Intertextuality and allegory in Virgil’s Eclogues
in Spenser and Virgil
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Damon's song suggests that very early readers of the Eclogues were sensitive to the close analogical relation between the themes of love and politics in the work, long before Servius Danielis relays these ideas in his allegories. Servius' commentary exerted a profound influence on readings of Virgil to Spenser's day and beyond. The dangers of outspoken political critique will be a major theme in The Shepheardes Calender, addressed most explicitly in September. Spenser's own inter-twining of the amatory and the political in The Shepheardes Calender, is deeply influenced by his appreciation of the games Virgil plays with Theocritus in the Eclogues. The attempt to set up a relationship of mutual obligation between poet and ruler, is obliquely thematized in the Ecloguesas a ritual of gift-exchange, taking its cue from the love-gifts of Theocritean pastoral courtship.

Spenser and Virgil

The pastoral poems

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