Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 20 A womans face with Natures own hand painted William

Shakespeare (1599) While this sonnet may appear at first to make a straightforward statement regarding the beloved, a closer look shows just how confusing is the gender situation presented here. To begin with, the speaker never identifies him herself by gender. Therefore, the speaker can be either male or female. The identification of the lover as the Master Mistress of the speaker's passion confuses the issue as to whether the beloved is male or female. There is also the question of what...

Wars Of The Roses 14551485

Wars of the Roses comprised a series of conflicts and battles in England between two branches of the English royal family the House of Lancaster and the House of York and refers to the heraldic symbols associated with Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose). Both houses asserted competing claims to the English throne. The king in 1455, Henry VI, was ineffective, perhaps mentally challenged, and subject to months-long fits of insanity. Henry was a Lancastrian, but during his incapacity, the...

Further reading

Chaucer and the Fictions of Gender. Berkeley University of California Press, 1992. Hendershot, Cyndy. Male Subjectivity, Fin Amor, and Melancholia in The Book of the Duchess. Mediaevalia 21 (1996) 1-26. Horowitz, Deborah. An Aesthetic of Permeability Three Transcapes of the Book of the Duchess. Chaucer Review 39 (2005) 259-279. Margherita, Gayle. Originary Fantasies and Chaucer's Book of the Duchess. In Feminist Approaches to the Body in Medieval Literature. Edited by...

Peggy J Huey

Amoretti Sonnet 80 (After so long a race as I have run) Edmund Spenser (1595) Like Sonnet 33, Sonnet 80, which is often featured in critiques of Amoretti that highlight its poetic achievement, contains direct references to Edmund Spenser's ongoing project in honor of Queen Elizabeth I, that is, The Faerie Queen. He opens the sonnet by referring to the long race the narrator's pursuit of his elusive Lady. However, Sonnet 80 mostly references the many years the author has spent on what was to...

The Shepheards Calender Maye Eclogue

Edmund Spenser (1579) Maye is the first eclogue in Edmund Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender to focus on the politics of the Elizabethan church. (The other ecclesiastical eclogues are Julye and September.) It is an allegorical dialogue between the two shepherds, Piers and Palinode, who are identified in the Argument as representations of Protestant and Catholic clerics. In this context, Catholic means priests who are considered superficially or insufficiently reformed by the more zealous...

Charles Dorlans See Fortunes

CHARMS Anglo-Saxon charms were short texts containing recipes for curing or preventing a variety of maladies, both physical and mental. Among the hundreds of medicinal recipes in the old English extant today, dozens contain some form of incantation or other verbal element, often from the liturgy, such as reciting the Pater Noster (Our Father) three times, and of these, about 12 contain a poetic element. These verbal pieces are known as charms. Critics tend to study the metrical charms in...

Douglas Gavin

Elizabeth will also not allow invasion by seditious sects (l. 27), a reference to Roman Catholicism seditious because the Pope had excommunicated Elizabeth and declared that any potential murderer would not be committing a mortal sin to kill her. In the last stanza, we learn that Elizabeth's sword of state may be rusty from lack of use because her reign has not previously been threatened. She will not hesitate to use it, however, to pull their tops who seek...

Marlowe Christopher 15641593

Born in Canterbury in 1564, Christopher Marlowe was the son of a shoemaker. In January 1579, he was awarded a scholarship to the King's School in Canterbury. Near the end of 1580, he enrolled at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, where he had received a scholarship intended for students who planned to become clergymen. He received his B.A. in July 1584 and his M.A. in July 1587. The award of the latter degree has left a tantalizing biographical mystery. The university was going to...

Middle English Language Prior to

The arrival of William the Conqueror, the common English language was Old English, which reflected its Germanic roots more distinctly than Middle English. The Norman Conquest, however, changed this. The Norman French influence, and the subsequent development of an Anglo-Norman culture, deeply affected the way English was spoken and written. English went into a decline, and when it reemerged, it was permanently changed. Scholars agree there were at least five dialects of Middle English Southern,...

Delia

Contempt of outward things with books in hands against glory and, as well, the historians whose old mouse-eaten records serve to impose themselves upon other histories, whose greatest authorities are built upon the notable foundation of hearsay and who are better acquainted with a thousand years ago than with the present age to be many rungs below poets. Sidney's valuation is that one giveth the precept, and the other the example. The philosopher gives the precept and the historian the...

Lydgate John

Translate Giovanni Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illus-trium from Laurent de Premierfait's French rendition. The Fall of Princes, completed in 1438, is Lydgate's lengthiest work at 36,365 lines and expands Boccaccio's compilation of historical figures oppressed by misfortune into a universal history and encyclopedia of mythology. During this period, Lydgate also composed, among other works, the Lives of St. Edmund and St. Fremund (1434) and the Debate of the Horse, Goose and Sheep (ca. 1436)....

Franklins Tale The Geoffrey

Chaucer (ca. 1395) In the opening of The Franklin's Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the knight Arveragus falls in love with a lady, Dorigen. He confesses his love to her at length, and because of his worthynesse and obeysaunce (ll. 738-739), she agrees to marry him. Each agrees to give obedience to the other, and the Franklin (a medieval landowner, not of noble birth) follows with a comment on the ideal state of marriage in which each partner honors and obeys the other. They...

The Court Poets Their Function Status And Craft Leiws Ceri

The Court Poets Their Function, Status and Craft. In A Guide to Welsh Literature, Vol. 1, edited by A. O. H. Jarman and Gwilym Rees Hughes, 123-156. Swansea Christopher Davies, 1976. PRIORESS'S TALE, THE Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1385) The Prioress's Tale is part of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Written in stately rhyme royal, the tale is 238 lines long and the shortest of the completed tales. The shortness of the poem suggests that it had been recited during a visit on...

Complaint Of Chaucer To His Purse The 121

This playful tone continues in the second stanza, where the poet, hoping to entertain his mistress in the grove of love, declares they will spend their time Flying, dying, in desire (2.9), making use of the common Elizabethan pun on death as sexual ecstasy. The third stanza makes the poem's most obvious appeal to the carpe diem argument, exhorting the beloved not to waste her beauty. In declaring that beauty should rise, Like to the naked morne (3.2 3), the poet also...

Davies Sir John 15691626 Sir John

He entered school at Winchester in 1580 and Queen's College, Oxford, in 1585. He left a year and a half later to read law at New Inn and then Middle Temple, where he remained. Davies was disbarred in 1598 for brawling but reinstated in 1601. After this, he had a very successful legal career. Davies's first major work, Orchestra, or a Poem of Dancing, was dismissed as a frivolous poem by many of his contemporaries. Gullinge Sonnets, a satire mocking Petrarchan...

Dafydd Ap Gwilym fl 14th century

Dafydd ap Gwilym is generally recognized as Wales's greatest medieval poet. The handful of datable references in Dafydd's work all refer to events in or close to the 1340s, so it is likely that he flourished then. It is uncertain when he died, though many believe he died of the plague around 1350. He may have been the son of Gwilym Gam and was possibly descended from minor gentry in mid-Wales. His home is usually named as Brogynin, near the modern village of Penrhyn-Coch. He also had links to...

Book Of The Duchess The Geoffrey

Chaucer (ca. 1368-1372) The Book of the Duchess is the first major work by Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote it sometime during the years 1368-72. Written in octosyllabic couplets, the 1,335-line poem is a veritable mosaic of several genres including allegory, dream vision, elegy, and romance infused with themes of love, loss, and consolation. It was most likely written as an occasional poem (a poem written to commemorate an event) commemorating the death of Blanche, duchess of Lancaster and wife of...

Virgil Publius Virgilius Maro

(70 B.C.E.-19 B.C.E.) Virgil was born on October 25, 70 b.c.e. into a wealthy farming family. He was an adept student. Although he leaned towards medicine and mathematics at first, his pursuit of rhetoric, Greek, and literary arts led him to the Academy of Epidius in Rome, ca. 54 b.c.e., where he studied law. While there, he became friends with a classmate, Octavian, later Emperor Augustus and Virgil's patron (see patronage). Virgil graduated and practiced law, but he soon gave that up in...

485

Elegy A poem mourning someone's death. ellipsis Part of a statement left out, unspoken. end rhyme A rhyme at the end of a verse line. end-stopped A verse line that pauses at its end, when no enjambment is possible. enjambment A verse line whose momentum forbids a pause at its end, thus avoiding being end-stopped. epic A long poem that, typically, recounts the adventures of someone in a high style and diction classically, the adventures include a hero who is at least partially superhuman in...

Chaucer Geoffrey ca 13431400

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London in the early 1340s. His parents, John Chaucer, a vintner, and Agnes de Copton, were merchant class but comfortably wealthy. Chaucer likely received a good education at a local school, as his later writings demonstrate knowledge of Latin, Italian, and French among other things. By 1357, young Geoffrey had become a page in the household of Lionel, earl of Ulster and later duke of Clarence. In 1359-60, he served under Edward III during the Hundred Years' War and...

Lay Breton lai lai A lay or lai is a

Short narrative poem, often performed aloud to music (e.g., the strumming of a harp). Although a few of the surviving texts draw from the classical tradition such as the 14th-century Sir Orfeo the genre typically includes subjects of Celtic origin (the matter of Britain). The Anglo-Norman poet Marie de France composed the earliest surviving lais ca. 1165. Her collection includes 12 stories, composed in rhyming octosyllabic couplets, and which she claims to have heard sung by storytellers in...

De Principe Bono Et Malo

Thomas More (1516) This poem, like most of Sir Thomas More's epigrams, is composed in elegaic couplets and is a response to the question, What makes a good ruler This short composition offers a thought-provoking suggestion A good ruler is like the guard dog that protects the sheep, and a bad ruler is like the wolf that preys on them. Some scholars find likening the king to a dog shocking, but More's language recalls that of Christ's I am the Good Shepherd speech in John 10. The good king is...

Methought I Saw The Grave Where Laura

Is speaking to Wisdom, rather than Philosophy, and the subject matter of the verses often deals directly with the greatness of God. At the same time, Alfred sometimes calls upon the traditions of Germanic heroic poetry, such as when he replaces Boethius's discussion of the Roman politician Fabricius with a reference to Weland, a figure from Germanic mythology. Alfred seems to be at his best when he departs from Boethius. The first of the Meters, for example, represents his attempt to place...

Millers Tale The 275

One Saturday while John is out of town, Nicholas and Alisoun finally put their plan into action. Nicholas hides in his room over the weekend, and when John finally seeks him out on Monday, he finds Nicholas apparently passed out in his room. upon reviving, Nicholas reports his findings from the stars The following Monday will witness a flood similar in proportion to Noah's Flood in the Bible. Nicholas instructs John to save himself by constructing three tubs in which to hide and fastening them...

C D

JAMES I (1394-1437) king of Scotland James I was born in Dunfermline in late July 1394 to Robert III (d. 1406) and Annabella Drummond (d. 1401) during a time of political conflict. Captured en route to France, James was in English custody from age 12 to 30 in a number of places, including the Tower of London, Nottingham Castle, and Windsor Castle. James was educated in the households of English kings Henry Iv and Henry v, even serving in France with English armies from 1420 to 1422. James...

Bring Us In Good Ale Anonymous

(mid-15th century) This drinking song, loosely dated to the time of Henry VI (1421-71), is connected with the Christmas season through its melody a speeded-up version of the Christmas carol Nowell, Nowell, Nowell and by connection to the Christmas custom of wassailing (from wassail, good health). In this festive activity, merry revelers go from house to house, singing and drinking. The opening and chorus of the song celebrate excess, repeating Bring us good ale, and bring us in good ale, For...

Lovely Boy Fair Youth Fair

LORD) The Lovely Boy also called the Fair Youth or Fair Lord is the ambiguous young man to whom the first 126 of Shakespeare's sonnets are dedicated. The term derives from the first line of sonnet 126 o thou my lovely boy who in thy power . . . Scholars continue to debate the identity of the young man, with the main two contenders being Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton, and William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. Both were William Shakespeare's patrons at one time, and Wriothesley in...

Long Love That In My Thought Doth Harbor

Rhetoric of a courtroom defense oration. Still, others, because of its reliance on the Bible, see the poem as a serious avowal of Protestantism and a statement about a wicked urban population. Brigden, Susan. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and the 'Conjured League.' The Historical Journal 37 (1994) 507-537. Jentoft, C. W. Surrey's Eour 'Orations' and the Influence of Rhetoric on Dramatic Effect. Papers on Language and Literature 9 (1973) 250-262. Sessions, W. A. Henry Howard the Poet Earl of...

Crowned King The Anonymous 1415

A poem in the alliterative Piers Plowman tradition, The Crowned King is often viewed as political propaganda. Such a designation, however, fails to recognize the subtle political theory that underlies the poem one that places it in line with the practical political theory of the prologue of Piers Plowman. Knights, clergy, and the peasantry have obligations to their king an image of the divine Crowned King, referenced in the poem as Christ although the poem is more focused on the obligations of...

Sidneian Psalms Psalm 139 Domine Probasti o Lord in me there lieth nought

Mary Sidney Herbert, countess of Pembroke (1599) In the biblical version of Psalm 139, the pattern of stark contrasts of beginning and ends, before and after, and high and low is intended to show God's absolute knowledge and protection. In Mary Sidney Herbert's translation, there is a smoothing out of the contrasts. She replaces them with puns and jangling wordplay a characteristic found in Hebrew poetry, but also a favorite Elizabethan practice. The wordplay itself becomes a way of deeply...

Lenten Ys Come With Love To Toune

Who seems to represent Sidney's wife, Barbara, while the knight that loves me best (l. 8) and who griefs livery wears (l. 16) is clearly a projection of himself, described as an abandoned pilgrim, exiled in the Low Countries away from the lady that doth rest near Medway's sandy bed (l. 74), a reference to the river near Penshurst. Sidney's is a more personal adaptation of the ballad than Raleigh's. Like most of his poetry, it is melancholic, focusing on the awareness that love no perpetuity...

British Poetry

The Facts on File Companion to British poetry before 1600 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact Facts On File, Inc. An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-publication Data The Facts...

Consolation Of Philosophy

Boethius (ca. 523 c.e.) The Consolation of Philosophy is a complex work that connects Greek and Roman thought to the medieval period and had significant influence throughout the medieval times on writers such as Thomas Aquinas, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante, and Giovanni Boccaccio. The work has been translated numerous times and into many languages. Chaucer's translation, entitled Boece, used only prose, rather than alternating prose and poetic forms. Queen Elizabeth I also translated The Consolation...

Old Mans Prayer An 14th century

An Old Man's Prayer is a poignant poem of 107 lines presenting an elderly sinner's reflections upon life and mortality in the face of approaching death. The piece can be considered lyrical in the sense that the writer is at pains to create and sustain the voice of the speaker. As he discloses the nature of his transgressions, the reader gains a strong sense of his remorse and inner torment. An Old Man's Prayer begins with a heartfelt appeal to the High Lord whose laws the speaker has abused. He...

More Sir Thomas 14781535

Thomas More was born in London on February 7, 1478, to John and Agnes More. The second of four surviving children, it is believed that More studied at St. Anthony's School in London, which was well known for producing scholars. He excelled in his studies, learning Latin grammar, logic, and debating skills. In 1490, his father sent him to study under John Morton, the archbishop of Canterbury and soon-to-be cardinal, who likely influenced the young man's decision to study at Oxford, where he...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 15 When I consider every thing that grows William

Shakespeare (1599) In this sonnet, the poet begins to immortalize his patron in verse since it seems that Time is going to take him away before any worldly offspring can be born to preserve his heritage upon the earth. The first quatrain (ll. 1-4) presents the poet pondering existence and the shortness of mortal life, even likening the brevity of life to a play on the stage (l. 3). The second quatrain (ll. 5-8) introduces an elaborate simile comparing the stages of plant growth to the stages of...

Bonny Earl Of Murray

Anonymous (16th century) A popular Scottish folk ballad that valorizes the rivalry between James Stewart, earl of Murray (or Moray) and the earl of Huntly. The conflict peaked in 1592, when Huntly murdered Murray, whom he believed to be conspiring with the earl of Bothwell against King James VI (later James I). Murray's castle was torched, and Huntly was caught in Fife and executed. Huntly's actions were widely condemned, though the Crown did not punish him. The ballad diverges from history as...

Poems For Further Reading

Eisken, Beth Wynne. 'To the Angell Spirit . . .' Mary Sidney's entry into the 'World of Words.' In The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print Counterbalancing the Canon, edited by Anne M. Haselkorn and Betty S. Travitsky, 263-275. Amherst University of Massachusetts Press, 1990. Hannay, Margaret P. 'Doo What Men May Sing' Mary Sidney and the Tradition of Admonitory Dedication. In Silent But for the word Tudor women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, edited by Margaret P....

Have A Gentil Cok Anonymous

(14th century) This medieval lyric is composed in the standard ballad stanza, a quatrain with the rhyme scheme abcb. Unlike many other ballads, however, it does not feature a consistent refrain. The first three stanzas begin with I have a gentil cok, but the last two start with His legges ben of asor (l. 13) and His eynen arn of cristal (l. 17), respectively. It also features an interlocking stanza system, particularly among the first three. I have a gentil cok, is, of course, repeated. As...

Ballad Which Askew Made And Sang When In Newgate A Anne

Askew (1546) Anne Askew (1521-1546) married a Catholic member of the gentry but converted to Protestantism and left her husband. Questioned numerous times for heresy, she was burned at the stake on July 16, 1546. Besides being a prominent figure in the English Reformation, Askew is a notable presence in early modern literature. She wrote two spiritual autobiographies while imprisoned The First Examynacyon and The Lattre Examynacyon. Her writings portray the state of doctrinal struggles in the...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 90 Then hate me when thou wilt if ever now William

Shakespeare (1599) Sonnet 90 continues the thought developed in Sonnet 89. The speaker asks that, if the beloved young man plans to hate him, he do it now, so that this most disastrous blow will mitigate all later pain. If the hatred comes later, after lesser setbacks have occurred, it will strike an already grieving man as catastrophe. The sonnet is built around elements of time's contrasts then when, now then, first last and comparisons. All of these elements blend to make a poignant...

English Sonnet Shakespearean Sonnet Elizabethan Sonnet A

Variation of the sonnet (14-line poem) found in the English literary tradition, the English sonnet was developed by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, earl of Surrey. Because of William Shakespeare's popularity, this form is sometimes called the Shakespearean sonnet it has also been called the Elizabethan sonnet after Queen Elizabeth I. The English sonnet exhibits four divisions of verse instead of the two sections commonly found in Italian (Petrarchan) sonnets three quatrains and a conclud ing...

Bludy Serk The Robert Henryson

(1460) One of the minor poems attributed to Robert Henryson, The Bludy Serk is a simple allegory of 120 lines, comprising a tale whose meaning is highlighted for the reader in a moral. It tells the story of a king whose daughter is abducted by a giant. Imprisoned in a deip dungeon, she suffers while the king searches for a champion capable of defeating her captor. A knight fights and succeeds, but is left mortally wounded. Dying, he asks the lady to take his bloody shirt, remembering it and him...

Petrarch Francesco Petrarca

(1304-1374) Francesco Petrarca, better known simply as Petrarch, spent his early years at Avignon where his father, a lawyer, worked at the papal court. Petrarch also studied law, but he eventually devoted himself fully to literary pursuits. He spent most of his life, until 1361, in Avignon and Vaucluse, although he retired to Padua, where he enjoyed the friendship of Giovanni Boccaccio. Credited as one of the fathers of humanism, Petrarch not only studied the classical authors but also avidly...

En203s British Poetry Important

Venus and adonis William Shakespeare (ca. 1592) The lengthy narrative poem Venus and Adonis begins with the goddess's supplications to Adonis to grant her amorous desires however, Venus's entreaties soon turn to frustration and questions regarding his masculinity. The two then engage in a rhetorical discourse on love, and after a great deal of pleading, Adonis grants Venus a farewell kiss that inflames her passion. Her desire quickly turns to fears for his safety when she learns that he plans...

Litany In Time Of Plague A Adieu Farewell Earths Bliss

Thomas Nashe (1592) Thomas Nashe probably wrote Summer's Last Will and Testament, the play from which A Litany in Time of Plague comes, in early autumn 1592. The occasion of the play's performance was the entertainment of Nashe's patron, John Whit-gift, archbishop of Canterbury, as well as the employees and guests in Whitgift's country home at Croydon. An outbreak of plague had prevented the archbishop and his company from returning to London at the end of summer. Nashe's allegorical show...

Lullay Lullay Like A Child John

Skelton (1528) The available evidence suggests that Lullay Lullay, Like a Child was composed during John Skelton's first period at court (1485-1504), though it was published in 1528 in a collection entitled Dyvers balettys and dyties solacyous (Diverse Ballads and Salacious Ditties). The title of this collection (of ballet-tys and dyties) and the poem's regular tetrameter and refrains both suggest that Lullay was a lyric. If so, the music it was set to has been lost.

Chivalry

Before and in the name of God the sacredness of the vow placed a heavier burden on the Christian knight than did any secular oath or promise he might have made. The swearing of oaths was also a part of secular judicial practice and, in that manner, came to be incorporated into the chivalric literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Chivalric oaths came in a variety of forms They were statements of duty sworn to someone, as in Arthurian literature, where the knights swear loyalty to King...

Sidney Sonnet 2 Anti-petrarchan

Astrophil and Stella Pure and Impure Persuasion. ELR 2, no. 1 (1972) 100-115. Astrophil and Stella Sonnet 2 (Not at first sight, nor with a dribbed shot) Sir Philip Sidney (ca. 1582) The second poem of the sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella begins with the speaker, Astrophil, describing how he has fallen in love with the addressee, Stella. This description of the inamorata is anti-Petrarchan. Petrarch falls in love when he first sees Laura, whereas Astrophil specifies that...

Ovid Publius Ovidius Naso

B.c.e.-ca. 17 c.e.) Ovid was born in Sulmo, Italy. With Virgil, he is considered one of the foremost Latin authors. Not much is known about his personal life. As a young man, ovid traveled to Rome to study law, becoming a pupil of Porcius Latro and Arelius Fuscus, both master rhetoricians. He then embarked on an administrative career, working at the mint and in the prison system before becoming a judge. He was married three times. ovid wrote Amores (a collection of love poetry), Heroides...

Amoretti Overview Edmund Spenser

(1595) Edmund Spenser's Petrarchan sonnet sequence Amoretti was one of his later works, published in 1595, the year after his marriage to Elizabeth Boyle, the only partially imaginary inspiration for the piece. It consists of a dedication, introductory poem, 89 sonnets, and four shorter pieces detailing Cupid's intervention in the love experience. The sonnets follow a male lover's seemingly conventional pursuit of his female beloved, culminating in a disappointment and followed by a four-part...

Come Away Come Sweet Love

John Dowland (1597) This lyric was set to music by the lutenist John Dowland in his enormously popular First Booke of Songs or Ayres in 1597 and was reprinted in the 1600 miscellany England's Helicon. As an aubade welcoming the advent of morning, the song departs from the melancholy tone that characterizes most of Dowland's early lute songs, instead bearing a sense of carpe diem Each stanza opens with the refrain Come away, come sweet love and attempts to persuade the poet's beloved to seize...

Vision of piers plowman the

VoLTA Volta means turn in a number of Italic languages, and in poetry the volta is the place where a distinct turn of thought occurs. A common characteristic of Italian (Petrarchan) sonnets, the volta in these usually occurs in line 9, between the octave and the sestet, marking both the rhyme change and the move toward resolution. English sonnets often exhibit a volta as well, though it may occur between any quatrain. VULCAN BEGAT ME Sir Thomas Wyatt (1557) The answer to this translation by Sir...

My Lute Awake

Although its theme is quite conventional, the poem is notable for the subtle treatment of the speaker's position, which is expressed in the middle line of the stanza I may nat com her to (I cannot come to her). The lines just above and below, literally surrounding the middle line, reinforce the speaker's immobility. Line 3 refers to his being sore bounde, but the reader does not know whether he is bound by obligation, physical constraint, or perhaps the command of the beloved. In line 5, the...

Complaint Of Chaucer To His Purse The Geoffrey Chaucer ca 1400

Unlike most of Chaucer's work, The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse can be dated relatively precisely, probably sometime between late 1399 and Chaucer's death the following year. It is a 26-line ballade containing three stanzas and a final five-line envoi rhyming aabba, in iambic pentameter. The poem is a parody of the traditional complaint genre popular during the Middle Ages. In this case, the narrator pleads to his purse to Be heavy again, or else I must die (ll. 7, 14, 21). The poem uses...

Lollardism Lollardy Wycliffism

(ca. 1382-1430) The Lollards were a heretical sect whose ideas were based on the principles of oxford theologian John Wycliffe (ca. 1330-1384) Lollardism is the only heresy to have flourished in medieval England. It is often said to be the only native heresy, though that viewpoint has been challenged recently. Frustrated in his career, Wycliffe began advocating radical church reform, including an insistence on the Bible as the source of grace and ultimate authority, as well as a renunciation of...

Cynthia With Certain Sonnets Sonnet 11 135

Cynthia, with Certain Sonnets Sonnet 5 (It is reported of fair Thetis' son) Richard Barnfield (1595) Sonnet 5 develops the imagery of the Trojan War. In it, the speaker, Daphnis, is wounded by Ganymede's eyes, which are full of desire. At the beginning of the sonnet, Achilles is praised for his . . . chivalry, His noble minde and magnanimity (ll. 2-3), and by extension these qualities are projected onto Ganymede. The poem records the tradition that only the person who is wounded by Achilles'...

Cynthia with Certain Sonnets Sonnet 17 Cherrylipped Adonis in his snowy shape

Richard Barnfield (1595) Sonnet 17 uses as the major structuring device a convention typical of the sonnet tradition the blazon. Drawing on imagery from the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible, the blazon is a catalog of the physical features typically the face of the beloved as a way of praising. William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser use this form to praise their ladies Shakespeare uses it with modifications to praise the lovely boy of his sonnets. Richard Barnfield's use of the tradition is...

Old Norseicelandic Eddas

SAGAS Scholars since the 17th century have made substantial use of Old Norse Icelandic literature as they have attempted to interpret medieval English literature. Nowhere has this tendency been more prominent than in the discussions of Anglo-Saxon pre-Christian religion. Almost all that we know about Anglo-Saxon religion prior to Christianity comes from place names, archeological evidence, and a small amount of written evidence, but almost all we understand about it comes from Old Norse...

My Sweetest Lesbia First Stanza Summary

The Bonny Earl of Murray The Intersections of Folklore and History. Champagne University of Illinois Press, 1997. BOOKE OF AYRES, A Thomas Campion (1601) Thomas Campion's A Book of Ayres, which contains 21 lyrics for a single voice accompanied by the lute, reflects a new emphasis on the clarity of the words in songs. This work stands in stark in contrast to the madrigal tradition, where the lyrics were often obscured by overlapping parts and multiple notes on individual...

Care Not For These Ladies

Thomas Campion (1601) This bawdy song was first printed with music by Thomas Campion himself in A Booke of Ayres. The first stanza sets up an opposition between courtly Ladies and Amarillis, described as a wanton countrey maide (l. 4), an obscene pun that establishes from the beginning the lewd tone that characterizes this poem. This innuendo is continued in the refrain, particularly in the line when we come where comfort is (l. 9), where the alliteration helps to recall the countrey maide of...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 152 In loving thee thou knowst I am forsworn William

Shakespeare (1599) Sonnet 152 is the last of what critics commonly call William Shakespeare's Dark Lady poems. Throughout the sequence (127-152), the speaker has praised and condemned his mistress. He has also questioned his own foolishness and wondered about his overpowering sexual attraction to a woman whom he knows to be deceitful and promiscuous. Sonnet 152 contains a rather comprehensive discussion of many issues addressed throughout the Dark Lady sonnets, including his unsettling sexual...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 128 How oft when thou my music music playst William

Shakespeare (1599) In this sonnet, the speaker reflects on the many times when the beloved has played upon the virginal, a very early version of the piano. Its keys were called jacks, and they were made of wood. In line 1, my music refers to the beloved, who is music and who simultaneously produces music, and using music twice emphasizes the beloved's importance. The effect is somewhat magical for the speaker, who hears the mechanism that causes the jacks to coax music from the blessed wood (l....

Eurther reading

The Canterbury Tales. oxford Guides to Chaucer. Oxford Clarendon Press, 1989. Mann, Jill. Geoffrey Chaucer Feminist Readings. New York and London Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991. Harwood, Britton J. Chaucer and the Gift (If There Is Any). Studies in Philology 103, no. 1 (2006) 26-47. FRENCH HISTORY, THE Anne Edgecumbe Dowriche (1589) Published in the year following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Anne Edgecumbe Dowriche's narrative poem relates three incidents in which French...

Cleanness Purity Anonymous 14th

Century) Preserved in MS Cotton Nero A.x in the British Library, Cleanness survives along with three other poems (Pearl, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) assumed to be written by the same poet. It is part of the alliterative revival. While the Gawain-poet's other poems follow strict stanzaic structures, Cleanness is different. It is not divided into evident stanzas (although many editors have done this for clarity), nor does the narration follow a very clear organization. The...

Canterbury Tales The Overview

Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1385-1400) Geoffrey Chaucer's most famous work, The Canterbury Tales, is a frame narrative piece that reflects the stories told by a motley group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral. It begins with a General Prologue that describes the Pilgrims and the context, followed by a number of Tales. The plan as outlined by the Host in the General Prologue calls for a total of four tales per Pilgrim two told on the way to Canterbury, and two told on the way back....

Garland Of Laurel Overview

John Skelton (ca. 1495) The centerpiece poems of Garland of Laurel those that describe the ladies of the embroidery circle of Elizabeth Tylney Howard, countess of Surrey were probably composed by John Skelton about 1495 when he was a guest of the Howard family at Sheriff Hutton Castle near York. The entire work did not reach print until its publication by Richard Fakes on October 3, 1523. The second printed edition appeared in 1568 in the Pithy, Plesaunt, and Profitable Workes of Maister...

Warbands Return The Taliesin

(sixth century) This poem, contained in the Book of Taliesin, is one of the oldest poems in Welsh. It is attributed to the poet Taliesin, who was active at the end of the sixth century and was chief bard in the courts of at least three Welsh princes of that time period. While the manuscript itself is from the 14th century, it is generally assumed that the poems were orally transmitted through generations of bards to a monk of Glamorgan and are thus authentic. The poem itself is a reflection by...

Norman Conquest The 1066

Norman Conquest of England began on September 27, 1066, when the forces of William the Bastard, duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror, landed on the southern coast of England at Pevensey, but it continued throughout the formative years of the English nation. William completed military conquest of England when he successfully defeated the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Harold Godwinson, on 290 NOW GOTH SONNE UNDER WOD october 14, 1066, at the Battle of Hastings. William's...

Court Culture 129

Had hired a scribe to make a complete transcription of it before the fire. The first edition of Beowulf based on Vitellius A.xv appeared in 1815 and relied on this transcription. Attempts to preserve the manuscript from further degradation in 1845 resulted in the loss of hundreds of letters, many of which are difficult to recover due to rebinding and so forth. Beginning in 1982, the manuscript has been the subject of an ongoing electronic project intended to preserve digitally what may...

Cynthia With Certain Sonnts Sonnet

Without a break, the 1595 collection continues with the 20 sonnets. Barnfield developed a new rhyme scheme for his sonnets (abba, cddc, effe, gg) but generally follows the English sonnet structure. Classical allusions abound in the poems, which are set in the typical conventions of the love sonnet the alienated and sometimes despondent seeker, Daphnis the scornful, or at least indifferent, Ganymede a blazon to Ganymede's beauty and dialogues and monologues to resolve the unrequited love. The...

Chivalric OATHS 113

The full import of Tristan's brief inscription. It has also been suggested that Tristan used ogham, a runic writing that would be much shorter and could contain a lengthy communication in a brief space. A similar confusion exists at the end of Chevrefoil, when Tristan creates his own lai. Marie's lines could be read to suggest that Tristan's song is the one that she is repeating, or it could be seen as a separate lai (untold) within the present one. on a thematic level, the central crux...

Cu Chulainn Setanta first century

C.e.) Cu Chulainn, who supposedly dates to the first century, is considered the greatest hero of Irish mythology. Born Setanta, he earned the name Cu Chulainn (Hound of Chulainn) at an early age by killing a fierce watchdog and then taking its place. At the age of seven, he took up arms in accordance with a Druid prophesy. His battle prowess was legendary, made even more so when he trained with the witch woman Scathach, who taught him how to use the gde bulg, a blood-singing spear, thrown with...

Sidneian Psalms Psalm 71 In Te Domini Speravi On thee my trust is grounded Mary Sidney Herbert countess of Pembroke 1599

Psalm 71 is typically regarded as David's prayer to God for deliverance from his son Absalom. The poem is also a particularly touching appeal for aid and comfort in old age, when previous strength, power, and social status have been lost. Psalm 71 opens with an emphatic statement of trust in the Lord, and this concept recurs repeatedly throughout the entire poem. The speaker appeals to the Lord for freedom and justice, stressing his own faith in God's willingness and ability to defend him. In...

Robene And Makyne Robert

Ryson (ca. 1470) Together with much of Robert Henryson's work, Robene and Makyne is preserved in the Bannatyne manuscript now in the National Library of Scotland. No source is known for this poem, though it contains allusions to French and Scottish ballads. It is a clear parody of courtly romance and also, perhaps, of other modes of poetry, such as the elegy and the carpe diem genre. The names of the two title characters are typical of literary shepherds and country girls, though in the latter...

Meditations on sin Anne Vaughan Lock

(1560) This sonnet sequence, consisting of The Preface, Expressing the Passioned Minde of the Penitent Sinner and A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner, upon the 51st Psalme, was published in 1560, appended to Anne Vaughan Lock's English translation of the French Sermons of John Calvin, upon the songe that Ezechias made after he had been sicke, and afflicted by the hand of God. The 19 verses of the 51st Psalme reflect on the need for sinners to confess their sins so that they can receive God's...

Daniel Samuel ca 15621619 Born in

Either Somerset or Wiltshire, Samuel Daniel entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford University, on November 17, 1581, leaving three years later without taking a degree. In 1585, he published The Worthy Tract of Paulus Jovius, a translation of Paolo Giovo's book of impresas (a combination of enigmatic pictures and accompanying mottos), Dialogo dell'imprese militari et amorose (1555). Daniel's translation marks the first exposure England had to French and Italian emblem books. Delia, a sonnet sequence, was...

Envoy To Bukton

ENVOY TO BUKTON (LENVOY DE CHAUCER A BUKTON) Geoffrey Chaucer (1396) Chaucer's envoy (envoi), or verse letter, to Bukton is a short poem surviving in a single manuscript (where it is called Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton). There is some question as to who Bukton was One candidate is Sir Robert Bukton, squire to Queen Anne and later to Richard II the other, more likely, candidate is Sir Peter Bukton of Holdernesse, steward to the earl of Derby, future King Henry IV. The poem is in the conventional...

Lament For The Makaris William

Dunbar (before 1508) The 25 stanzas and 100 lines of William Dunbar's kyrielle comprise a complex meditation on death. This is accomplished through adept and touching praise of the makaris, great poets, that have passed on. The opening stanza and the final two stanzas are personal, and from a note in an early printed version of the text, some scholars believe that he was gravely ill at the time of its composition. others feel that the theme is common and that the biographical note serves as a...

Morall fabillis of esope the phrygian the Overview Robert

Henryson (ca. 1485) Robert Henryson's collection of beast fables is generally considered the finest medieval example of the genre and was widely read in late-medieval Scotland. However, no editions of the work survive from Henryson's lifetime. In fact, all texts date from at least 75 years after his death, so determining the date and order of composition of the 13 fables, their accompanying morals (see allegory), and the Prologue is a difficult task. Some work has been done to assign priority...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 127 In the old age black was not counted fair William

Shakespeare (1599) This and the next few sonnets in William Shakespeare's sonnet sequence comment on the early modern concept of female beauty and how the speaker views his mistress, or female beloved, who possesses a different type of beauty. The accepted stan dard of female beauty for early modern women was blond hair, blue eyes, fair (almost white) complexion, pink or red cheeks, and red lips. Many sonnets by poets such as Sir Philip Sidney describe beloveds who possess these particular...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds William

Shakespeare (1599) In this sonnet, the speaker tries to describe a love that is so strong that it can act as a model for true married love. Interestingly, the description begins with an acknowledgment that real love exists in the marriage of true minds (l. 1), and in order for the speaker to acknowledge this kind of love, he refuses to allow impediments (l. 2). This last word is one used in the marriage ceremony at the point where the minister asks if anyone knows of any reason to prevent the...

Art Of Courtly Love The Andreas

Capellanus (ca. 1184-86) Andreas Capellanus achieved fame by composing a Latin treatise on love (ca. 1184-86) entitled Liber de arte honeste amandi et reprobatione inhonesti amantis (Book of the Art of Loving Nobly and the Reprobation of Dishonourable Love). It is commonly referred to as The Art of Courtly Love. Inspired by Ovid and the poetry of the Proven al troubadours, Andreas explores the practices associated with what the French philologist Gaston Paris referred to as courtly love (amour...

Corpus Christi Carol Anonymous

(before 1504) The Corpus Christi Carol was found in a manuscript that dates to 1504, but it was likely composed earlier. The short narrative describes a bed hung with gold raiment situated within a hall draped in purple. A knight is lying on the bed, bleeding from numerous wounds. A maiden kneels next to him, weeping. Beside her is a stone marker on which the words Corpus Christi (body of Christ) are inscribed. A carol denotes a poem intended for singing and dancing, though critics continue to...

Jesus My Sweet Lover Anonymous

14th century Though short, the lyric Jesus, My Sweet Lover is powerful. Through its devotion to Jesus and his woundes two and three l. 4 , the poem reads much like a prayer, and its religious significance is clear The poem is directed to Jesus in order to have his love fixed in the narrator's herte. Christ's death ll. 2 8 is mentioned twice, once in the beginning and once at the end, creating a frame, and the five wounds that Christ suffered are mentioned within the body of the poem, as they...

Mine Own John Poins

Animals a weasel, colt, kid, calf, mouse, etc. She is described only externally, even more of a flat character than the men, and also has the fewest lines to speak. Moreover, she is treated rather brutally by all the men Her husband is mentally cruel, if not physically Nicholas grabs her by the genitals Absolon intends to burn her behind with a hot poker. To all of them, she is merely an object and a sexual plaything. Finally, queer and gender critics have begun examining the interconnected...

Sing Of A Maiden Anonymous 15th

Century Though this brief religious lyric is simple, many scholars have deemed it among the best of the medieval English lyrics for its effortless elegance and beauty. The subject of the poem is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. She is introduced in the first stanza as a woman who is makeles and who chose the king of kings for her son. The poet puns on the word makeles, which means spotless, matchless, and mateless. In other words, she is perfect and without blemishes there is no one in...

Lover Showeth How He Is Forsaken Of Such As He Sometime Enjoyed The 253

Declare its more labored and challenging verse to be decidedly un-Shakespearean in style and tone. Burrow, Colin, ed. Shakespeare The Complete Sonnets and Poems. Oxford and New York Oxford University Press, 2002. Jackson, MacDonald P. A Lover's Complaint Revisited. Shakespeare Studies 32 2004 267-294. Sharon-Zisser, Shirley, ed. Suffering Ecstasy Critical Essays on Shakespeare's A Lover's Complaint. Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington, Vt. Ashgate, 2006. LOVER SHOWETH HOW HE IS FORSAKEN OF SUCH AS...

Mirrors For Princes

Literary mirrors have typically presented positive examples for readers to follow, but A Mirror for Magistrates's title relies on a second meaning for mirror warning ca. 1325-1610 and thus demonstrates conduct to be avoided. Most of the stories are told in first person by the fallen prince. In every version, the vignettes are written in rhyme royal, and prose bridges connect the poems. The common verse form provides uniformity, while seven authorial styles give variety. This collection of...

Ocean To Cynthia The

OCTAVE OCTET In English, an octave also called an octet consists of eight lines of iambic pentameter five syllables , though in Italian, it is comprised of hendecasyllables 11 syllable . Italian Petrarchan sonnets, both in English and Italian, utilize an octave as the initial part of the poem, which is then followed by a sestet. Traditionally, the octave concludes one idea, paving the way for another, although English sonnets tend to alter this tradition radically. ODE, AN See Cynthia, with...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 115 Those lines that I have writ before do lie William

Shakespeare 1599 Though many of William Shakespeare's sonnets engage in the monumentum aere perennius from the poet Horace, a monument more lasting than bronze trope, this poem does so in a novel and unique manner, combining two themes of the sonnet sequence immortality through procreation and immortality through artistic creation. The trope figures the poem as a verbal or textual monument, which will outlast both the sonnet's speaker and the object of desire. In other cases in the sequence,...

Burning Babe The Robert Southwell

1595 The most famous poem by the English Roman Catholic writer Robert Southwell is a Christmas vision. The poet stands shivering outdoors on a snowy winter's night when, suddenly, his chest feels warm ll. 1-4 . He looks up in fear to see if he is near a fire and sees the vision of a baby burning. The baby is weeping, he sees, but the tears only kindle the fire. The babe explains that he is sad because people have not come to warm themselves in the flame ll. 5-8 . Then, in a series of...

Ballad On The Marriage Of Philip And Mary A John Heywood

1554 The dramatist, musician, and poet John Heywood ca. 1497-ca. 1580 was on the payroll of the Tudor royal family for a number of decades. He was particularly favored by Mary I queen of England , and during her reign of 1553-58, the anti-Protestant Heywood enjoyed considerable patronage and prestige. Published as a stand-alone text in 1554, A Ballad on the Marriage of philip and Mary is a brief and piquant expression of Heywood's loyalty to the Catho BALLAD WHICH ASKEW MADE AND SANG WHEN IN...

When To Her Lute Corinna Sings

Thomas Campion ca. 1601 This song was first printed with music by Thomas Campion himself in A Booke of Ayres. It describes the poet's lover, Corinna, singing to her lute, a phrase that implies that she sings while accompanying herself and that she addresses her lute when she sings. The first stanza asserts that Corin-na's singing is powerful enough to revive the lute's leaden stringes l. 2 , punningly referring to the inanimate material of the strings while ascribing to the sing er's voice an...

Barclay Alexander ca 14751552

Alexander Barclay is credited with being the first poet to write English pastorals. Little is known with certainty regarding Barclay's life, and many scholars turn to his writings to obtain information on his life and experiences. Some believe he was born in Scotland around 1475. He enjoyed a brief literary career, during which he produced poems, translations, and a French textbook. While many of his writings are translations, Barclay's writing style retained the character of the original work,...

Amoretti Sonnet 66 To all those happy blessings which ye have Edmund Spenser 1595 In

Some ways, Sonnet 66 of Edmund Spenser's Amoretti is a continuance of the argument for marriage that was offered in the previous sonnet. The speaker describes his fianc e in the most exalted terms about himself he uses the most humble and self-deprecating terms, describing himself as something that is made even baser through his comparison to her. To all those happy blessings which ye have, . . . this one disparagement they to you gave, that ye your love lent to so meane a one ll. 3-4 . It is...

Phoenix And Turtle The William

Shakespeare before 1601 The Phoenix and Turtle begins with a call to neighboring birds to join a funeral procession honoring the death of the Phoenix and the Turtledove, then commences an anthem for the passionate love between the title characters. The thematic persona Reason, however, cannot comprehend the bond that existed between the Phoenix a symbol of uniqueness and the Turtledove a symbol of constancy , nor can Reason understand the narrator's reassurance these two birds continue to love...

Cynthia with Certain Sonnets Sonnet 1 Sporting at fancie setting light by love Richard

Barnfield 1595 Sonnet 1, Sporting at fancie, setting light by love, written in Richard Barnfield's unique rhyme scheme abba, cddc, effe, gg combines elements of both Italian Petrarchan sonnet and English sonnet forms and uses imagery typical of the sonnet originating with Petrarch and popularized in England by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, earl of Surrey. Composed with an elaborate irony that confuses thief and victim, the sonnet shows that the speaker, Daphnis, has been complicit in the...

Shakespeares sonnets Sonnet 91 Some glory in their birth some in their skill William

Shakespeare 1599 Sonnet 91 is a classic English sonnet. In this poem, the speaker characterizes his love of the aristocratic object of desire in terms of the aristocratic pursuits and passions that the lovely boy would understand, and then intimates the possibility of the young man rejecting him. The sonnet begins with a direct appeal to the hierarchical nature of society, underscoring the difference in positions that the speaker and his object of desire occupy. Some glory in their birth l. 1...

Blind Hary Henry The Minstrel

1440 1493 Blind Hary's regional origin whether Hary was his name, surname, or simply a nickname and the dates of his birth and death all remain conjectural. The Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland report that there were payments made to him for performances at court between 1473 and 1492, but these sporadic references only attest that he was not a regular court poet. Textual evidence from his work The Wallace suggests that he was well read in vernacular, French, and classical...