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This book brings together ten chapters on the relations between Spenser and Shakespeare. There has been much noteworthy work on the linguistic borrowings of Shakespeare from Spenser, but the subject has never before been treated systematically, and the linguistic borrowings lead to broader-scale borrowings and influences, which are treated here. An additional feature of the book is that a large bibliography of previous work is offered, which will be of the greatest help to those who follow up the opportunities offered by this collection. The book presents new approaches, heralding a resurgence of interest in the relations between two of the greatest Renaissance English poets to a wider scholarly group and in a more systematic manner than before. This will be of interest to students and academics interested in Renaissance literature.
The general argument of this study is that Spenser weakens rhyme, and does so because of the problems it poses for narrative, and because he wishes to direct attention away from the manner of his writing to the subject of that writing, to what he is writing about: Spenser’s verse aspires to the condition of blank verse, Spenser’s language aspires to the condition of transparency. Each of these entails the weakening of rhyme, of which the massive repetition in various forms is one factor. After some general comments about rhyme, the author analyses some relevant practices of poets other and often later than Spenser, to gain some purchase by comparison and contrast, before coming to a detailed examination of the relevant aspects of Spenser’s rhyme. Lastly the author bruits some consequences of Spenser’s treatment of rhyme for his language and our reading of The Faerie Queene.
This introductory chapter discusses the influence Edmund Spenser had on William Shakespeare, showing how Shakespeare read Spenser and addressing the question of the relations between the them. It explores some distinctions between borrowing and allusion, and also clarifies the definition of the term ‘influence’, furthermore examining the poetry of Spenser and Christopher Marlowe, and identifying the differences between them. The chapter also looks at some of Marlowe's obvious and popular linguistic borrowings, as well as several of Shakespeare's more subtle ones, from Spenser's The Faerie Queene.
This book is the first ever concordance to the rhymes of Spenser’s epic. It gives the reader unparalleled access to the formal nuts and bolts of this massive poem: the rhymes which he used to structure its intricate stanzas.
As well as the main concordance to the rhymes, the volume features a wealth of ancillary materials, which will be of value to both professional Spenserians and students, including distribution lists and an alphabetical listing of all the words in The Faerie Queene. The volume breaks new ground by including two studies by Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, so that the reader is given provocative analyses alongside the raw data about Spenser as a rhymer. Brown considers the reception of rhyme, theoretical models and how Spenser’s rhymes may be reading for meaning. Lethbridge in contrast discusses the formulaic and rhetorical character of the rhymes.
This Concordance to the Rhymes of The Faerie Queene is based on a complete text of the poem prepared by J.B. Lethbridge, and lists every word in rhyme position in the verse portions of The Faerie Queene, including those of the arguments to each canto, of both endings to Book III and relevant variant forms throughout. Each word rhyming with the headword in each stanza in which that headword occurs is listed next to the headword; this list takes the place of the local line or phrase context supplied by an orthodox complete concordance. Against each rhyme is noted the numeric stanza reference (Book, canto, stanza) and an alpha reference giving the rhyme group in the stanza (‘a’-, ‘b’- or ‘c’-rhyme) formed by the terms listed in that entry. Terminal punctuation in the line has been reproduced.
The lists within this section are essentially elaborations of the main Concordance: lists of words in rhyme-position, organised by quantity (numerically) and alphabetically. These lists are controlled by lists of all words in The Faerie Queene, arranged similarly.
The section is comprised of: Alphabetical List of Rhymes with Frequency and Distribution; All Words in The Faerie Queene Arranged Alphabetically; Rhymes in Order of Frequencey of Occurrence; All Words in The Faerie Queene Arranged in Order of Frequency of Occurrence; Reverse Index of Rhymes; The hapax legomena in Rhyme Position; Rhymes on Two Separate Words; List of Variant Forms Included in the Concordance; Names in Rhyme Position (Omitting Arguments); Hyphenated Rhymes.
The list of rhymes organised alphabetically is of particular importance: it gives the distribution of rhymes by Book and canto in The Faerie Queene as well as the total number of occurrences. Such a listing will have many uses, but it is hoped that it might contribute to the analyses of the composition of The Faerie Queene.
This section contains the lists that form the basis of the discussion in J.B. Lethbridge's chapter, 'The bondage of Rhyme in The Faerie Queene'