Fallon, Samuel. “Astrophil, Philisides, and the Coterie in Print [with illustrations].” English Literary Renaissance 45.2 (2015): 175-204. Wiley Online Library. Web.
Abstract not available.
Hawkins, Zoe. “Spenser, Circe, and the Civil War: the Contexts of Milton’s ‘Captain or Colonel.’” Review of English Studies 66.267 (2015): 976-94. Oxford Open. Web.
This article offers a new reading of John Milton’s “Sonnet VIII” or “Captain or Colonel” (1642). The modern critical consensus is that the poem is classical in its form and allusions, ironic in its address to an unknown Cavalier soldier, and best understood in the context of its original manuscript heading, which states that it was fixed to the door of Milton’s house in advance of a Royalist attack on London. This article argues, however, that the sonnet’s diction is demonstrably more Spenserian than classicist, that its narrative tracks that of the ‘Bowre of Blisse’ episode in Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, and that the allusion to Pindar at the poem’s close may have been prompted by one of E. K.’s notes from the October eclogue of the Shepheardes Calender. In offering this fresh reading of the poem and its sources, this article for the first time situates Milton’s sonnet within his longer poetic trajectory, arguing that the poem must be read against Milton’s artistic predicament in the early 1640s, as a yet unrecognized poet and as an unpopular pamphleteer. Such an approach allows us to integrate this poem into Milton’s oeuvre in a new and surprising way.
Jacobs, Kathryn. “Ben Jonson on Shakespeare’s Chaucer.” Chaucer Review: A Journal of Medieval Studies and Literary Criticism 50.1-2 (2015): 198-215. JSTOR. Web.
This article explores the medieval origin and source material for William Shakespeare’s plays and Edmund Spenser’s archaisms. It specifically examines Ben Jonson’s ire aimed at these writers’ medievalisms. According to Jonson, Shakespeare and Spenser were complicit in resurrecting Chaucerian diction and, in doing so, they incurred Jonson’s vexation. Examination of the external evidence left by Jonson’s criticisms gives us a new lens by which to see Shakespeare’s sources.
Parris, Benjamin. “‘Watching to Banish Care’: Sleep and Insomnia in Book 1 of The Faerie Queene.” Modern Philology 113.2 (2015): 151-77. Web.
In Book 1 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, sleep is figured as a cold and deathly affair with perilous effects upon Redcrosse Knight. It thus resembles, at a physical level, St. Paul’s allegorical figurations of sleep as spiritual backsliding, carelessness, and vulnerability to assaults by the devil. Yet Spenser also emphasizes Redcrosse’s physiological need for sleep – a fact thrown into sharp relief through the hero’s battles with insomnia in Archimago’s cabin and in the House of Pride. This essay argues that insofar as the hero’s insomnia constitutes a failure to attend to his basic bodily need to sleep, it marks a notable and paradoxical aspect of the early modern care of the self: to sleep means to relax one’s guard against the forces of darkness and sin, but not to sleep means to refuse a crucial form of physiological and spiritual recovery that temporarily lifts the burden of worldly cares. Spenser thus brings Redcrosse’s physiological need for sleep and for phenomenal self-renewal into direct conflict with a stark approximation of Pauline ideals of unwavering spiritual vigilance and Christian militancy. Against such models of individual virtue, this essay argues, Spenser’s allegory of holiness develops an ethical paradigm of mutual care between Redcrosse Knight and Una. [BP]
Van der Laan, Sarah. “Songs of Experience: Confessions, Penitence, and the Value of Error in Tasso and Spenser.” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 130.2 (2015): 252-268, 527. Modern Language Association. Web.
As the Reformation and Counter-Reformation swept Europe in the sixteenth century, penance (or its rejection) became a cornerstone of individual and confessional identities. Extending a post-Tridentine view of sacramental penance as consolation, Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata suggests that penance offers a means to recover and even to benefit from the experience of error—and to incorporate romance error into epic action and ethics. Through extensive intertextual dialogue, Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene engages this view to explore the fears produced in some lay people by the English Reformers’ rejection of penance. Book 2 interrogates the possibilities for epic heroism in a fictional environment lacking any visible means to recover from error and therefore profoundly skeptical of experience and the errors to which it might lead. Spenser’s virtuoso act of cultural translation reforms Tasso’s penance-based ethics, exposes the shortcomings of one approach to reformation, and affirms the educational value of human error.