Spenser and the Bible

Carol V. Kaske

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 the Bible

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This article analyzes Spenser's use of the Bible. Spenser's reverential uses of the Bible range from a literal to an allegorical sense; from the straightforward to the oblique — allegorical, analogic, syncretic, parodic, or otherwise far-fetched; and from the political to the purely aesthetic. He quotes Scriptural phrases verbatim now and then, and quotation is the most direct use, unless it is ironical. The second most direct uses are translation and paraphrase, exhibiting the lowest degrees of creativity. Spenser is generally believed to be the translator of the four ‘sonnets’ paraphrased by his French source from Revelation that occur in A Theatre for Worldlings, and he is credited with translations, now lost, of some poetic books of the Bible.

Keywords: Bible; scripture; translation; sonnets; A Theatre for Worldlings

Article.  8871 words. 

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

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