Allegory and Epic in English Renaissance Literature: Heroic Form in Sidney, Spenser, and Milton

Allegory and Epic in English Renaissance Literature: Heroic Form in Sidney, Spenser, and Milton

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Kenneth Borris
Cambridge University Press, 10/26/2000
EAN 9780521781299, ISBN10: 0521781299

Hardcover, 334 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Language: English

Challenging conventional notions that literary allegorism declined precipitously around 1600, Kenneth Borris reassesses the Renaissance relations between allegory and heroic poetry, particularly in the major texts of Sidney, Spenser and Milton. Through wide-ranging consideration of Homeric and Virgilian reception and its influence on both continental and English literary theory, he shows that allegorical epic tended to double for and displace epic throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Borris offers a fresh approach to the interaction of allegory with literary genres; focusing on epic, he further analyses the distinctive codes and conventions that constituted the generic repertoire of Renaissance allegorical epic poetry. Whereas standard literary history assumes Sidney opposes allegory, and that Milton minimises or rejects it in following Spenser, Borris's detailed readings demonstrate that Sidney and Milton are also major allegorists, and that Spenser remained so even in the latter books of The Faerie Queene. This book was first published in 2000.

List of illustrations
Note on translations
1. The formalization of allegory in Heroic poetry
2. Allegory and the metamorphoses of Heroic form
3. Reconfiguring the Epic repertoire
4. Arcadian allegorical epic
5. Sidneian transformations of Heroic poetry
6. Arthurian configurations
Spenser's continued Heroic allegorism
7. Spenser's Heroic allegory and the politics of ennobled virtue
8. 'Union or communion deified'
universal analogies of Milton's pattern-hero
9. 'So God with man unites'
Heroic community in one greater man
10. 'In mysterious terms judged best'
Paradise Lost and allegorical poetics.