Spenser and Politics

David J. Baker

in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227365
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Spenser and Politics

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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This article explores Spenser's political leanings. It shows that Spenser had affiliations, interests, and loyalties that are not only multiple, but often contradictory as well. He did not float free of the political controversies of his day and his works are intimately keyed into those controversies. Often, though, it is the intellectual difficulties that define these controversies that come to be defining for this poet's thought as well. And that in itself tells us something about the style of mind with which Spenser approached the political questions of his time. Spenser can best be understood as a close student (and exemplar) of the problems around which Renaissance political theory organized itself, and not as a steady advocate of any one agenda or doctrine.

Keywords: poets; Renaissance political theory; politics

Article.  8674 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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