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Chapter

Allegorical Sieges

Malcolm Hebron

in The Medieval Siege

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780198186205
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191674440 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186205.003.0007

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Allegorical Sieges

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This chapter first considers the use of the image or idea of the siege in spiritual writings, an important aspect of the larger subject of the allegorical fortress. It then discusses sieges in non-spiritual writings concerning love, together with examples from art and civic and courtly pageantry. The siege of the soul and the siege of love are not always easy to distinguish: the two literary traditions developed at the same time, and the representations of sieges of love owe much in style and imagery to spiritual writings. Conversely, some religious texts employing the siege as an allegorical model also use the language of courtly love to help expound ideas on the soul, and the distinction between spiritual and human love in some works is consequently not always clear.

Keywords: sieges; love; soul; medieval literature; medieval culture; allegory; spiritual writings

Chapter.  13864 words. 

Subjects: literary studies (early and medieval)

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