This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: an anthology (2016), supporting the earlier volume with a range of critical and textual material. The book-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode. Pastoral is linked to its social context, in terms of not only direct allusion but its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set in this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama, prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are individually discussed. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated in that age, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. All poems in the Anthology were edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts. The Textual Notes in the present volume comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets, and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names.
Mother Hubberd , itself an explicit comparison of the court with hell. Donne needs the intertext partly because it is Spenserian empathy which he edits out of his account of the courtly lowlife: where Donne concentrates on the political jeopardy of being seen as a double agent, Spenser explores the realities of endless waiting at court. Here is Spenser’s climactic vision of the realities of attendance at court:
Full little knowest thou that hast not tride,
What hell it is in suing long to bide
‘parcel’ also gestures to a spatial enclosure – a
portion of land or bounded territory over which a title-holder has a
legal claim, pre-empting Davies’s terminology of the
microcosmos as a commonwealth with its own political or national
Mindful of these formal permutations, Donne offers, in
his stanzaic poem ‘The Canonization’, two conceits for
This book seeks to interpret Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia as an articulation of a particular ethical outlook: that ethos which has been termed Philippist after the followers of Philip Melanchthon. Biographically speaking, it is well established that Sidney was familiar with the work of Melanchthon and the Philippists. 1 The ethical viewpoint that I argue the Arcadia articulates, is, naturally, identified with the romance’s author, reflecting his political and religious philosophies, which are, understandably, often also discernible in his real-life public
the most debated subjects in Spenser criticism. Far from being a matter to be settled, it is a shifting reference point for the poet’s complex handling of a range of issues: patronage and the poetic vocation, gender, sex and marriage, the institutions of Reformed faith, policy in Ireland, the question of the royal succession, and the proper powers of the monarch, for example. Close attention to these and other subjects in recent decades has replaced The Faerie Queene ’s old incarnation as a work of Tudor propaganda with a poem of satirical daring and political
document Spenser's association with a militant
Puritan sympathizer, Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton.
The pendulum seems to have swung too far to the right and there may be too
much insistence on Spenser's conformity.
We need to consider the agency of John Young, who, even if he
agreed with Spenser's politics, would not, and probably could not, have
Spenser, Sidney, and the early modern chivalric code
Jean R. Brink
The courtier Philip Sidney and I had
privately discussed these three books of Livy, scrutinizing them so far
as we could from all points of view, applying a political analysis, just
before his embassy to the emperor Rudolf II. He went to offer him
congratulations in the queen's name just after he had been made emperor.
Our consideration was chiefly directed at
Supernatural and ordinary language
The king claimed a divinely inspired, poetic, interpretative dexterity. In the fictional world of the stage, Shakespeare was also a poet-prophet as he portrayed characters who appeal to spirits to divine their future or that of their country. The playwright's inclusion of a great number of prophecies in his plays suggests that, contrary to other public venues, the stage afforded a greater degree of liberty concerning political prophecies
the Elizabethan mind are derived mainly from the work of the humanising poets – Wyatt, Surrey, Spenser, with the derivations from French and Italian literature, Fulke Greville and the Senecals – or from the work of the dramatists’. From poets, in other words, rather than ‘professional men’, Eliot derives the most familiar characteristics of Renaissance poetry. From this point of view, Roger Ascham seems to Eliot more modern than John Donne, a man defined by ‘theological politics’ to the extent that other powerful literary influences (Montaigne, Seneca, Machiavelli
Sir Philip Sidney, humility and revising the Arcadia
Richard James Wood
notes, ‘by adding a Greek termination to the first elements of his names’, prompts the reader to recognize ‘the customary pose of the poet introduced into his own pastoral poem’. 2 The correspondence between Philip Sidney and Philisides has formed the central pillar of several scholarly readings of the Arcadia .
For Blair Worden, Philisides represents the serious purpose behind Sidney’s apparently trifling fiction:
He wrote at a grave political moment, when he believed the survival of Protestantism and liberty to be at stake. […] Politics, it is true, can