Shakespeare and Spenser

Shakespeare and Spenser: Attractive opposites

EDITED BY J. B. LETHBRIDGE
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 320
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt155jd1q
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  • Book Info
    Shakespeare and Spenser
    Book Description:

    "Shakespeare and Spenser: Attractive Opposites" is a much-needed volume that brings together ten original papers by the experts, 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 for the first time 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. "Shakespeare and Spenser: Attractive Opposites" 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.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-176-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. General Editor’s Preface
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. Introduction: Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare: Methodological Investigations
    (pp. 1-53)
    J. B. Lethbridge

    I began with a desire to speak with the dead—I began with a desire to speak of the dead to the living.¹ What would we say to Shakespeare? Might not the very idea be impertinent? To the dead we ought to listen, not chatter, and to listen with the greatest attention, with the greatest quietude, with the greatest courtesy and the greatest humility.² ‘Humility’ in this case would mean putting ourselves to one side for the sake of attending to what someone else says, and not allowing our own desire to speak to interfere with what the dead have...

  6. Beyond Binarism: Eros/Death and Venus/Mars in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Spenser’s Faerie Queene
    (pp. 54-78)
    Judith H. Anderson

    Shakespeare’sAntony and Cleopatra, like his earlierVenus and Adonis, is known to be generically mixed and even anomalous in the extent and degree to which it combines tragedy, comedy, and romance with lyric, allegory, myth, and history.¹ This is the first of several analogies I would draw between Shakespeare’s play and Spenser’sFaerie Queene, that hobgoblin’s garland of epic, romance, lyric, allegory, myth, history, and more. The breaking of formal conventions beyond their generic variousness also connects these works. In Ania Loomba’s view, for example, the non-teleological form ofAntony and Cleopatraresists closure, and in Margot Heinemann’s, this...

  7. Spenser and Shakespeare: Polarized Approaches to Psychology, Poetics, and Patronage
    (pp. 79-120)
    Robert L. Reid

    Long ago Arthur Kirsch warned me not to compare Spenser and Shakespeare—‘apples and oranges’— their world-views not fluidly complementary but mutually exclusive. The fictions, genres, and aesthetic modalities of these preeminent English Renaissance poets exemplify distinct conceptions of human nature. Though many scholars still assume a single Renaissance psychology, one that privileges Aristotelian empiricism and Aristotelian structuring of faculties (often with the express goal of explaining Shakespeare’s plays), we must cast the net elsewhere to reap the allegory ofThe Faerie Queene, for only a Christianized Platonic psychology that subordinates Aristotelian features can make sense of the three-part hierarchic...

  8. Perdita, Pastorella, and the Romance of Literary Form: Shakespeare’s Counter-Spenserian Authorship
    (pp. 121-142)
    Patrick Cheney

    We have long known that Shakespeare models the Perdita story inThe Winter’s Talepartly on the story of Pastorella in Book 6 of Spenser’sFaerie Queene. As Richard Neuse writes inThe Spenser Encyclopedia, ‘Both are exposed as infants by aristocratic or royal parents, both grow up ignorant of their origins in a society of shepherds, both are wooed by aristocratic or royal suitor disguised as a shepherd, and both are eventually reunited with their true parents’.¹ Even so, we have not examined this moment of intertextuality in any detail in order to re-think the character of Shakespearean authorship....

  9. Pastoral Forms and Religious Reform in Spenser and Shakespeare
    (pp. 143-167)
    Karen Nelson

    What does an examination of the pastoral literature written by Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare in the 1590s contribute to current efforts to understand both authors’ relationships to religious controversies of the decade?¹ English authors of pastoral literature, along with their continental counterparts, were often engaged in ‘figuring forth’ debates about reform and counter-reform with their shepherds and shepherdesses.² While Spenser’sShepheardes Calendarand the Books of Holinesse and Justice of theFaerie Queenehave been considered extensively in light of these controversies, the Book of Courtesie, Book Six of theFaerie Queene, with its numerous pastoral sequences, has garnered...

  10. The Equinoctial Boar: Venus and Adonis in Spenser’s Garden, Shakespeare’s Epyllion, and Richard III’s England
    (pp. 168-186)
    Anne Lake Prescott

    Juxtaposing Spenser’s movingly fertile Garden of Adonis (Faerie QueeneIII.vi) and Shakespeare’s seriocomicVenus and Adonisis an old exercise, and to note that both texts evoke, revise, or reject traditional mytho graphical readings of the Venus and Adonis story is likewise hardly new. In this essay I do, however, have two suggestions for further thought on these texts, Shakespeare’sRichard III, and the boar of winter.

    I am assuming for the moment that nobody in the 1590s writing for an educated reader—or for an audience that included the educated—could use the names ‘Venus’ and ‘Adonis’ without evoking...

  11. Hamlet’s Debt to Spenser’s Mother Hubberds Tale: A Satire on Robert Cecil?
    (pp. 187-200)
    Rachel E. Hile

    InHamlet, in addition to something rotten, the court of Denmark houses a strange menagerie of beasts: images of frog, cat, bat, camel, weasel, fox, ape, mouse, rat, and ostrich, among others, appear in the play, creating meaning through reference to extratextual traditions of animal symbolism, but also signaling an affiliation with the tradition of satirical beast fables.¹ Although numerous scholars have catalogued Shakespeare’s repeated use of animal imagery in this play,² analyses of these images have tended to focus on symbolic and iconographic meanings rather than looking at this image pattern as connecting the play to the beast fable...

  12. Fusion: Spenserian Metaphor and Sidnean Example in Shakespeare’s King Lear
    (pp. 201-225)
    Susan Oldrieve

    Judith Anderson has said ofKing Learthat ‘to keep insisting that the playKing Lear. . . is not really, vitally allegorical at its core is effectually to cut it off both from its richest contemporary analogue,The Faerie Queene, and from the insight of the best recent work on the nature of allegory itself ’.¹ In his introduction toKing LearinThe Norton Shakespeare, Greenblatt acknowledges that ‘It is possible to detect inKing Learone of the great structural rhythms of Christianity: a passage through suffering, humiliation, and pain to a transcendent wisdom and love’²...

  13. What Means a Knight? Red Cross Knight and Edgar
    (pp. 226-241)
    Michael L. Hays

    A word about this paper¹ —not only its subject and approach, but also its kind—to avoid false expectations. In considering Redcross Knight and Edgar as chivalric knights, I explore Spenser’s and Shakespeare’s respective uses of materials from the tradition of chivalric romance. So I rule out source or influence study. Shakespeare knew Spenser’s version, among many versions, of the Lear story, but I neither trace the untraceable—exact and exclusive similarities between the two versions—nor appraise the authors’ use of this story. Likewise, I rule out critical judgments about their better or worse use of the materials from...

  14. The Seven Deadly Sins and Shakespeare’s Jacobean Tragedies
    (pp. 242-258)
    Ronald Horton

    This essay will consider the ubiquitous concept of the seven deadly sins as a track for Shakespeare’s featured motivating vices in the tragedies followingHamlet.It will refer to Spenser’s account of them in the FaerieQueene,Book I, canto 4, as a natural source for Shakespeare. The evidence is abundant that Shakespeare was well acquainted with the 1590 edition ofThe Faerie Queene,¹ and it seems beyond question that Spenser’s memorable tableau of the seven sins would have remained etched in his mind.

    We recall that in canto 4 the Redcross Knight is brought by Duessa to the palace...

  15. Works Cited
    (pp. 259-290)
  16. Bibliography of Books and Papers on Spenser and Shakespeare
    (pp. 291-298)
  17. Index
    (pp. 299-306)