Article

Spenser, Chaucer, and Medieval Romance

Andrew King

in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227365
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199227365.013.0031

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Spenser, Chaucer, and Medieval Romance

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This article focuses on Spenser's creative response to both the legacy of Chaucer and also to the tradition of native medieval romance. What characterizes Spenser's response to both Chaucer and medieval native romance above all is a sense of strategy. A number of Spenser's texts provoke the reader into moments of recognition, where s/he must negotiate the significance of the work's signalled relationship with earlier native literature. More than just borrowing, Spenser's response to Chaucer and native medieval romance involves complex manipulations of the authority and meaning of the earlier literature, impacting on the authority of his own works. What is perhaps most interesting is how Spenser's handling of both Chaucer's legacy and the tradition of native medieval romance achieves synthesis, since the two traditions represented an intrinsic opposition.

Keywords: Chaucer; native medieval romance; legacy; strategy; recognition

Article.  9777 words. 

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

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