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Architectonics of Imitation in Spenser, Daniel, and Drayton

Architectonics of Imitation in Spenser, Daniel, and Drayton

David Galbraith
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Architectonics of Imitation in Spenser, Daniel, and Drayton
    Book Description:

    Exploring the boundaries between poetry and history on three of England's epic literary works, Galbraith argues that they enter into a dialogue with classical and contemporary predecessors with implications for understanding the English Renaissance.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7094-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. ONE The Landscape of Allegory
    (pp. 3-28)

    In this book I examine the treatment of the boundaries between poetry and history in Spenser’sFaerie Queene, Samuel Daniel’sCivil Wars, and Michael Drayton’sPoly-Olbion. I suggest that each poem recasts this relationship and in doing so enters into a dialogue with its classical and more recent predecessors. Crucially, then, this is an argument about the English epic tradition, and its relationship to the Latin epic from Virgil onwards. In order to bring this problem into sharper focus, I approach it from two angles: the uses that each poet makes of various aspects of the relationship between England and...


    • TWO ‘All in amaze’: Allegory in Book I of The Faerie Queene
      (pp. 31-51)

      Rome: for the Renaissance the name conjured up a Protean range of meanings, often with significant cultural, religious, and political resonances. For many, of course, Rome offered an image of (in Spenser’s phrase) the ‘glory of the later world’ (III.ix.44), the paradigm of empire which contemporary Europe sought to emulate and hoped to surpass. But this undeniably powerful ideal coexisted with another more negative image of the city, also of considerable antiquity, which was derived from Revelation and Augustine’scity of God, and was reinforced in more recent Protestant polemical literature.¹ Rome became identified, in this tradition, as the site...

    • THREE Translatio Imperii in Book III of The Faerie Queene
      (pp. 52-74)

      In Book III, Canto ix ofThe Faerie Queene, Spenser concludes his narration of the history of Britain by describing the Trojan origins of the Britons. This account occurs in the exchange between Britomart and Paridell who, in the words of the Argument to the canto, ‘shew their auncestrie,’ in a manner which emphasizes their descent from Aeneas and from Paris respectively.² This passage is the third in the poem to focus on the history of the island. Earlier, in II.x, Arthur and Guyon had read the ancient chronicles, and in III.iii, Merlin had prophesied the descendants of Britomart and...


    • FOUR ‘Historian in verse’: Daniel’s Civil Wars
      (pp. 77-107)

      The aspiring poet of the final decade of Elizabeth’s reign was forced inevitably to confront and to respond to Spenser. The first three books ofThe Faerie Queenewere published in 1590; the second three would follow in 1596. But Spenser had been a significant presence even before the publication of the first half of his epic. The quotation fromThe Faerie Queenein Abraham Fraunce’sArcadian Rhetorike, published two years before the first edition of Books I–III, argues strongly that Spenser was even then nominated to the company of Virgil, Ariosto, and Tasso, whom Fraunce cites as authorities.¹...

    • FIVE ‘A true native Muse’: Drayton’s Poly-Olbion
      (pp. 108-142)

      Near the beginning of hisMythomystes, published in 1632, Henry Reynolds surveys the state of modern literature. Although he deplores ‘the almost generall abuse and violence offered to the excellent art of Poesyse,’ he points to a few ‘of better ranke and condition than the rest’ in each of the major European languages. His brief discussion of English verse begins, inevitably, with Chaucer, whose status as original had become atoposin accounts of vernacular literature in the previous century. Reynolds then passes on to his more immediate contemporaries:

      Next, I must approue the learnedSpencer, in the rest of...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 143-192)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 193-224)
  10. Index
    (pp. 225-229)