Stephen Hawes and Courtly Education

Daniel Wakelin

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Stephen Hawes and Courtly Education

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)



This article analyzes the poetry of Stephen Hawes. The uncertainty about the accomplishments befitting gentlemen or noblemen seems typical of the early Tudor period. This uncertainty can be sensed in the works of Hawes, which reflect the shift in favour of education and prudence in forming gentlemen. Hawes presents wisdom as one essential element of a perfect gentleman. In his hero's triumphs, Hawes proves what other writers in Henry VII's court proposed: cleverness is the key to success in life. He turns the literature of leisure into the literature of learning. He does so by developing the allegory in this genre so that it offers not amorous counsel but moral and prudential teaching.

Keywords: Tudor poets; gentlemen; noblemen; wisdom; prudence; allegory

Article.  8003 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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