Knapp, Ethan. The Bureaucratic Muse: Thomas Hoccleve and the Literature of Late Medieval England. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2001. Mitchell, Jerome. Thomas Hoccleve: A Study in Early Fifteenth-Century English Poetic. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1968.
LAMENT A lament is a personal expression of sorrow over loss. This lyric impulse pervades poetry and song in secular and religious works throughout the Middle Ages and forms the foundation for its later use in Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare. One of the most influential works expressing lament is the poetry in Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy from the sixth century. Boethian lyrics of loss echo in several of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, such as "The Knight's Tale" and The Book of the Duchess. Themes of mourning over the loss of innocence and the transience of the fallen world occur in monophonic songs such as the popular 13th-century English song "Worldes blis." In the Old English period, the most famous expressions of lament are found in the elegiac poetry of the Exeter Book, written before 1072: "The Wife's Lament," "Wulf and Eadwacer," The Wanderer, The Seafarer, Deor, and "The Ruin." In addition to these shorter works, laments characterize the later sections of Beowulf and shape the tone of the "Storm Riddles" of the Exeter Book. In the later Middle Ages, the lament appears in English and Scottish ballads and in Middle English lyrics.
See also complaint, elegy.
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