Download A Companion To Medieval English Literature And Culture by Peter Brown PDF

By Peter Brown

A spouse to Medieval English Literature and tradition, c.1350-c.1500 demanding situations readers to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and standard disciplinary obstacles.

A ground-breaking choice of newly-commissioned essays on medieval literature and culture.

  • Encourages scholars to imagine past a narrowly outlined canon and traditional disciplinary boundaries.
  • Reflects the erosion of the normal, inflexible boundary among medieval and early sleek literature.
  • Stresses the significance of making contexts for studying literature.
  • Explores the level to which medieval literature is in discussion with different cultural items, together with the literature of alternative nations, manuscripts and religion.
  • Includes shut readings of frequently-studied texts, together with texts by means of Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain poet, and Hoccleve.
  • Confronts a number of the controversies that workout scholars of medieval literature, akin to these hooked up with literary conception, love, and chivalry and war.

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Sample text

Rather, the prime purpose of the theory was to offer a moral justification of social inequality and, in particular, to urge the members of the third estate to accept the rule of their superiors. As Wimbledon put it, servants and bond men should be ‘subject and low’ and in dread of being ‘displeasing’ to their lords (102–3). Thus while, in the tripartite theory, it was the clergy in their entirety who constituted the first estate in order of pre-eminence, with the other estates ranked beneath them, in practice the inhabitants of late medieval England were perfectly capable of adopting an alternative vision of the social pyramid.

Pearsall seeks to manifest the ‘common cultural tradition’ that binds together the Parliament of Fowls and the Shepherd’s Calendar because he fears that Chaucer, ‘Taught so frequently now as the sole representative of English writing before Shakespeare . . is in danger of being read and learnt about in a vacuum’ (Pearsall 1999: xv). Many proponents of the term early modern assume that a vast wasteland separates Tudor literature, appreciated as introducing the modern world, and medieval literature, disparaged as an immature other that briefly flourished with Chaucer.

The extraordinary range of subject matters in this volume . . attests to the emergence of a new fifteenth-century England. The Wars of the Roses, Caxton and Malory – subjects that loom large in traditional accounts of the period – play a negligible role in this volume. Rather, the essayists direct our attention to the smaller, local dramas that occupied many and various segments of the population. (Hanawalt and Wallace 1996: x) Indeed, although the majority of the contributors to Bodies and Disciplines are affiliated with programmes in English literary studies, the essays focus primarily on facets of local, institutional and corporeal history.

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