‘Overset with fantasyis’
Grotesquing the dream vision
in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
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This chapter locates Gavin Douglas’s poem, The Palyce of Honour, within a wider medieval tradition of dream vision poetry. Geoffrey Chaucer’s dream vision poems, The House of Fame and The Parliament of Fowls, as well as Robert Henryson’s The Testament of Cresseid are presented as intertexts to Douglas’s vision. Douglas’s text is shown to fracture typical expectations of the dream vision landscape, the dreamer’s interaction with this landscape, as well as the narrator’s conceptualisation of the process of recording the dream vision. The poem is then set in conversation with concepts of Italian humanist poetics, which conceived of the poet as a divine conduit, a prophet, that could transmit divinely inspired discourses. The framework of the narrative grotesque is applied in order to elucidate the ways in which Douglas warps the medieval genre to integrate humanist philosophies of poetics into his work.

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