By the beginning of the 11th c the Anglo-Saxon/Danish population was confronted with the invasion of the French Normans. The Marriage of Philology and Mercury. An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Cambridge: CUP. were instrumental in renewing the interest for the classical studies thereby including England in the 13 th . trans.S. ed. MEDIEVAL ALLEGORY Sources: Primary sources: Boethius. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. An Annotated Edition. Latin Middle Ages and European Literature.106-127 Daiches. W.S. . Anglo-Danish Meung. during this time England became closely connected to the continent.R. .Pearsall.Trask (Princeton: Princeton UP. Slavitt (Cambridge. 53-66 Lewis.H. and social uprisings or even incipient religious differences [the Lollard movement.1936). 2007 [1919]).courses. W. The Allegory of Love. 1918). English politics. C. 1969).The Norman rule in England was characterized by an increased continental influence: Norman aristocracy displaced the local. pp.fas.The English Middle Ages were marked by violent and lengthy conflagrations: England took part in the Hundred Years War [14th c. pp. C. 1964) Lewis. A Study in the Medieval Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon.. administration.M. excerpts from the B-Text: http://www. 1982) Piers the Plowman. L. trans. pp. 2008) Capella. . 14 th c]. 1953)..109-151 Curtius. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday.. afterwards known as William the Conqueror. pp.E. D.].org/#illustrations ] Piers Plowman by William Langland. In 1066.223-226 Lorris. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. pp. led by personalities such as Robert Grosseteste [Oxford]. 1963).. under the dynasty of Anjou/Plantagenet. 44-111.Insofar as culture was concerned. vol.

John Wycliff (d) Imitative or transitional period (1400-1500) . whereas the new aristocracy and clergy used Norman French or ecclesiastical Latin.Hagiographic writings: The Katherine group: Exaltation of Virginity.languages used: Norman French. mostly through synonymy .Period and general characteristics: (i) Period (a) Period of religious record (1066-1250) . the former Anglo-Saxon population speaking Anglo-Saxon. continental Renaissance.moral and edifying themes rather.The population was divided along linguistic lines.histories: Wace (Brut).the Teutonic alliterative verse was replaced by French syllabic rhyme (that prevailed in Europe) (a) Survival of the Old English tradition . during the last part of the Middle Ages.Anglo-Saxon mss.under the Norman influence the English acquire continental tastes in literature and become acquainted with the European literature which had shaped those tastes .efforts to instruct the people (b) Period of religious and secular literature (1250-1356) .the literature of this period was available in a large body of material . Aelfric's homilies. which contributed to the development of literature. than fictional prevailed .there is still interest in Anglo-Saxon literature . Anglo-Saxon. are still copied: King Alfred's translation of Boethius. Juliana. was a period of enrichment of the English language. later: Middle English . Monmouth (The History of the Kings of England) romances (the romance cycles) .Geoffrey Chaucer. William Langland.Penitential literature: Sinners Beware (warning against the 7 deadly sins. Middle English Literature.after a first period characterized by a division of languages. Cnut's Song .-13th c. Queen Matilda. including French and English romances (c) Period of the great individual authors . .literature was stimulated by royal patronage of Henry I. a memento mori. Old English experienced a transformation which eventually led to the emergence of Middle English. . and trying to preserve their customs and culture. under Norman pressure. . Latin.A whole range of religious and moral literature develops: .) .marked by Chaucer's influence (ii) General characteristics of literature after the Norman Conquest: . the Pearl poet. .the most frequent themes were . Margaret (b) Introduction of Norman literature: (12th c.Verse sermon:Poema morale. More sophisticated continental traditions were brought to England. and then Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine . B. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (up to 1154).various forms of literature.the learned clergy stimulated education and the intellectual life .the Normans develop the institution of patronage (wealthy Normans supported the development of the arts) . with various local dialects.Monastic rules: Ancrene Riwle .14 c. Lives of St.

which is based on the notion of temptation and implicitly.Ares (Mars) .abstract notions like faith (Fides). there is a conflict between duty and inclination a new ethics appears. Prudentius) takes over and adapts Roman ethics (Epictetus. mind (Mens).fabliau (pl. Augustine. Christianity (with St. is assimilated to Chronos.fables: moralizing poems using animals to express human vices/virtues .a rhetorical figure/device belonging to interpretation . indecent stories of coarse humour .in this process. fabliaux): crude. the ancient gods are increasingly perceived as mere personifications and not as divinities: .a change begins during the late Antiquity. a personification of time .no longer the God of war but a (literary) representation or personification of war. The Allegory of Love.links together two different meanings. mystical writings (iii) drama: . biographies.Kronos (Saturn) . Mediaeval allegory: [references are especially to C.religious drama mysteries (Biblical stories concerning events and personalities form the Old and New Testaments) miracles (lives of the saints) moralities (fight between goo and evil: vices and virtues) interludes (comical plays) 3. that there was ease and pleasure in accomplishing good acts. Lewis. 112-156] (a) Definition: . of sin as a consequence the idea of fight against temptation induces the idea of man as a soldier . religious treatises.during the Middle Ages allegory was employed on a large scale (b) Origins in: (i)The change in the perception of the sacred . Types of literary discourse Genres: (i) poetry . an abstract meaning is rendered intelligible by another concrete meaning (image) . pp. . . and that no moral effort was necessary to do good things during the late Antiquity and early Middle Ages. Tertullian. Seneca. Paul. political treatises.history. Marcus Aurelius) from this perspective. Nature (Kinde or Kin) are understood as personifications - (ii) The profound change in the understanding of moral experience a change occurs at the level of morality as well the ancient Greek (Aristotle) considered that a really moral or good man abstains voluntarily from doing evil. harmony (Concordia). 44-111.15 longer the titan. Piety (Pite). which is parallelled by the rise of Christianity as a main religion.caroles/songs (of love and marriage) . philosophy.romances: poems about love and heroic deeds of arms (ii) prose: .S.

during the Middle Ages allegory is used on a large scale (i) didactic: . the moral how you act. (c) Types of allegory: . our redemption accomplished through Christ.Dante also speaks of the four meanings. moral interpretations .. the allegory [teaches] what you believe. Paul sees Christ as a fighter against Satan and the good Christian has to emulate Christ . of many senses [allegories]. Lady Rhetoric. Augustine speaks of a divided will and fight between good will and bad will . the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt in the time of Moses is signified. in the anagogical sense. in the moral sense. the house of Jacob from a barbarous people: Judea was made his sanctuary. and a second from the things signified by the letters. states of mind. / Moralis quid agas.literal: grammatical. in his poem Psychomachia. or senses.. (iii) The development of rhetoric rhetoric had a special connection with the interpretation of obscure passages in the Bible there were several interpretations of Scripture: . We call the first sense "literal" sense. related to courtly love . Lady Philosophy. between virtue and vice A consequences of this moral change can be seen in the allegorization of vices and virtues [as human representations]. that is. of man [as a soldier]. feminine characters such as Lady Grammar. or of man’s life [as fight or pilgrimage].Prudentius. they can all be called allegorical. of allegory in his epistle to Can Grande della Scala. in the allegory. To clarify this method of theoretical books or curricula grammar.historical meaning .e. speaks of a struggle (psychomachia) over the human soul between good and evil.according to a medieval adage attributed to Nicholas of Lyra [1330]: "Littera gesta docet. philoosphy and other disciplines are illustrated by allegories . the conversion of the soul from the grief and misery of sin to the state of grace. but: “Rather.allegorical characters indicate various moods.anagogical (eschatological).16 (miles) later adopted by mediaeval knighthood The fight between good and evil in various authors: Classical authors: . etc.St. or "moral" or "anagogical". the exodus of the holy soul from slavery of this corruption to the freedom of eternal glory. Martianus Capella [ see Annex for detailed references] (ii) erotic: .Seneca thinks that soldiers do not rest but try to conquer all things Christian authors: . i. He says the allegories of his work are not simple. Boethius. the second the "allegorical". as in Prudentius. quo tendas anagogia" ("The letter teaches the deeds/actions. A first sense derives from the letters themselves. etc. it may be called "polysemous". interpretations related to salvation and afterlife . consider this verse: When Israel went out of Egypt. Israel his dominion (Psalm 113). vices.tropological (moral). Now if we examine the letters alone. etc.St. virtues.Epictetus regards life as a soldier's service . the anagogical where you are going")] . feelings.allegorical or typological: prefigurations of New Testament in the Old Testament . rhetoric. quid credas allegoria.

contrition and repentance. Father of Falsehood · who built it himself. a corrupt city and immoral city. TEXTS: [This might give you an idea about the homiletic allegories] William Langland [c. Judas he jockeyed · with Jewish silver. began by Guillaume de Lorris and completed by Jean de Meung [13th Prologue describes the disastrous situation of London. Do-Better and Piers The Plowman.harvard.].The Poem exists in 3 versions: The A-Text: Prologue and Vision of Piers Plowman." For rightful Reason · should rule you all. or in the anonymous morality Everyman . Deo · or else ye do ill. Piers Plowman.fas. events.allegorical characters: Piers Plowman (for Christ or the good Christian).homiletic allegories are meant to illustrate religious questions which may be difficult to understand or to provid ea refined expression for these questions . And tutor of your treasure · to give it you at need. such Fair Welcome or Jealousy. Charity .allegorical states of mind or habits: Recklesness (nesabuinta).examples of homiletic allegores can be found in William Langland. the seven Deadly Sins (Avarice." quoth God · "that Caesari belongeth Et quae sunt Dei. [8][…] "Reddite Caesari. I beseech you?' `That is the castle of Care · whoso cometh therein May curse he was born · in body or in soul. `That dungeon in the dale · that dreadful is to see. Hope.' Then I asked her plainly · by him that made her.17 . Everyman (for all mankind) . And then on elder · hanged him after. Therein abideth a wight · that is called Wrong. Envy. Greed. the three virtues: Faith. the authors describe how the Lover courts his Lady and eventually succeeds to pick a the red Rose [allegorical representation of fulfilled love]. [for more details see: http://www. or of the Lady’s moods. (iii) homiletic: . Adam and Eve · he egged on to ill. For husbandry and they · hold well together. In his quest he meets various characters which are allegorical illustrations of courtly love as Generosity. etc.1332?-1400?] is the supposed author of Piers Plowman . C-Text .for example in Le Roman de la Rose. Passus I. a revised version of the previous .allegories of institutions: the Church C. Counselled Cain · to kill his brother.] .allegorical actions : life as a pilgrimage or an ordeal . and is followed by the description of Piers’ [the ploughman] attempts to remedy this situation by showing the people the way to attain moral redemption by confession. etc. What may it mean · ma dame. Anger. . And Mother-Wit be warden · your wealth to keep. Pride. Lechery). Sloth.It is an example of complex forms of various medieval allegories [characters. the B-Text: A-Text revised to which another text is added: Life of Do-Well.

A.] Boethius. ed. And asked her in the high name · ere she thence went. And to teach me kindly · on Christ to believe.[This manuscript] dates to the late tenth or early eleventh century. ANNEX: Prudentius." Fides (Faith) and Veterum Cultura Deorum (Worship of Old Gods) Pudicitia (Chastity) and Sodomita Libido (Lust of the Sodomite) Patientia (Patience) and Ira (Anger) Mens Humilis (Humility) and Superbia (Pride) Sobrietas (Soberness) and Luxuria (Indulgence) Operatio (Good Works) and Avaritia (Avarice) Concordia (Concord) and Discordia (Discord) [Source: Ohlgren.) http://www. The Consolation of Philosophy “I was writing this in a silence broken only by the scratchings of my quill as I recorded these gloomy thoughts and tried to impose upon them a certain form that in itself is curiously anodyne.fas.. [Source: http://www.uvm. Christ Church "The Psychomachia by Prudentius (Aurelius Prudentius Clemens. And prayed her piteously · to pray for my sins. I received thee first · and taught thee the faith.18 He is the letter of love · and lieth to all. Thomas That I might work his will · that made of me man. Psychomachia London.The poem recounts battles between seven pairs of virtues and vices. It is as dear a darling · as dear God himself. (Kalamazoo. Then had I wonder in my wit · what woman it were That such wise words · of Holy Writ showed.. ..harvard.' quoth she · 'truth is the best. VIII. `Show me no treasure · but tell me this only -How may I save my soul · thou that holy art held?' When al I trasures are tried. Bristish Library MS Cotton Cleopatra I appeal to Deus caritas · to tell thee truth.D. Who indeed she was · that taught me so fairly? [9]`Holy Church I am. : Medieval Institute Publications..' quoth she · 'thou oughtest me to know. b.html] D. And thou broughtest me sponsors · my bidding to fulfil And to love me loyally · while thy life lasteth. Those who trust in his treasure · betrayeth he soonest.. personified as warrior maidens. Anglo-Saxon Textual Illustration.' Then I fell on my knees · and cried of her grace. 348) was one of the most popular Latin poems of the early Middle Ages. Western Michigan University. 1992. Mich.

19 when there was a presence of which I gradually became aware looming over my head.. [Source: Boethius. which shone on the outside with light ivory. and which darted back and forth--with which by gentle rubbing she gradually cleaned dirty teeth and ailments of the tongue and the filth which had been picked up in the town of Soloe. when she had been a long time in hiding. the fi g ure of a woman whose look filled me with awe. Capella. Although this poultice was effective in assisting memory and attention. But it had darkened like a smoke-blackened family statue in the atrium as if through neglect and was dingy and worn. In her right hand she held a few books. and. [244] Out of this box she took first a pruning knife with a shining point. L. solecisms. with which she said the harshness of the most unpleasant voice could be made melodious. Grammar [223] So Latona's son [Apollo] moved forward from her former place one of the servants of Mercury. Her burning gaze was indescribably penetrating.. without seeming to change. I was certain that if she had a mind to stretch her neck just a little. yet by its nature it kept people awake. Vol. with which he said she could prune the faults of pronunciation in children. and in her left she carried a scepter. a powder which was thought to be made of ash or the ink of cuttlefish. and clearly bits of the fabric had been torn away. where it would be utterly lost to human view.” <From the OED entry for solecism: "speaking incorrectly. Some ruffians had done violence to her elegant dress. she had woven it herself. but then. Slavitt (Cambridge. so that her head all but touched the heavens.: Harvard UP. Mass.’’>] (64-65) [Source: Martianus. she appeared to be extraordinarily tall. Consolation of Philosophy. unlike that of anyone I have ever met. Burge. she moved about in Greek dress. with E. as I later learned. note: “I. her face would penetrate the skies. [226] She also brought out a file fashioned with great skill. according to the custom of Romulus [i.e. a fine piece of cabinetmaking. where she had lived and prospered for the greater part of her life. D. This woman claimed that in Attica. then they could be restored to health with a certain black powder carried through reeds. but because of the Latin gods and the Capitol and the race of Mars and descendants of Venus. and while her complexion was as fresh and glowing as that of a girl. who said that she had been born in Memphis when Osiris was still king. The Marriage of Philology and Mercury. Then she took out a very sharp medicine which she had made of fennel flower and the clippings from a goat's back. Her dress was a miracle of fine cloth and meticulous workmanship. which she said should be applied to the throat when it was suffering from bucolic ignorance and was blowing out the vile breaths of a corrupt pronunciation. an old woman indeed but of great charm. from which like a skill physician the woman took out the emblems of wounds that need to be healed. She showed to a delicious savory. stated by ancient writers to refer to ‘the corruption of the Attic dialect among the Athenian colonists at Soloi in Cilicia. which was divided into eight golden parts joined in different ways. Roman custom] she entered the senate of the gods dressed in a Roman cloak. I realized that she was ancient and that nobody would mistake her for a creature of our time. It was impossible to estimate her height. for she seemed at first to be of ordinary measure. the work of many lat nights and vigils. a medicine of purest red color.e. she was found and brought up by the Cyllenian [Mercury] himself. trans. [225] She also cleaned the windpipes and the lungs by the application of a medicine in which observed wax smeared on beechwood and a mixture of gallnuts and gum and rolls of the Nilotic plant [papyrus]. Capella. I could see worked into the bottom border the Greek letters Π (pi—for practice) and slightly higher Θ (theta—for theory) with steps that were marked between them to form a ladder by which one might climb from the lower to the upper. 2008)] Martianus. She carried in her hands a polished box. The Marriage of Philology and Mercury. [Trans. 2 of Martianus Capella and the Seven . Translated by William Harris Stahl and Richard Johnson.

” [Source: http://roseandchess. In the dream. Honesty. ending with the winning of a kiss from the Lady.uchicago. by Jean de Meun. he sets out to pluck the rosebud that has overwhelmed his senses. False Appearance and Forced Abstinence trick and strangle Slander. Pity and Venus. His bliss is short-lived. begun by Guillaume de Lorris ca. 1230 and completed. in a different 1977). Shame and Fear who imprison Welcome ever more securely. but is confronted with Danger. The authors create a complex allegory of the romance between the Lover and the Rose. as the forces of resistance oppose him in the second part of the poem. he calls his army to assail the castle with the help of Venus (carnal love). the Lover recounts his dream.] Le Roman de la Rose [summary]: “Le Roman de la Rose. whom Jealousy has imprisoned along with Warm Welcome. written by de Lorris. The Lover sets out on a renewed quest to conquer the heart of his love. the Lover discovers a walled garden and gains entrance thanks to a beautiful young woman. written by de Meun. causing Danger. A tour of the garden brings him to a beautiful bed of roses by the Fountain of Love. the flower and its attendants represent the Lady and her sentiments while being wooed. In the quest to pick the Rose (to achieve the conquest of love).lib. The battle over. as men are by nature untrustworthy. and the conflicting emotions he will feel. Slander. Love explains to the Lover how he ought to conduct himself. Before those forces can conquer the Lover. With help from Warm Welcome. 1270-80. thus entering the wall and freeing Courtesy and Generosity. The four confront the old woman guarding Warm Welcome. who advises on table manners and dress for young women and recommends that they not be faithful to only one man. Venus sets the castle on fire. he succeeds in overcoming Chastity and obtaining his desire. the Lover is able to complete his pilgrimage and at last pluck the rosebud. Jealousy and her companions to flee. builds on the concept of courtly love found in the poetry of the troubadours. He meets Diversion and dancers who represent courtly values such as Beauty and Generosity. Pierced by the arrows of the god of love.html] . The long and arduous battle is interspersed with didactic lectures by such figures as Reason. In the first part of the poem. The Lover gains admittance to see Warm Welcome. ca. Aided by Friend. Fear and others.20 Liberal Arts (New York: Columbia University Press. the Lover makes his way through the thicket of thorns and confronts Danger and his allies.

pp. ed. Toronto: Paulist Press. J. Moody.. at http://www. vols. Hollander et al. trans. Walsh.. 1981) Dionysius the Areopagite. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. pp. Kermode.1. pp. The Mind of the Middle Ages. R.S.1-43. F. 73-75 Baugh. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday.. W.1375) (Oxford: OUP.). R. (Oxford: OUP. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite. M. 1988) pp.. 1941). 1948). Parker (London: Parker. M. C. D. J. 1953) pp. 284-348 Anonymous.. 2007[1919]). R. AD 200-1500. The Scale or Ladder of Perfection.s. 1963).C. The Art of Courtly Love. Trans.Boroff (Norton. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. Dalgairns (Westminster: Art and Book Company. Scott. Andreas. pp.46-53 Fletcher.. 165-199 Daiches. (eds. Harvey. The Allegory of Love. pp. 31-88 Day. Lovett.H. 1969)... J. A.1918).. o. ed. The Fire of Love and Mending of Life or the Rule of Living. 1908) Misyn. R.2. pp. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Rolle. pp. 1948). A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. 1973). 2007 [1919]).C. trans. A. 1963).html] Secondary sources: Baugh. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism (c. New York. (1901) Hilton..53-55 Fletcher. M..A Study in the Medieval Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon..S.H. B.. 66-74 Lewis. Parry (New York..P. S. W.. W. Columbia UP. ed. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 53-66 1918). pp. A Historical Survey (New York:Knopf. R.. ed. 28-34 Sources [Mystical Love]: Primary sources: Anonymous.. G. 1897) Julian of Norwich. Warrack.S. The Cloud of Unknowing. M. 1936). F..V.. 165-173 Moody. vol. Revelations of Divine Love.. A Critical History of English Literature.V.21 LECTURE NOTES V MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE [2] COURTLY LOVE AND MYSTICAL LOVE Sources [Courtly Love]: Primary sources: Anonymous. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.the-orb.106 (1896) Secondary sources: Artz. R. Tugwell. J. pp. A.1100-c.. 225-229 Day. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner.. M. pp.1 (London: Secker & Warburg. Lovett. J. trans. trans.34-35 . 1967) Capellanus. EETS. pp.. J.. A. R.

A. The Medieval Conception of Courtly Love
1. Courtly love: general aspects
(a) Description:
- a phenomenon that emerged in the Middle Ages
- it was understood as a relation of vassalage of a man to a woman of a higher social rank
- it appealed to a form of idealized adultery that was meant to be a trial to test resistance to
- it had its own code of honour and courts of judgment
- in this context love became associated with ritual courtesy and obedience
(b) Origins and influences:
- a combination of several traditions:
(i) a classical tradition: Ovid's Ars amandi (Ars amatoria)
(ii) a Christian tradition which advocated a revised attitude towards woman
- this shifted the focus from sinful woman (Eve) to woman as contributor to salvation as
mother of Christ (Mary)
- this view was supported by e diffusion of the cult of Virgin Mary introduced by the
crusaders from Eastern Christianity
(iii) the influence of Soufi (Muslim) mysticism
- the soul was represented as appearing after death in the shape of a woman (senhal)
(c) Texts:
- treatise: Andreas Capellanus: De arte honeste amandi (On the art of courtly love)
- poetry: the troubadours (Provence)
- the romance cycles (France and England)
2. Courtly literature: the mediaeval romances
(a) Definition:
- a romance is a "story of adventure” in verse or prose involving fictitious and frequently
marvelous or supernatural elements
- in Middle English romances, love is either a subordinated or incidental element
- insofar as it tends to have an element of adventure, it may come close to a form of heroic epic
- the hero conforms to a pattern of ideal knight with little individual variation
(b) Cycles:
- the “matters” (or cycles) were named and classified as such by Jean Bodel (12 th c.)
(i) The matter of France:
- centred on Charlemagne and the fight against the infidel
The Song of Roland: Roland: is in the reargard of the French army and dies valiantly with his men
fighting the Saracens rather than call the rest of the army to help him
(ii) The matter of Rome the Great:
- sources used, not Homer but 4th c. Latin writers: Dyctis Cretensis and Dares Phrygius
and other subsequent authors: Benoit de Sainte Maure: Le Roman de Troie (12th c) and
Guido delle Colonne: The Story of the Fall of Troy (Historia destructionis Troiae) (13thc)
- important elements of the ancient classical world were translated into and taken over by the
Middle Ages :
Main topics:
- the Fall of Troy

- the story of Dido and Aeneas
- the story of Alexander
- the story of Theseus
(iii)The matter of Britain:
(a) The Arthurian cycle
- Influenced by previous literature and by Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the British
Kings (Historia regum brittonum) 12th c:
- it deals with the stories of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- ramifications:
- the stories of Merlin,
- the stories of the Knights of the Round Table [Gawain and the Green Knight, Lancelot of the
Lake, etc]

(b) The Holy Grail (Joseph of Arimathea; Sir Percival) 12th c
deals with the quest of the Holy Grail, the chalice which Christ used during the Last Supper
or the Chalice in which his blood was gathered after the Crucifixion and which was brought
to England by Joseph of Arimathea;
The Knights of the Round Table try to retrieve it. The knight has to have a pure heart and
blameless behaviour. Although several try Lancelot, then Galahad, then Percival
(c) Tristram [Tristan] and Isoude (Iseult) 13th c.
- An adulterous love story between Tristram and his uncle’s bride, Isolde, which ends
with their death


(d) The matter of England: King Horn, Haveloc the Dane [added to the cycles at a later
Stories dealing with Anglo-Saxon and Danish heroes (13th c):

B. The Medieval Tradition of Mystical Love
1.Mystical literature
- developed on the border between literature and theology
- tried to convey a direct experience of divinity in a style that was a combination of theological
and literary language
- developed around the idea that God made Himself manifest and perceptible to man in various
sensitive ways;
- inner sight and occasionally inner hearing were privileged spiritual senses because through
them had a vision of the divine, a theophany [Gr. Theos, God; phanes, vision]
2. The theological tradition of mystical love
(i) The influence of Pseudo Dionysius [Dionysius the Areopagite] [6 th c.]
- several significant theological treatises like The Mystical Theology or On the Divine Names also
known as the corpus areopagiticum, in which Greek Neoplatonic philosophy was used to
understand and explain aspects of Christian revelation, faith, and dogmas, were attributed to him
- in his writings he develops a mystical theology which tries to explain the direct experience that
man may have of God in a mystical, ecstatic, union conditioned by love; this experience, which
involves a negative way of “knowing” God [negative because going beyond intellectual
knowledge] exercised a considerable influence on Western mystical writings

3. Great British mystics:
(a) Robert Grosseteste (1168-1253)
- bishop of Lincoln, founder of Oxford University, scholastic philosopher, and theologian
- is known for his theological, philosophical and scientific treatises, religious literature [The
Castle of Love], translations [Pseudo-Dionysius, The Celestial Hierarchy]
[ for more details see Annex]
Treatise on Light
- according to Grosseteste,
- (i) the universe proceeds from an emanation of light which, through its brightness generates
the higher spheres and the elements, the matter with its forms and dimensions
- this uncreated light anticipates the world and is the linking element between God and his
- this light descends into the human soul and through it man can reach a beatific vision of God
(ii) divine light, created by God, is a kind of fire
- it is a generating principle, active in all elements,
- it is at the same time inside and outside them, similarly to a diffuse centre, which forms and
re-forms all structures
- can be grasped in the purity of various precious stones of different colours
(b) Richard Rolle ((1300-1349):
- hermit, writes religious treatises and lyrics
The Fire of Love (Incendium amoris) describes
- the way in which love for God can be experienced as
- a kind of sweetnes [Lat. dulcor]
- a kind of heat or burning [Lat. calor]
- a song that is heard with the inner senses [Lat. canor]
- four degrees of loving God which lead to an ecstatic union with Him can be achieved:
(i) unsurpassable love (Lat. amor insuperabilis)
- in this first state love predominates, will not yield to another feeling;
- it is a state characterized by humility and restraint;
- it shows in the observing the ten commandments and keeping free of sin
(ii) inseparable love (Lat. amor inseparabilis)
- now love is a constant companion, always in one’s memory
- it is a state described in affective terms in which man forsakes, the world, lives poverty
and isolation and turns to God
(iii) unquenchable love (Lat. amor insatiabilis)
- when desire for being one with God appears as impossible to be satisfied
(iv) singular love, "singular luf,” (Lat. amor singularis)
- when man experiences “ghostly gladness,” an ecstatic feeling characteristic to the
mystical union with God
(c) Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing [14th c.]
- elaborated in the tradition of negative theology of Ps.Dionysius
- a manual of contemplative life which provides advice to a young man concerning the way “to
know” God, not through reasoning [the intellect] but through contemplation of the heart,
conditioned by love; the mystical experience of God involves abandoning of worldly concerns by
surrendering them to “a cloud of forgetting,” and focusing one’s heart on God.”

. accompanied by heavenly music. she sobbed and cried loud . her pilgrimages. who lived in lay communities but followed a monastic rule of life. compassion.her visions of the Crucifixion are recorded with a special emphasis on physical realism. .God should be seen as is love and compassion rather than wrath (f) Margery Kempe (1373-1438) .she is influenced by Biblical and theological texts . had a series of visions .Book I distinguishes among three degrees of knowing God: through reason and learning.she was a housewife who had led a conventional life until she had a first vision. and beat on that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing her "visions" of Christ she was completely overwhelmed by a wave of compassion for Him. who.Book II speaks of the recovery of the divine image in man by a reformation of man in faith.she claims that knowledge of the Trinity can be reached by beginning in knowledge of oneself. with a devout and delightful stirring of love. Revelations of Divine Love (May. The Book of Margery Kempe . By love he can be grasped and held. and struggle to pierce that darkness above you. . after a second vision. the saintly women. . which is the ultimate degree by which man can attain union with God. which is the perfect way. in feeling and in faith and feeling. (e) Dame Julian of Norwich [1342-1416] . but by thought.Julian asks for three graces : to remember Christ's passion. whatever happens. .she claims her experiences can be only partially expressed and only by way of metaphors. .a well educated. on one occasion when she was extremely ill. and though this may be a light and a part of contemplation.25 “For He can well be loved. mulieres sanctae. Augustinian monk The Scale of Perfection consists of two parts: . though it may be good at times to think specifically of the kindness and excellence of God. she changed her life: although married she lived in chastity and went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem and to Rome.the text also describes her life. And therefore. to have bodily sickness.a nun living at Norwich. as well as events of her time and contains a number of her prayers Margery Kempe reminds in a way of a popular form of devotion common to the Middle Ages." (d)Walter Hilton [1340/5-1396]. longing for God. through affections and through both intellect and love. it must be cast down and covered with a cloud of is assimilated to the contemplative fervour of the mind: love is meaning . and do not give up. 13th 1373) . to have three wounds: contrition. all the same.she dictated her book when she was 60 years old . And you must step above it stoutly but deftly. which cured her of a crisis. neither grasped nor held. but he cannot be thought. in the work of contemplation itself.

Then he comes to the king and his comrades-in-arms. With the pentangle portrayed in purest gold. It is a sign by Solomon sagely devised 625 To be a token of truth.describes the moral trial to which Sir Gawain. he heard a mass. 590 The least latchet or loop laden with gold.Cotton Nero A. His helm now he holds up and hastily kisses. the Green Knight. Honored God humbly at the high altar. that shone all red. 610 Parrots and popinjays preening their wings. as gold unalloyed. [the British Library]. with a hasp behind. And all ranged on the red the resplendent studs That glittered and glowed like the glorious sun. and hence it is called In all England. by its title of old. For ever faithful five-fold in five-fold fashion Was Gawain in good works. though detain me it must. one of Arthur’s knights. . part of the armour he puts on when he leaves in search for his challenger. TEXT 1 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [excerpt] . All bound and embroidered with the best gems On broad bands of silk. 605 Well-closed with iron clinches. commending him to Christ. Takes his leave at last of lords and ladies. 620 About his broad neck by the baldric he casts it. Lovebirds and love-knots as lavishly wrought As many women had worked seven winters thereon. is submitted and his failure to comply with chivalry standards. and matched him well. And a covering of cloth to encase the visor. That flashed as if on fire. The diadem costlier yet 615 That crowned that comely sire. It was high on his head.the text is in Ms. the saddlebow. . and bordered with birds. New-furbished for the need with nail-heads bright.written in alliterative verse. 600 The breast-plate.the excerpt illustrates the allegorical elements of his shield. And each line is linked and locked with the next For ever and ever.X. which is copy of an older ms. The bridle and the bars bedecked all with gold. as I hear. entire. the endless knot. the side-panels both. Part II When he had on his arms. With diamonds richly set. and cushioned within. That was meet for the man. By then Gringolet was girt with a great saddle That was gaily agleam with fine gilt fringe. For it is a figure formed of five points. . And why the pentangle is proper to that peerless prince I intend now to tell. So armored as he was. Then they showed forth the shield.26 C. with a short ending of each stanza [bob and wheel ending] . The caparison and the crupper accorded in hue. his harness was rich. 595 And they clasped and kissed him. 630 And well may he wear it on his worthy arms.

past all things else. trans. This kind consists in the contemplation of the mind and the affection of the heart. by it one's neighbor is as the creed tells. and one often regrets having practiced it. 640 Nor found ever to fail in his five fingers. the Heavenly King is offended. And first. And soberly said good day. . too.Boroff (Norton. but I prefer to practice pure love. he fittingly had On the inner part of his shield her image portrayed. . But that is called mixed love which gets its effect from every delight of the flesh and culminates in the final act of Venus.27 Devoid of all villainy. His one thought was of this. that none might impeach. . 1967)] D. And each linked in other.html] . and from it come very grave dangers. The Art of Courtly Love . And therefore. . And bears his lance before. ANNEX I Andreas Capellanus. 645 That all his force was founded on the five joys That the high Queen of heaven had in her child. although from it grave dangers threaten. omitting the final solace. He thought forevermore [Source: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. and we say that it is the source of all good things. I merely wish to show which of the two is preferable. Nor assembled all on a side. And wherever this man in melee took part. . And all his fealty was fixed upon the five wounds That Christ got on the cross. foremost of men. it goes as far as the kiss and the embrace and the modest contact with the nude lover. and it is praiseworthy. nor asunder either. This kind quickly fails. 665 Now armed is Gawain gay. As to his word most true And in speech most courteous knight. That when his look on it lighted.Of different kinds of love: “THE MAN SAYS: It is the pure love which binds together the hearts of two lovers with feelings of delight. with virtues adorned in sight. And compassion most precious—these peerless five Were forged and made fast in him. as I find. . he never lost heart. M. But mixed love. 650 The fifth of the five fives followed by this knight Were beneficence boundless and brotherly love And pure mind and manners. 655 Now all these five fives were confirmed in this knight. . But I do not say this as though I meant to condemn mixed love. that end there was none. Nor anywhere at an end.the-orb. but whole and entire 660 However the pattern proceeded or played out its course. . That is the peerless pentangle. is real love. too. And so on his shining shield shaped was the knot Royally in red gold against red gules. prized of old in lore. 635 On shield and coat in view He bore that emblem bright. he was faultless in his five senses.” [Source: http://www. Therefore I approve of both pure love and mixed love. . And fixed to five points. whose force never failed.

[. you may know that it is done with you in mind. . And I now know in very truth that a human tongue is not able to tell the tale of your beauty and your prudence. . For whatever good I may do. .28 . THE MAN SAYS: The reward I ask you to promise to give me is one which it is unbearable agony to be without.html] D. . THE WOMAN SAYS: Your request that I should consider you as my particular man. ANNEX II Ps.Dionysius: (a) the linear way: from observation of the exterior unreal world to the real. in order to restore my health. . Dionysius: The threefold perception (vision) of God according to Ps. . Lovers who live near together can cure each other of the torments that come from love. . one surrenders oneself to the Absolute Being of God Stylistic devices: (a) reductive or anagogic imagery [Lat. up. . . I am therefore glad if I am to you a cause and origin of good deeds. . agein. should not ask in specific words for the gifts of love. inner world of the spirit (b) the spiral way: in which the intellect grasps God through elaborate reasoning (c) the circular way: turning away form all . earthly and material and abandoning reason. . while to have it is to abound in all riches. . . Besides I am not perfectly clear as to what the reward is that you expect from me. . since such partiality might be to the disadvantage of others who have as much desire to serve me as you have. because you are in such haste to ask for love. We are separated by too wide and too rough an expanse of country to be able to offer each other love's solaces or to find proper opportunities for meeting. and that I should give you the reward you hope for. From the bottom of my heart I ask you mercy. just as you are particularly devoted to my service. It is that you should be pleasant to me unless your desire is opposed to me. . THE MAN SAYS: I have chosen you from among all women to be my mighty lady. .On the rules and aims of Courting THE MAN SAYS: I ought to give God greater thanks than any other living man in the whole world because it is now granted me to see with my eyes what my soul has desired above all else to see. And I wish ever to dedicate to your praise all the good deeds that I do and to serve your reputation in every way. . Gr. reducere. . .] THE WOMAN SAYS: You seem to be wandering a long way from the straight path of love and to be violating the best custom of lovers. or perhaps even more. THE WOMAN SAYS: I am bound to give you many thanks for lauding me with such commendations and exalting me with such high praise . For the wise and well-taught lover. It is your love which I seek. I do not see how I can grant. and that my deeds may obtain from you the reward I desire. . . to lead back. you must explain yourself more clearly. to lead] .” [source: http://www. ana. when conversing for the first time with a lady whom he has not previously known. like and unlike symbols .the-orb. . . that you may look upon me as your particular man. just as I have devoted myself particularly to serve you. . and so far as I am able I shall always and in all things give you my approval when you do well. to whose services I wish ever to devote myself and to whose credit I wish to set down all my good deeds. Therefore everybody should try to find a lover who lives near by.since human mind cannot think without images (phantasms). God manifests his goodness and his condescension by making Himself visible in the scriptural symbolism so that the biblical figurae reflect the invisible (b) affirmative (apophatic) and negative (cataphatic) ways. .

73-75.. trans. The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite. A. J. as Light. [Source: Dionysius the Areopagite. in-visible. etc. 1953) pp. Parker (London: Parker. Artz. Scott. incomprehensible. vols. AD 200-1500. 165-173] . 1988) pp.this underlines the dimension of the written culture there is an ambivalence between the hidden and secret and the manifest and unconcealed dimensions of things: similar to the scriptural signs. infinitely good and merciful. as letters are to the literate and respectively to illiterate people. The Mind of the Middle Ages. Minnis.P. A Historical Survey (New York:Knopf. F.29 .1. in-definable. 1897). but also in a negative way as in-finite. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism (c. Truth or Life. which are intelligible for the initiates but unintelligible to the ignorant.1375) (Oxford: OUP. the highest.2.1100-c. most benevolent. A.God can be referred to by like or similar or unlike or dissimilar symbols: God can be described in an affirmative way... (c) concealing yet manifesting veils (velamina) .

M. the plays were meant to familiarize the illiterate people with the main aspects of Christian religion and its basic text.1 (London: Secker and Warburg. 2.utoronto. (Toronto.luminarium. Kermode..htm A. pp. F.S.C. vol. in the first Thursday after Trinity (May or . Yates. parodies of mass (missa subdiaconorum).22: The Temptation in the Wilderness. 1963).H. Christian Rites and Christian Drama in Medieval England (1965) Moody.the Christian liturgical ritual made use of the legacy of the classical theatre ..M. The origins of medieval drama: (i) Christian liturgy (ii ) ancient vegetation rites and rites of fertility that survived at the level of popular culture (iii) May games and carnival practices based on the idea of the world topsy-turvy. later on Nativity and then on topics from both the Old and the New Testaments .V. O.. 1948). 208-216 Day. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. W. M. The English Mystery Plays (Berkeley: University of California General Aspects 1. 2011) also at: http://www. 388-411 Secondary sources Baugh. Hollander et al.. A Critical History of English Literature.103110 Woolf.reed. etc. pp.B. pp.30 LECTURE NOTES VI MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE [3] MEDIEVAL DRAMA Sources: Primary Sources: The York Corpus Christi Plays nr..e.. 110-122 Fletcher. 1969).rochester. A. J. 1972) Illustrations: Luminarium: http://www. CL (Kalamazoo.. in the 13th c. pp.html Everyman in The Oxford Anthology of English the beginning. 1973).. 2007 [1919])...short plays [tropes] were performed by clerics inside the church on Easter .1918). ed. Medieval theatre and Christian liturgy (i) The theatrical dimension of liturgy: . History of English Literature to 1660 (Doubleday. pp. Michigan: MIP. pp. R. which took place after Easter. Medieval Drama. the Bible. 2003).lib.the celebrant of the liturgy (like an actor) described the life of Christ in ritualic gestures to the congregation (the audience) (ii) The pedagogical aim of early medieval representations: . mock trials.a change in the performance occurred with the institution of the celebration of the Corpus Christi. (Oxford: OUP.htm The York Plays modernized version C. Lovett. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. ed. i. R. 103-115 Hardison. 273-287 Daiches. the reversal of ranks and of conventional or serious situations: the May king and queen.. D. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.initially their topics focused on Crucifixion. Scoville and K. http://www. R. and thereby to complement the sermon

( the 13th c. and his raiment white as snow: 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake. which was crucified. there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven. behold. the Orleans version of the tomb scene is divided into three episodes: the three Marys at the tomb. I have told you. after the passage of the procession. 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women. 28:2 And. the Resurrection. the race of Peter and John. and became diversified and the places of performance moved to streets [procession stations] or town squares .the plays were acted on large wagons or pageants these had three levels representing: hell. see the place where the Lord lay.” . christicole?)” Women: “Jesus of Nazareth. Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus. the Adoration of the Magi. afterwards the players came to be specialized actors paid by the guilds 4. theatrical performances were held by members of the various guilds on pageants [wagons] which followed one another .31 June) and which was marked by a solemn procession during which the Holy Sacrament was displayed.the quem quaerities plays [tropes] derive from Mark 16: 1-7.]. original plays [tropes]. as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. later. the oldest. he is arisen as he foretold. as well as scenes from the Gospels: the Nativity.these are inspired from major events from the Old and New Testaments: the Genesis and the Fall of Lucifer. came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. the Creation and the Fall of Man. the appearance of Christ in the garden to Mary . where a throne was usually placed. and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. were short dialogues.initially acted inside the church. as he said. dyers. and the Last Judgment . and. earth and heaven.afterwards the subjects were extended to other celebrations.the actors were initially members of the clergy. and an extending scaffolding for additional acting area [platea] . o heavenly one!” Angel: “He is not here. Main themes and types of plays: (a) Mysteries: Themes . behold. between the priests or deacons representing between the three Marys and the Angel at Christ’s empty tomb . and came and rolled back the stone from the door. 3. Staging and actors: . the Flood [Noah]. 28:7 And go quickly. he goeth before you into Galilee. in preparation for Easter liturgy. On this occasion. there shall ye see him: lo. 28: 1-7 Play: [trope]: [The three Marys at the tomb are met by an Angel] Angel: “Who is it that you are looking for. they were craftsmen belonging to various guilds [weavers. Mathew 28:1-7 28:1 In the end of the sabbath. and sat upon it. which was often before the church and the audience could move from one play to another.mysteries are concerned with subjects that cover the interval between the Creation of the World and the Last Judgment . o Christian women? (Quem quaeritis o.subsequently these pageants came to be assembled together in the town square. 28:3 His countenance was like lightning. Abraham and Isaac. Come. and became as dead men. 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen. on each station. the Crucifixion. a central place [loca]. etc. Go announce that he is risen from the sepulchre.

miracle plays appeared these cases the battle between Vice and Virtue is further extended to other allegorical characters representing the seven deadly sins (Pride. Hope.32 Magdalen .the English versions will elaborate further Texts [cycles of mystery plays]: .The Castle of Perseverence. the Townsley Cycle or Ludus Coventriae . Fortitude. as a new kind of (semi-liturgical) dramas. Everyman (d) Interludes . Sloth.a cycle could contain the entire range of plays.Mark 1:12-13. the York Cycle. while fasting in the desert. Lust) and the corresponding seven virtues (theological: Charity. Satan asks Christ to . Luke 4:1-13] which Christ. mostly farcical.these personified debates also offer meditations on life from the perspective of the inevitability and inexorability of death . contest. Avarice. fight) between Christ and Satan over the human soul in which Christ is portrayed in the tradition of St. as the “athlete” who defeats his enemy .the Cornwall cycle (in Cymric). the Chester Cycle. as many as fifty plays Types [New Testament]: the New Testament mystery plays (in the order of their appearance) include: (i) The Quem Qaerities plays:Christ’s resurrection (ii) The Peregrini:Christ reveals himself to his disciples on the road to Emmaus (iii) The Pastores: the account of the shepherds at the manger (Christ's nativity) (iv) The Magi: the adoration of the three magi (v) The Herodes: combination of the Pastores and Magi which focuses on Herodes (b) Miracles: Themes: .Saint Magdalene (c) Moralities: Themes: . modern English] [The passage dramatizes the episode in the Bible [Matthew 4:1-11. which affect directly the possibility of his salvation in the afterlife Texts: . from Creation to last Judgment. cardinal: Prudence. which eventually acquires the features of buffoon or a clown C. is tempted by the devil three times. the Wakefield Cycle. York Plays: The Smiths’ Play: The Temptation [excerpt.they deal with the lives and miracles performed by the saints: Texts: . Justice) . moralities or allegorical performances the religious conflict between Christ and Satan was translated into the fight between Virtue and Vice . an amusing rascal.late medieval comical’s life is depicted as a series of encounters or choices with these characters. Greed. Paul. Faith.derive from the fight agon (Gr. in which Vice becomes a comical character. Patience. Envy. .

Yourself knows how! There shall no man know what I mean But I and thou. . The Lord thy God shalt thou adore. and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world. JESUS: My Father. command that these stones be made bread.33 show his divinity by turning stones into bread. Such villainy-And thus temptations for to take From my enemy. who all sorrow can slake. [2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights. and so well-read! If thou possess. lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. thy wits are wood. Bid now that these stones be bread. on this ground. [10] Then Jesus saith to him: Begone. cast thyself down. to throw himself down from a height. I wish now that some food were seen For auld acquaintance. in order to be rescued by the angels. Not in bread alone doth man live. if falling down thou wilt adore me.] Mt 4: 1-11 [1]Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert. [English version:Douay Rheims Bible] DEVIL [to JESUS]: […] Thou! Wise man. Christ resists these three temptations. and behold angels came and ministered to him. [6] And said to him: If thou be the Son of God. us between. it is understood. Godhead. [4] Who answered and said: It is written. Here. to be tempted by the devil. for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee. and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple. The excerpt below refers to the first temptation. committing suicide. Satan: for it is written. [5] Then the devil took him up into the holy city. afterwards he was hungry. but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. each one. at all. and in their hands shall they bear thee up. and the glory of them. and him only shalt thou serve. It is written. Thou cursed wight. [9] And said to him: All these will I give thee. and to become a follower of Satan and obtain absolute power over the universe. [8] Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain. Honour evermore to thee I make! And gladly I suffer. [7] Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [11] Then the devil left him. [3] And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God. Then they may feed thee in this stead-And those around! For thou hast fasted long and lean. A man feeds not his health and mood With bread alone. for thy sake. God's own words are spiritual food For men.

(Toronto. Scoville and K. That warn I thee. I suppose. 2003).ca/yorkplays/york.utoronto. Thy bidding I will not fulfil. yet still I feel no hunger yet so ill That I will break my Father's will In any degree.34 If I have fasted long.M.html .N. Source The York Plays [excerpt] modernized version C. DEVIL: Ah! Such words no devil knows! He's not hungry. http://www. Yates.reed.

.late in his life.35 LECTURE NOTES VII MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE [4] GEOFFREY CHAUCER Sources: Primary texts: 19) Chaucer. Chaucer. a grave philosopher. pp. Coghill (Penguin. he also had a speculative intellect. (Cambridge: CUP.html) A. timeline: (http://www. (poetry translation) "Geoffrey Chaucer .upenn.html Major historical events : 14th c.. to France and Italy.for his services to the crown. philosophy. pp. The Canterbury Tales. chivalric.unc. History of English Literature (New York:Scribner.H. Life: http://www. English Literature in the Middle Ages (Penguin. R.was married to Philippa Roet.. 249-263 Coote. G.Skeat (Oxford .html http://www. during his life he was granted various annuities. G. R.fas.unc. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan wife of Edward III. 89-121 Day. ed.he travelled in Europe. D.V.he fought in France. theology and medieval science . a smooth rhetorician. he retired to Kent. . a pleasant poet. was taken prisoner and ransomed . after having occupied various positions at court (ambassador to Italy and Controller of the Customs) and served as a representative in Parliament. 1963). . N. 2007 [1919]). pp. 70-120 Daiches..71-90 Fletcher. M.his courtly experience made him familiar with the leisured. pp. W. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 (or 1328) -1400) 1. A Critical History of English Literature. Flemish lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa. 79-88 Moody.his middle class background accounts for his diligence .com/klineaschaucer. modern version in Kline. French based culture.Troilus and Criseyde" http://www.. pp. 1988).edu/depts/chaucer/index. W.son of a vintner or merchant (wine merchant) . ed. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. vol.htm Secondary texts: Baugh. 16th c. and had two sons . The Canterbury Tales.. 1918).he studied at Oxford and Cambridge and was a very well educated man: he was conversant with Latin language and culture.poetryintranslation.Education: .. S.harvard. 1969). ed. Troilus and Criseyde. a good knowledge of rhetoric..1 (London: Secker and Warburg.) . 1900) at The Online Classical and Medieval Library [omacl] http://omacl.C. Winny. 1948). Troilus and Criseyde... M. ed. an ingenious mathematician and a holy divine" (John Leland. A. with Italian and French literature. . 2. 1973) Chaucer.. 41-55 Sites on Geoffrey Chaucer: http://www..he was described as “a ready logician. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. G. pp.

the two are originally secondary characters in the Troy cycle. Boethius. in which he has lost his Queen. in the cosmic game between him and Fortune.on St. and falls in love with her. which Chaucer turns into main protagonists. exuberant ornament and a "gout des complications" in the flamboyant style of late Gothic art .presents a range of opinions on free will. . Boccaccio's Il Filostrato. . II. Resorting to the services of Pandarus. Ovid. contemporary authors: Italian and French authors Main periods: . Story: I. wife of John of Gaunt .The Black Knight explains to the narrator his suffering for an unconquerable beauty and he draws and analogy between love and a game of chess. The House of Fame (late 1379) . Troilus and Criseyde (1385) Influences: Ovid. Troilus eventually wins her love . try to decide on who should be their mates. In the city of Troy Troilus sees Criseyde. a gathering of birds who are presided by goddess Natura. some parts written earlier): . . The Parliament of Fowls (1380) .it is a tragic story of two lovers who are divided by the circumstances.from Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung. Augustine. The Metamorphoses early mediaeval writers: St.Works: (i)Translations (1368-72): . The Romaunt of the Rose [The Romance of the Rose] .indirect method of presentation. On the Consolation of Philosophy (1382-86) (ii)Early works: The Book of the Duchess (1369) .discusses the lives of various great women who suffered from love. .36 Influences: classical: Virgil. Valentine's Day. The Aeneid. Guido delle Collone. pleasure and respect of social hierarchy. He courts her but all his attempts to gain her attention are in vain.the poem has five books and is written in rhyme with the question of dreams and love .Italian (1372-1384). Benoit de St Maur . beautiful Blanche. a young widow. B. Boethius. The Legend of Good Women (1385. The Troy story: Dares Phrygius.takes as an example the story of Dido and Aeneas. her uncle. Chaucer’s Major Works: 1.French (up to 1372).from Boethius.written at the death of Blanche. Dyctis Cretensis.English (1384-1400) 3.

as his intellect takes him from physical [cupiditas] to moral [caritas] love. V. Hengwrt Influences: Similar Italian works: Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. betrayal and remorse as well as Troilus's various moods are masterfully depicted. .the choice of charity places man on the hub and outside temporal vicissitudes. Troilus can recognize in the latter the possibility to save his soul (b) The difference between two kinds of love: caritas and cupiditas Chaucer was influenced by St. Statius. Augustine’s distinction between : . which is manifest at the level of the mind . Eventually he dies.through the exercise of the intellect.the aim of the text is to indicate the permanence of bliss in the contemplation and love of the divine 2. The two lovers meet again but they part. Rising above the Earth his soul contemplates the world it leaves behind [A sequel was written by Henderson.caritas (charity) or enjoyment of God for God’s own sake . Macrobius. convinced of her functions as a test that distinguishes two kinds of love: . Criseyde has to leave Troy on an exchange of prisoners and is taken to the Greek camp.yet there is an innate knowledge of God.human love (cupiditas). Ellesmere.cupiditas (cupidity): enjoyment of one's self.the love of God (charity). which is an image of moral virtue and truth . showing Troilus giving alms to a leper who is Criseyde] Style: Criseyde’s character. to happiness and misery . using the other . Troilus moves from the apparent image [vis aestimativa] of his beloved Criseyde. to her image in the mirror of his mind [vis imaginativa]. Philosophy: Boethius .the choice of cupidity places man Man on the wheel of Fortune. hesitations. which places man on the hub of the wheel and takes him out temporality (c) Philosophical: The relation between free will and divine Providence .their (coarse) rituals cannot help them . Giovanni Sercambi's Novelle Classical influences: Ovid. thus man is subject to Fortune’s ups and downs and to her unpredictable changes . The story of their great love and happiness. tries to get killed in battle. which places man on the wheel of Fortune and makes him subject to its ups and downs. IV. Landsdown. The Canterbury Tales (begun 1387-1392) Mss. There she is courted by Diomede. which he has through his earthly appetite. or of the other for one’s own sake. Virgil.37 will can be exercised by man at all times and is foreseen by God in his divine Providence . Troilus sees Diomede wearing the brooch he has given to Criseyde and. considered an early psychological text Main themes of Troilus and Criseyde: (a) The main theme is theological: can the good pagan be saved? -The Trojans' secular values and inherent moral weakness make them subject to the whims of Fortune .their moral weakness exposes them to destruction .

as I hear.framed story constructed on the idea of pilgrimage used as a literary device . Hugh 6. TEXTS Excerpt from Troilus and Criseyde [modern version] 258. but also allegories: The tale of Griselda. Legend: (hagiography) lives of the saints The legend of little St. Bernard Silvestris Chaucer: modern auctor: not a scriptor (scribe). Lower social categories: the ploughman Chaucer as the narrator Types of Tales (which characterize directly or indirectly): 1. the haberdasher. the carpenter. the franklin. the innkeeper. Fabliau(x): licentious story/ies of coarse humour: The miller's tale of the old carpenter who is cheated by his young wife 3. country parson Liberal professions: the man of law. the Oxford student (clerk). Exempla: life of exemplary personalities. the second nun. Romances: tale of adventures and love: The tale of Palamon and Arcite 2. the tale of illustrious men 5. . the canon's yeoman. Fables: moral allegories: The story of Chauntecleer and Pertelote a satire or description of social states . Sermon: about the seven deadly sins the parson’s sermon Chaucer's retraction: in which he apologizes if he has ever offended God in his writings C. the reeve. the cook. save Hector in his time. as one who was without a peer. the merchant. the physician The intermediary class: the wife of Bath. the dyer. as I began to say of Troilus the Greeks bought dear.also a possible allegory of life taken as a pilgrimage. for thousands his hands made away.general prologue and ten groups of stories . the manciple.38 Mediaeval philosophy and theology: Allanus ab Insulis . the prioress. The clergy: the monk. the pardoner. the squire. the summoner. The anger. the tale of Constance. a compilator (compiler) or a commentator (commentator) Structure: . the nun's priest. the friar (limitour). marked by various sins and ending with the sermon Types of characters: Characters cover all the social classes and categories: The military aristocracy: the knight. the the miller.

259. 263. 264. welaway. and in this way he died. as I have said. where Mercury appointed him to dwell. in whom love grows when you age. And since He is best to love. 262. Such ending has Troilus. 260. the wandering planets. And thus began his loving of Cressid. And forth he went. this world that passes soon as flowers fair. leaving behind every element. lo. who his heart shall wholly on him lay. such ending his desire. first died. return home from worldly vanity. this wretched world. And when he was slain in this manner. his light ghost full blissfully went up to the hollowness of the eighth sphere. And love Him. which can never last.s appetites: Lo see. the pagan. And in himself he laughed at the woe of those who wept for his death now past: and damned all our work that follows so on blind lust. mercilessly. how much their gods avail: Lo see. And down from there he spies this little spot of earth that with the sea is embraced. 261. his gaze he cast. the end and reward of the travail . such ending has false words. O young fresh folks. then rose. when we should all our heart on heaven cast. briefly to tell. I say. were it not it was God. he or she. and think it but a fair. and hold it vanity compared with the true felicity that is in heaven above. to redeem our souls that day. who truly out of love on a cross.s will. fickleness. And at the last down where he was slain. hearing harmony in sounds full of heavenly melody.39 But. what need is there for feigned loves to seek? 265. Lo see. and of your heart cast up the visage to that same God who in His image made you. his nobleness. such ending has his royal estate above. And there he saw. and most meek. and begins to despise this wretched world. fierce Achilles did him kill. clear in his ascent. through love: such ending has all his great worthiness. to sit in heaven above: for he deceives no one.s cursed ancient rites: Lo see. in three and two and one. (poetry translation) "Geoffrey Chaucer . and to the Lord right thus I speak and say: 267. un-circumscribed. End of Book Five Source: Kline. this book I direct to you.Troilus and Criseyde" http://www.. and you. and the invisible one defend: and of Thy mercy. O moral Gower. And to that true Christ who died on rood. so make us. Jesus. Amen. us from foes visible. that may all circumscribe. eternally alive. speech in poetry. worthy this grace of thine. philosophical Strode. if you their books should seek. their rascally tale: Lo see. A. with all my heart for mercy ever I pray. 266. Apollo. and three. to warrant.40 of Jove. to correct. and where need is. who reign forever. in your benignity and zeal.S.poetryintranslation.htm . everyone. for love of Maid and Mother thine benign.s good. the form of ancient clerks. Thou one and two.

.. Hollander et al. 165-207 Day. the War of the Roses. whose accession to the throne marked the end of the last important medieval conflagration. 472-482.635 Shakespeare. vol. pp. R. ed. The Sonnets in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature..H. The break with Rome.. 1948). C.Lewis ELS. Astrophel and Stella.. 148 Lewis. Historical background . Elizabeth I.C. (Oxford: OUP. pp.92-98 A. Hollander et al. 1973). which gave her name to the period. England went through a time of relative political and economic stability. F. Lovett. J. Elizabethan poetry and literary theory 1. ed. set the base for the Empire. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. pp. pp. pp. 1973). A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday.41 LECTURE NOTES VIII RENAISSANCE LITERATURE IN ENGLAND [1] RENAISSSANCE POETRY Sources: Primary texts: Sidney. 2007 [1919]). (Oxford: OUP. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. W. F.. 127-133. Kermode. under Henry VIII. Hollander et al. A.. Elizabethan Poetry B. English Literature in the Sixteenth Century [Excluding Drama] (Oxford: Clarendon. pp.. Ph.502-508 Moody. pp. J. 1918) pp. ed. Hollander et al.S. F. and the attempt to create an English church also contributed to the shaping of a sense of national identity.. F. E. but especially under the last one.The high Renaissance in England coincides with the rise of a new dynasty. ed. 1973). M. Kermode.669-820 Secondary texts: Baugh.. pp. Ph.136146. Sidney. W.V.. Under the Tudor rule. ed. 636-650. History of English Literature (New York: Scribner.1 (London: Secker and Warburg. D. 483-502 Daiches. Kermode.. 1954)... A Critical History of English Literature. The Faerie Queene in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. the Tudors (15 th-17th centuries). (Oxford: OUP. 318-393] Early modern literary theory in Elizabethan England: . 318-393. The defeat of the Spanish Armada. pp.. (Oxford: OUP.. M. 1963)..936 Spenser. 1969). The Defence of Poesie [Apology for Poetry] in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. pp. the discovery and exploration of new territories. J. Kermode. The Influence of Literary Theory (i) General characteristics [see especially C.S..181-222... A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.S.274277 Fletcher. 1973). In this context English literature also experienced an unprecedented flourishing. J. R.

the main effort is directed towards richness.ideally ardent lovers. a new God .42 .inspiration is traced to a superhuman source. to a form of pneumatology. tradition to the contemporary Italian and French poetry . was twofold: . the author is a "spirit by spirits taught to write" The change that English poetry underwent in the 16th c. but licensed to create things either better than Nature brings forth. Plotinus) .develop their views over a longer period and are influenced by the reflection on sacred iconography .they claim that the model should not be a natural object but an image in the artist's mind .a great change in power and a slighter change in character . .in the The Republic: Plato denied that poetry was an art and condemned poetry together with all the other "mimetic" or representational arts: the imitative arts present us with a copy of a copy . poetry is an ekstasis or a form of divine madness through which the poet comes in contact with the gods (b) Aristotle: . as it were. ideally flowery and fruitful landscape go together with the so-called 'sugared' verse "with Nectar sprinkled" (ii) Literay theory in Elizbethan England: Philip Sidney .the aim of art is to make the invisible visible ..the poet is not a captive of the truth of a foolish world but can deliver a golden one .British poetry and drama were shaped by three major rhetorical traditions: the Platonic the Aristotelian the Neo-Platonic (a) Plato's view on poetry was ambiguous: . ideally heroic wars. forms as such as never were" .meant to lift up the mind in order to enjoy its divine essence .The Defense of Poesie or The Apology for Poetry (two quartos 1595) .English lyrics. he claims that poetry does not copy the particulars of nature but rather it disengages and represents its general characteristics by revealing the universal. on the their view. and nature are rival copies of the same super-sensuous original The Renaissance poets were closer to the Neo-Platonic conception . prose but fiction vs. the poet makes a new nature which makes himself. towards a poetry that cannot be mistaken for ordinary speech .the oldest of arts . poetry is more scientific (filosofoteron) than history (c) the Neo-Platonic thinkers (Dio Chrysostom.the best critical essay in English influenced by Italian and classical theorists Poetry is . or quite anew. is endebted to the classical.special emphasis is laid on imagination .a "speaking picture" . fact.characterized by "high flying libertie of conceit [imagination]" .in his Poetics."not captived by history to the truth of the foolish world. especially the literature the main opposition was not poetry vs.

was introduced to England by Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard. . philosophical and fictional – the last are "indeed right Poets" 2.The earliest Italian sonnets: attributed to Giacomo da Lentino (or Jacopo da Lentini (c. . which varies and completes the first. which subsequently grew into a cliche of love love poetry the sonnet took as an object of semi-Platonic devotion the lady or the Donna. . (b) the Spenserian sonnet . . ..developed considerable variations in the rhyme scheme Main versions Form: (a) the [Italian] Petrarchan sonnet: an octave (abbaabba) and a sestet (cdecde).the Italian form develops a theme in the octave followed by a "turn" or volta in the sestet.consisted of 14 lines.most of them circulated in manuscript for at least eleven years before being printed in the 1609 .a couplet (ee) (c) the Shakespearean sonnet three quatrains (abab cdcd efef) a couplet (gg) Content . notably by Dante.1215-33) but the form might have been invented by another poet at the court of the Emperor Frederick II in Sicily. .43 The Poet is: a second Creator who produces a second Nature There are three kinds of poets: devotional. dedicated to WH.three quatrains (abab bcbc cdcd) . Earl of Surrey in the 16th c.The Elizabethan Sonnet (i) The Renaissance Sonnet .derived from the Italian sonetto (a little sound or song). its pattern was set in the last decade of the 16th c.with his Canzoniere Petrarch established the sonnet as a major poetic form.a collection of 154 poems.the English sonnet expresses a different idea in each section. each of them growing out of the precedent.while initially imitated the Petrachan form. (ii)The Elizabethan sonnet . . being eventually concluded in the couplet Origin: .during the Middle Ages the sonnet was used by all the Italian poets. usually in iambic pentameters . – collections of sonnets: Astrophel and Stella (Sir Philip Sidney) (1591) Delia (Samuel Daniel) (1592) Amoretti (Edmund Spenser) (1595) (iii) Shakespeare's Sonnets (A) Description: .appeared and acquired notable significance in Italy .

called the Dark Lady. Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) Works: Poetry:The Faerie Queene.44 quarto by T. (c) Characteristics: . The poet insists on the difference of age and rank (36. Daphnaida.most of the sonnets are dedicated to a woman.The Teares of the Muses. She is apparently a married woman (152). The Ruines of Rome: by Bellay.Shakespeare's Sonnets are personal and not merely dramatic exercises. Dover Wilson) have come into Thorpe's possession in an official manner .Sonnets 1-126. .in Sonnets 40-42 the young man is forgiven for having stolen the poet's mistress. third Earl of Pembroke or . She appears as the bad angel who has tempted the good angel away and resembles the woman mentioned in the sonnets 40-42.' (cf. and the last two.Henry Wriothesley (1573-1642). 111. the 'private' or 'secret' sonnets.the relativity of friendship and love . 153-154. based on the initials of in the dedication: WH. dedicated to Cupid have no apparent connection with the rest. . dedicated to a young man. however to another affair) The second part (127-154) . "the portfolio sonnets" or the 'sugred sonnets. Complaints (The Ruines of Time.Thorpe's arrangement of the sonnets: not certain. seem to refer. Thorpe .the possible identity of the rival poet. 117) which he laments as a barrier between them. Visions of the Worlds Vanitie. taken to mean .William Herbert.Sonnets 1-17 are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and perpetuate his beauty in his offspring. . who eventually betrays the poet with his friend (144). addressed to a woman are more randomly arranged. They celebrate a profound and affectionate friendship. perhaps George Chapman. at one time believed to be Mary Fitton.the relativity of human beauty in comparison with eternity of beauty praised in poetry .Sonnets 127-152. a sensual fault perhaps mentioned in sonnet 35 and adumbrated in 33-34.There is a difference of character.the ambivalence of human love which moves between joy and and his faith in God 3. also mentioning a sensual fault. passion and jealousy. The Visions of Petrarch). The first part (1-126) . .there has been much speculation regarding the possible historical personality. third Earl of Southampton.Sonnet 145 (octosyllabic). and seem to have reached Thorpe indirectly.The sonnets come from two different "sources": . social position and age between the two men.other speculations regard the identity of the Dark Lady. (b) Sonnet arrangement: .the destructive passage of time in contrast with the eternity of art. The Visions of Bellay. Colin Clouts Come . (Sonnets 95 and 96. . Elizabethan Poets. The Shepheardes Calender (Spenser as Colin Clout). the author seeming by many years senior (d) Main themes: . trust and betrayal . 87. especially poetry . .

Book III. and self-condemned passions . especially his fight against temptation and his attempt to preserve the golden mean . The Legend of Justice describes the difference between justice with and without equity .Book VI. from Venus and eventually. Una. . by Arthur is meant Magnificence. Guyon) . reminding of Christ and of popular pageants' everyman. the way Spenser experienced it in himself and observed it in others . . Fowre Hymnes. and emphasizes the necessity of civility and courtly behaviour.a loose collection of allegorical or non-allegorical stories on the fringe [margins] (ii) A common structural idea . .frivolous gallantry . describes the control of the passions by the highest powers of the mind. Prose: A View of the Present State of Ireland (1596) The Faerie Queene (i) Structure: . a great knight and saint.the great harmony of atmosphere holds together the multiplicity of stories and supports the atmosphere Main themes: The Faerie Queene combines: ."an allegorical core" (an inner stage) where the theme of the book would appear disengaged from the complex adventures and reveal its unity: . and about virginity. . He redeems the parents of Una (Adam and Eve).Spenser's Arthur is rather different from the traditional British hero .happy love and religious melancholy All these states become people or places in the Faerie Land.The poem ends with two Cantos on Mutabilitie [change] The Faerie Queene is a combination of . Epithalamion (verses in honour of a newlywed couple). Blatant Beast.45 Home Againe. . The Legend of Holiness is about Red Cross.allegorically.Book IV. slays the Old Dragon and eventually marries his Bride. Gloriana . who is assimilated to Gloriana . the True Church (the Church of England).the quest of Arthur for Gloriana: connects one book to another through the whole poem . an homage paid to Queen Elizabeth. The historical and theological purposes of the poem are more apparent here than elsewhere. Prothalamion (to celebrate a wedding). The conflicts in which he is involved occur in the human being. not of plot but of milieu.Book I. about its place in the order of the world. The Legend of Friendship addresses the Renaissance mystique of friendship.Arthur is a lover presumably endlessly seeking an unknown mistress. has philosophical moral considerations about allegorical story of each book (the quests of Redcross's. from the Queen herself. Two structural ideas: (i) A structural idea internal to each book . [cf. who is in charge of the order of things.Book V. Aristotle’s notion of magnanimity [Arthur is . The Legend of Chastity. The Legend of Courtesy speaks of the danger represented by the mob and by common slander. Guyon represents a mixture of temperance and continence.the faerie land itself provides the unity.medieval allegory and the more recent romantic Italian epic . beautiful Belphoebe. serious. Amoretti (Sonnets).sensual temptation.the frustration of long.Spenser asks for inspiration from the Queen of the Muses.Book II The Legend of Temperance.

635 W. J. Sources: Sidney. So while thy beauty draws the heart to love.. from whose light those night-birds fly. Shakespeare. And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. Hollander et al.. 1973). I have seen roses damask'd. Sonnets. I love to hear her speak. (Oxford: OUP. those fair lines which true goodness show. ed. F. black wires grow on her head.. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature.. But ah. but the true Honour. Coral is far more red than her lips' red: If snow be white. Not by rude force. As fast thy virtue bends that love to good. F. of which earthly glory is but a copy C." W. why then her breasts are dun. My mistress when she walks.936 . Let him but learn of love to read in thee. Kermode. 1973). from Astrophel and Stella Sonnet LXXI Who will in fairest book of nature know How virtue may best lodged in beauty be. (Oxford: OUP. but sweetest sovereignty Of reason. is not the earthly glory.46 seeking Gloriana. which is the goal of Aristotle's Magnanimous man] . treads on the ground. ed. But no such roses see I in her cheeks. Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair. Stella. Kermode. J. red and white.TEXTS Sir Philip Sidney. Shakespeare. Astrophel and Stella. Sonnet CXXX My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun. I grant I never saw a goddess go. Hollander et al.--yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound. Ph. which is associated with the vision of God. That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so. If hairs be wires. There shall he find all vices' overthrow. desire still cries: "Give me some food. pp. pp. dost strive all minds that way to move. And not content to be perfection's heir Thy self.. or glory. by heaven. And yet. in Spenser’s case.this glory. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.

1969) pp. decisive came not from the Latin stoic Seneca. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. Themes and Conventions of Elizabethan Tragedy (Cambridge.. M. whose theatre was a combination of old Greek myths. Elizabethan theatre owed a lot to the classical theatre: the convention of five-act tragedy. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger. 1963).Elizabethan theatre was largely a product of a confluence of diverse elements held in fruitful tension inherited both from the Middle Ages as well as from the ancient theatre..1918).. R. Faustus in The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. comedy concentrated on everyday matters [major influences were exercised by the Latin theatre of Plautus and Terence} (ii) the medieval morality plays. the world.. which was considerably influenced by the rise and development of humanism. Kermode.M. ed. Hollander et al.V. General characteristics: Tudor and Elizabethan theatre Elizabethan theatre showed: .Lovett. General characteristics of Elizbethan drama I.152-166 Moody. In terms of formal conventions.508-518 Bradbrook... Origins: . (Oxford: OUP. pp. A. 237-268 Fletcher. which focused on the fight between good and evil. pp. 1973). often artificial patterns of Senecan tragedy with the low style of vulgar language and gross humour characteristic of Greek and Latin comedies. Ch. . D. R. and by a tragic feeling of human destiny [the major. permeated by violence.H.Elizabethan theatre was a combination of several traditions: (i) the classical tradition of Greek and especially Latin theatre: tragedy. and God.. F.W.a new attitude towards man. violence. p. History of English Literature (New York:Scribner. pp Secondary Sources: Baugh.C.1 (London: Secker and Warburg. M. murder. A Critical History of English Literature. the symmetrical pairs of characters in comedies . . Dr.47 LECTURE NOTES IX RENAISSANCE LITERATURE IN ENGLAND [2] RENAISSSANCE DRAMA Sources: Primary Sources: Marlowe.1128 Daiches. J. but also of the popular theatre . cruelty and lust]. pp. ed.a new awareness of the discoveries of new worlds and of the emergence of a new mentality.216-245 Day. vol. which showed a marked taste for carnivalesque and the world upside down (topsy-turvy) 2. 111-123 A.476-471.. pp. by appetite for political power.Elizabethan theatre eventually came to skillfully combine the high style. 2007 [1919]). A Literary History of England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.S.. 1948). [1935]1994). Historical development: 1. (iii) popular festivals: the May games...

yet they were conventional and had no historical accuracy (Cleopatra could be wearing a farthingale) .the Elizabethan stage was characterized by a certain neutrality and flexibility. Time: . innocence.temporal sequence was not really important.a bed was represented by a bed chamber . bed chamber or closet scenes . The Swan. Bradbrook. like The Globe. 2.Elizabethan theatre was an institution. red to blood. yellow was assimilated to jealousy. .a main stage which retained the medieval three-level division.the city gates by a central door etc. . the audience was interested mostly in the speeches and action .time could be accelerated or double (in a plot and subplot) 3.disguise was current.the actors had a major role in locating the scene. by induction [in the Prologue or in the course of the play] .the second level: usually for intimate scenes.companies children (often more successful than the other) II.the third level balcony: public speeches . Locality: .48 3. had its own buildings and theatrical companies: There were: . through which the actors would enter . etc.a flag indicated the performance was on (ii) Theatrical companies were of two kinds: .public theatres. with a facade with two doors. pp. The Rose. Conventions of presentation [see especially M.a church by a tomb and altar .were particularly remarkable.the royal theatre (i) The theatre had: .dumb shows – very often symbolic. titles and in a symbolic manner: . . place was marked by boards. Costumes and stage effects: (i) Clothes .rivers were presented on painted boards . with allegorical but also more ordinary meanings . The plays consisted of combinations of: .passages of declamatory speeches .colours were also conventional.the first level: the ground for the general action . Theatres and Companies: .action and violent scenes .the setting was minimal.private theatres owned by the inns-of-court or members of the aristocracy . 1.companies of adult actors . revolving around a black and white scheme: black representing mourning or evil and white standing for purity.a round auditorium .

belonging to a stock tradition.the actors used exaggerated movements.comedies were mostly artificial and rested on feigned plots.the audience could feel the allegorical significance of a formal or rhythmic grouping III. swordplay. Plots: . the descent of gods and goddesses from heaven were marked by thundering noises.clowning was also an important part as the it provided comic relief The actor had to be . personalities] . inflated delivery.dancing was used in the end. fighting . topical allusions [to contemporary events.much non-dramatic material was incorporated: song. which combined popular and classical elements . Conventions of Action 1. were related to the subplot. jests and occasionally. . stentorian.their effectiveness consisted in the fact that they depicted extraordinary beings .a good orator with a loud.were generally spectacular .the playwright could use astounding coincidences or leave the action unmotivated without affecting the credibility of the play -the stories were mostly familiar narratives. etc. .narratives were generally historical . led to the development of masques.torture scenes were violently shown .the disinterest in the causal sequence of events and the neutral background favoured the development of the action and speech conventions .tragedies occasionally derived their topics from life .feelings [grief or joy] were indicated by facial movement. Gesture and delivery: Acting was characterized by: . voice (like Burgbage and Alleyn) The actors’ grouping was formal and consisted of battles and dances.involved mechanical devices: the appearance of the Blazing Star.combined strict moral codes. which were highly artificial [allegorical pageants were often a tribute to a particular event or to a particular guest] 4. a conventional posture . dancing. The play .the Elizabethan audience did not fit all the elements of a play into a logical frame of events.grief was signaled by throwing oneself to the ground and joy by capering (jumping) about . etc. in order to leap from walls or through trap doors . in order to underline the coming together of rivals.battle scenes displayed processional entries but the battle itself was generally undertaken by representatives .a good duelist (the audience was extremely critical and knowledgeable in this respect) .a good gymnast. .was generally heterogeneous . . a statuesque attitude. Heterogeneity: .dumb shows and pageants were equally frequent. and were underlined by physical play: . revengers.49 (ii) Stage effects .the poetic language was the element that conferred unity to the play 2.

the chaste heroine. which were developed within rather rigid limits. were often ironic .the Elizabethan theatre also had a taste for allegory 3.these contraries were held up by the strength of the playwright. which was artificial.they were expected to behave accordingly.the villain. the noble harlot. Macbeth) which allowed a single direction of development and was based on a gradual accumulation of events underlying and leading to the denoument .the dramatic episodes were made up of certain types of speeches (set speeches) which were rather conventional . usually colourless the bluff soldier the pathetic child.50 . using specific poetical and rhetorical modes . but it displayed an non-dramatic frankness. which helped define the character . Characters .the plots involving peripeteia (a turn or change of fortune) were more complex but in these cases the order of events was unimportant and strained coincidences and an extraordinary use of qui pro quo [equivocation] dominated .most playwrights used the so-called cumulative plot (see Tamburlaine.all change was a sudden reversal. less important for the development of the play .they combined two rhetorical genres: the demonstrativum (praise and dispraise) the deliberativum (meant to persuade for or against the course of action) . Conventions of Speech . .though direct speech was used mostly.the soliloquy played an important part. . mostly stock characters classifiable into types .pre-Shakespearean drama made use of typical dramatic episodes. . . Scenes .they were accompanied by subsidiary stock-characters. like the repentance of the villain. and was mostly a moral dramatic statement. Typical dramatic episodes were: the judgment scene the triumph scene the siege scene the council scene the farewell scene the conversion scene the wooing scene the deathbed scene 4.characters were rather simplified. characters did not really develop on stage .with few exceptions. asides were also employed.slander and credibility complicated the action. mostly through the poetic discourse IV. although it had little expository function. who set the play in motion and was ultimately defeated.asides helped explain the plot and revealed something of which the audience needed to be conscious. before Shakespeare.

had an important influence both on public and private theatre . Robert Greene. revenge.Elizabethan tragedies displayed: a polished.The Spanish Tragedy (produced around the early 1580s) was the first and most melodramatic and powerful in the series of revenge plays. combined to produce a new literary phenomenon: the secular professional dramatist . marked by epigrams characters dominated by their passions Gorboduc by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton .contributed to making theatre into literature.Gammer [old woman] Gurton’s Needle – was an amusing comedy with sexual undertones and local colour 3. civil war. conspiracy and murder .51 V. before the classical influences were felt. . it was good theatre in the Elizabethan times.Elizabethan comedies .were also influenced by the humanist educational and ethical dimensions. .used themes of love. with an ordered and concentrated structure . and very popular VI.with their popular successes and sophisticated plays. diverse. Thomas Lodge. The first professional playwrights: the University Wits . . who did not intend to take holy orders. montonous verse a strong rhetorical character stoic moralizing emotional produced a new genre since. George Peele. Thomas Kyd. and the consequences of split authority in a state located in a mythical region of early English history 2. Thomas Nashe. and Christopher Marlowe . drama became more complex .as a result.a new group of university students. the University Wits . by classical themes.English tragedy: a popular species.Thomas Kyd (1558-1594) .there was a noticeable professionalization of both among authors and actors . English tragedy . it was sensational and had considerable impact upon other writers .of this group some of the most significant are: John Lyly. especially by the dramatic effectiveness of language itself .adapted in an original way the main elements of Senecan theatre with melodrama.the humanist taste for Greek and Latin classics produced a new kind of English tragedy. there was no tragedy in the local the 16th academic tragedy in Senecan style. best represented by so –called “blood and thunder” tragedy .a combination of sophistication and crudeness. French] tastes . Significant playwrights 1. by contemporary continental [Italian. . drama became increasingly secular. who graduated from Oxford or Cambridge.was the founder of what might be called romantic tragedy. horror. Particularities of the Tudor and Elizabethan theatre 1. about a divided kingdom.

and make Perpetual day. need of friendship. visible in the brilliance of effects resulting a combination of scholarly erudition and culture. with Faustus’ soliloquy.shows the tragedy of modern man delivered to his drives: absolute knowledge as a possible instrument of domination C.beautiful and sensuous. Part II. Now hast thou but one bare hour to live. consuming fire of love all indicating the greatness of man and of his aspirations (iii) a particular sense of dramatism in dramatic action.Dido. hunger for gold.The Jew of Malta.most of his contemporaries are interested in kinds of living: restless living and the lover's is a dramatic experiment. yet exoressed wiht great delicay and lack of impure suggestions Plays: .52 2.illustrates the theme of corruptio optimi pessima [corrpution of the best is the worst] .Tamburlaine the Great (Parts I. Edward II The Tragical History of Dr.the most expressive and grandest of the English metres “For Tamburlaine.initially planned for five acts: it has a grand opening. which emerges in a variety of topics: regal ambition.Marlowe is intrested in the complexity of living translates the quest for pleasures. you ever-moving spheres of heaven. rise. evil living . Fair Nature’s eye. turns thirst for power into a form of desperate heroism . and a sense of poetry. foolish living. and midnight never come. 1334) “A God is not so glorious as a king” (Tamburlaine. Faustus is his most important achievement . into a quest of intellectual knowledge . Queen of Carthage (Aeneid) . And then thou must be damn’d perpetually! Stand still. 1477) “And all is dross that is not Helena (Faustus. a magnificent conclusion. 762) (ii) his interest in life rather than living . fashionable living. dealing with the signing of the bond between Faustus and Mephostophiles. the scourge of God must die” (Tamburlaine. or let this hour be but .according to Baugh (508-518). passion for truth. 4641) “Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships” (Faustus. O Faustus. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) . II) inspired from the life of Timur). the two linked up by a series of discontinuous and prosaic interludes . thirst for knowledge. depicted in the Faustbook (1587). which attempts to give stage plausibility to a passage of a great deal of time (24 years) . That time may cease. TEXTS FAUSTUS. rise again. Marlowe's major achievements are: (i) his remarkable use of blank verse . drama and intellectual disputes Works: Poems: Hero and Leander .

if my soul must suffer for my sin. Jim Manis. Impose some end to my incessant pain. time runs. My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths. That Faustus may repent and save his soul! O lente. ed. Lucifer!— Where is it now? ’tis gone: And. O. ne’er be found! Source: Marlowe. half the hour is past! ‘twill all be past anon. Their souls are soon dissolv’d in elements. Curs’d be the parents that engender’d me! No. like a foggy mist. no. a month. Ch. Now draw up Faustus. I’ll leap up to heaven!—Who pulls me down?— See.53 A year. And fall into the ocean. a natural day. [The clock strikes twelve. The Pennsylvania State University. noctis equi! The stars move still. a threatening arm. That. earth! O. For. the clock will strike. Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell! O soul. when you vomit forth into the air. and at last be sav’d! No end is limited to damned souls. Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud[s]. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.] It strikes. were that true. But let my soul mount and ascend to heaven! [The clock strikes the half-hour. Faustus. and I be chang’d Into some brutish beast! all beasts are happy. come. body. Pythagoras’ metempsychosis. turn to air. see. Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years. This soul should fly from me. But mine must live still to be plagu’d in hell. And hide me from the heavy wrath of heaven! No! Then will I headlong run into the earth: Gape. 1998 . and fall on me. spare me. Yet will I call on him: O. A hundred thousand. The devil will come.. where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament! One drop of blood will save me: O my Christ!— Rend not my heart for naming of my Christ. O. come. and Faustus must be damn’d. when they die. a week. an angry brow! Mountains and hills. lente currite. it strikes! Now. curse Lucifer That hath depriv’d thee of the joys of heaven. Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? Or why is this immortal that thou hast? O. Whose influence hath allotted death and hell. curse thyself. be chang’d into small water-drops. it will not harbour me! You stars that reign’d at my nativity.] O.

Proudfoot and A.S. Hamnet and Judith (twins) [the boy died when still an adolescent] . pp. A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger.was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 . predominantly male audience I.V.. clowning). W. Shakespeare’s poetic activity: (a) Poems: Venus and Adonis (1590) . . dance. 1948). 166-174 Moody. where he died in 1616 2. If one of these is studied to the detriment of the other. 246-308 Day... gen. 124142 A.W. R. pp. . 1969)..54 LECTURE NOTES X RENAISSANCE LITERATURE IN ENGLAND [3] WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE [1] Sources: Primary Sources: Shakespeare. R.R. 519529.son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden (tree) . A. Kegan Paul. W.The actable and the theatrical are as important as the poetical.Thompson (London: Routledge. 1963).ed.Shakespeare's study is difficult given the combination of historical and universal dimensions.Through the intricate relation of drama and poetry.. Shakespeare’s bigraphy and literary activity: 1.S.made a career as a poet and a playwright ...married Ann Hathaway and had three children: Susana. gen. pp. General characteristics of Shakespearean theatre . M. teach and entertain can be seen at work in Shakespeare’s drama. Lovett. 1982) 1611 he retired to Stratford.. 1918). . A Critical History of English Literature. 533-540 Daiches. Plays [individual] in the World’s Classics series. ed. 2007 [1919]). Day. pp.left Stratford and settled in London (1588?) where he held several jobs in the theatre .The complex poetic language was meant to hold together the variously different elements of the play (song.S..The play starts with a situation and lets the character unfold . vol.Wells (Oxford: OUP) Secondary Sources: Baugh. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. William Shakespeare’s life: . then his works cannot be fully understood The threefold function of the Elizabethan theatre: to inform. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge. Eds .began to write for stage around 1590-1592 . History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. 277-325 Fletcher.H. addresses an extremely heterogeneous. Plays [individual] in The Arden Shakespeare Third Serie. M.2 (London: Secker and Warburg. D. a simple story may present terrible things . fencing. M.studied at the local grammar school .

the reign and deposition of Richard II . Histories. and Ireland (1577) which was apparently part of a larger project of the world history. Polydore Vergil.Titus Andronicus: a "blood and thunder" tragedy in Senecan style . draws upon the chronicles on the War of the Roses and the Hundred Years War Edward Hall: The Union of the Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and York (1542). Historia Anglica (1534). Italian and Spanish romances and comedies.Typological classification: Comedies [low romantic. high romantic.Henry VI (3 parts): chronicle play (already popular form of drama) . it reflects on existence in a lyrical and declamatory way (b) The history or chronicle plays Sources: . most of his plays were collected in the volume printed after his death known as The First Folio: Shakespeare’s Comedies.S. Raphael Holinshed. & Tragedies (1623) . The Chronicles of England. which deals with the history of England up to Henry VIII Historical (chronological) sequence: . a humorous display of romantic love .55 The Rape of Lucrece (1594) The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) The Phoenix and the Turtle(1601) The Sonnets (1609) 3. Shakespeare’s dramatic activity: . golden] Chronicle (history) plays dealing with British history Roman plays [Roman history] Tragedies Problem plays [skeptical. Chronological and thematic description: (i) The Early Period: 1590 to 1600 The early period shows . contemporary English authors (Marlowe) The early experiments: . with an ambiguous ending] 4.Romeo and Juliet: rather formal tragedy of unhappy lovers trapped by circumstances into death.the unquiet time of Henry IV .his desire to experiment (a) The early plays: Sources: Latin tragedy (Seneca).which covers the period between the accession of Henry IV up to Henry VIII. Scotland.the temporary military glory of Henry V in France (100 Years War) .his interest in a variety of Elizabethan traditions and .the disaster of the Lancasterians under Henry VI . English chronicles.The Comedy of Errors: elaborates on the standard devices of Greek and Latin theatre . Greek and Latin comedies.Richard III: tragedy centred on a main villain (influenced by Marlowe) .Although a lot of plays appear in quarto.The Taming of the Shrew: low romantic comedy.

tries . incapable of asserting his authority Henry IV (2 parts) .suggests the Elizabethan view on the Middle Ages .to propose a Tudor myth meant to support the dynasty .shows the struggle of the English to control the state during the early modern age . Henry VIII (unfinished) Main characteristics: Through his gallery of offer his view on the ideal king and ."Shakespeare requires Romans or Kings.adopts a moderate anti-Catholic tone . S.more complex than RIII. violent rule of Richard III .different. but he thinks only on men" (S. once a witty and aloof prince has become the model for a conquering prince .the royal status is poetized R: a more elaborate character: childish and self-indulgent.the main character. making use of elements of morality plays. Structural sequence [grouping of S’s plays according to their elaboration]: . Johnson) Richard II : . deliberately ritualistic .the limits of the chronicle play are challenged by a lively approach (c) The comedies Sources: .is a eulogy of the Renaissance prince King John . gradually learns to handle with assurance different elements deriving from Greek.the short. in a combination of awe.concludes the historical series .In following the historical dimension Shakespeare is always primarily interested in the human condition: .Two sequences of 4 plays: 3 Henry VI and Richard III Richard II and 2 Henry IV and Henry V apart from this sequence: King John .the accession of the new Tudor dynasty. Latin and English comedy.the deposition of R II is thought of in modern terms. mystery and pathos . which he mixes with elements of Italian and Spanish pastoral romance Main characteristics: Classification of comedies: (i) The low romantic comedies The Comedy of Errors (see above) The Taming of the Shrew (see above) (ii) The high romantic comedies .is marked by structural deficiencies .56 .S.alternate forms of heroic and non-heroic egotism Henry V .stands apart in the chronicle series .

which is transforms him from a mere jester into a philosopher C. the heroine is often disguised as a boy ." Then will he strip his sleeve. Harry the king. 50 But he'll remember. And say. yet all shall be forgot. we happy few.the fool (jester) acquires a different role. Then shall our names. Bedford and Exeter. But we in it shall be remembered. Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours.appeal to a mystique of friendship that opposes heterosexual love .employ qui pro quo (mistaken identity). This story shall the good man teach his son: And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by.Shakespeare: Henry V 40 This day is called the feast of Crispian: He that outlives this day." Old men forget.the comic aspect is complemented by serious. with advantages. "To-morrow is Saint Crispian. From this day to the ending of the world. and show his scars. He that shall see this day. Warwick and Talbot. And rouse him at the name of Crispian. What feats he did that day.make use of stories of love intrigue . dialogues are real verbal fireworks . Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named. 60 We few. And say.language is extremely complex.occasionally they resort to elements of fairy-tale .57 Two Gentlemen of Verona Loves' Labours Lost A Midsummer Night's Dream The Merchant of Venice (iii) The golden comedies Much Ado about Nothing As You Like It Twelfth Night The comedies . Salisbury and Gloucester. TEXTS W. and live old age.several plots (and subplots) which interlock and reinforce each other emotionally . often rather pessimistic statements on life in general .masques (allegorical forms of play within the play) are also used The golden comedies . Familiar in his mouth as household words. Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. we band of brothers: For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother: be he ne'er so vile. "These wounds I had on Crispin's day. and comes safe home. .

now a-bed.58 This day shall gentle his condition. King Henry V.J. And hold their manhoods cheap. 2009) .Shakespeare. ed. whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. Shall think themselves accursed they were not here.Dover Wilson (Cambridge: CUP. And gentlemen in England. [IV. 3] Source: W.

.. A. 277-325 Fletcher.S.revenge is not going to restore either the lost world or bring back health to a tainted society . 1969). A History of English Literature (Boston: Badger.V. M. is less a study in jealousy but a description of the anguish that a beautiful and innocent being can be guilty and deceitful . gen. Plays [individual] in The Arden Shakespeare Third Serie.. pp.. A History of English Literature to Sixteen Sixty (Doubleday. 2007 [1919]).an old-fashioned revenge play treated in a heroic tradition .2 (London: Secker and Warburg.lost play Themes: . gen. ed. in fluid blank verse Hamlet Sources: Saxo Grammaticus..59 LECTURE NOTES XI RENAISSANCE LITERATURE IN ENGLAND [3] WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE [2] Sources: Primary Sources: Shakespeare. Kegan Paul. R.Proudfoot and A. W. 1963).Wells (Oxford: OUP) Secondary Sources: Baugh. 124142 (ii) The Main Period (1598-1611) (a) The great tragedies Julius Caesar Sources: North's translation of Plutarch's The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans Themes: .Thompson (London: Routledge. Day. Eds .. 246-308 Day. 166-174 Moody. Belleforest. History of the Danes and F.well articulated play.W.S. (1565) by G. A Literary History of England (London: Routledge.tragical relation between personal morality and political efficiency . Lovett. Themes: . the original Hamlet [Ur-Hamlet] [Ur: German prefix for old. 533-540 Daiches. Cinthio. Histories tragiques. original) . vol. 1918). History of English Literature (New York: Scribner. M. shows how moral sensitivity can respond to a wicked world how an idealist man can face reality how powerful imagination may be Othello Sources: Italian novella Hecatommithi.shows "how a man can be destroyed by his own virtue" . pp.ed. 1982) Shakespeare..H.. Plays [individual] in the World’s Classics series. A Critical History of English Literature.the paradox of evil which is bred out [may originate in] of innocence .S. R. pp. 1948).R. D.. pp. W.

noble.shows a concern for impersonal justice : "None does offend none. passion conflict between public duty and private passion . marked by order. loyalty. generous. loyal to his friends.shows how the road to true humility passes through bitter insight .the question of what is natural and unnatural .human ingratitude and hypocrisy .becomes an obsessed nihilist .'s most complex female characters: queenly. hysterical.Antony: heroic. characterized by disorder.the Fool acquires a different. . coward.existence as determined by the confusion between true and false visions self-knowledge and self-blindness . structure.the main characters are not so much damned as they are reduced to moral nothingness .the degree to which power can corrupt and breed immorality .Cleopatra: one of S.60 King Lear Sources: Celtic mythology and folk tradition Themes: .a mystique of the crown.a combination of psychological and symbolic descriptions . but also domineering. generous.are neither comedies nor tragedies . betrayal.most elemental and primeval of Shakespeare's plays . noble.have no cheerfulness but show human behaviour as gross and despicable Timon of Athens Themes: . reason the Eastern magic of Egypt.contrast between two worlds.Macbeth: initially a heroic figure loyal and brave . beautiful.Folly is assimilated to revealing the truth and contributes to the tragic dimension . tragic key .man living in a world of beasts .is driven by power to self-destruction. jealous.the destruction brought about by the appetite for power .Lady Macbeth: a devoted wife . to the inability to control her body and spirit Antony and Cleopatra (also listed as a Roman play) Source: North's Plutarch: The Lives of noble Grecians and Romans Themes: . but selfish and immature (b) The problem plays . which represents the achievement of the ultimate earthly ambition the false heroism that originates in the lack of faith . skilful. the Roman world. Holinshed: Chronicles of England and Scotland Themes: .it makes use of archetypal images to produce a cosmic view of individual tragedy and destiny . all are guilty and in need not of justice but forgiveness" Macbeth Sources: R.

T. and the inability to handle people (iii) The Late Period (1599-1613) .Coleridge [18th -19th c].the recurrent idea that all are guilty and that mercy not justice is required Coriolanus (belongs to the Roman plays) Themes: . father. arrogance.the Greek represent the faith in the essential goodness of man .the importance of moral patterns .the effects of lack of self-knowledge. unscrupulous modern man (Ulysses) . lack of imagination.remoteness of setting .the degradation of chivalry and the muddled notions of honour .a mechanical handling of folk theme which combines two topics: the healing of a king and the wife who wins back her husband by an astute trick Measure for Measure Theme: . and magic Themes: .shows how ideal passion is mixed with casual faithlessness All's Well That Ends Well Theme: .the recovery of a lost child .tragic implication of private virtue .The Romance plays (tragicomedies) (called “romances” by the poet S. traditional world (Hector) .the older ruler who offers to save a girl's relative (brother.a symbolic world where innocence can triumph and the past can be undone through miraculous redemption . husband) on condition she yields to him and afterwards breaks his promise .the English (Renaissance) vision of the Troy tradition .61 Troilus and Cressida Themes: . folklore.the significance of innocence and virginity .the Trojans represent the old-fashioned. who claimed they possessed a romantic element) : Pericles Cymbeline The Winter's Tale The Tempest Sources: mythology.a double perspective: the context of the moment and the larger context of past and future . .masques – allegorical performances meant to underline certain moral dimensions Shakespeare’s work: Due to the power with which it expresses its epoch and to the way it questions essential aspects of human being. S’s work has made a major contribution to the literature of all ages.

she would hang on him As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on. Source: W. ah fie. so loving to my mother 140 That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly . Hamlet. But break. all tears. ed. to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets. but no more like my father Than I to Hercules . 2003) .married with my uncle.Shakespeare. 'tis an unweeded garden 135 That grows to seed.nay not so much. nor it cannot come to good. a beast that wants discourse of reason 150 Would have mourned longer . Oh most wicked speed. Thaw and resolve itself into a dew. thy name is woman A little month. Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes. why she. My father's brother. That it should come to this! But two months dead . even she O God.TEXTS W. Must I remember? why.145 Let me not think on't. 155 She married. 130 Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. and yet within a month . or ere those shoes were old With which she followed my poor father's body Like Niobe. for I must hold my tongue. stale. How weary. God. things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely.within a month.heaven and earth. Ph.Edwards (Cambridge: CUP. that was to this Hyperion to a satyr.ii] O that this too too solid flesh would melt. flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world ! Fie on't. Hamlet [I. It is not. my heart. frailty.Shakespeare.62 C. not two So excellent a king. O God.