Mark Payne

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780195182637
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This article looks at the history of pastoral literature. It examines some decisive moments in the growth and decline of pastoral in order to identify the characteristic attractions of a genre that was once a canonical element of the Western literary tradition and considers the reasons and circumstances under which a genre ceases to be viable. It describes Edmund Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender, Virgil's Eclogues, and The Idylls of Theocritus.

Keywords: pastoral literature; literary genre; Western literary tradition; Edmund Spenser; The Shepheardes Calender; Virgil; Eclogues; The Idylls of Theocritus

Article.  10962 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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