Chapter

Spenser and Milton: The Mind's Allegorical Place

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0020
Spenser and Milton: The Mind's Allegorical Place

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Treip say that the recognition of Spenser as an advanced theorist of allegory in Renaissance mode put Milton's tacit allegorical dialogue with Spenser into a correct and more contemporaneous perspective. Treip insists on the importance of a line of influence running from Tasso to Spenser to Milton, one in which Spenser's poetry is a virtual compendium of both recent and some older literary theories and forms of allegory. The deliberate evocation in Paradise Lost of Spenserian linguistic resources, as well as the direct echo of The Faerie Queene, and the overt imitation of Spenserian allegorical devices constitute Milton's true debt to Spenser. Without close textual engagement, Milton's relation to Spenser remains too general, too abstract, and insubstantial, despite the many verbal echoes of Spenser that editions of Milton duly remark. Spenser's and Milton's major poems may still seem as different as their surfaces can seem on first impression.

Keywords: Spenser; Milton; allegory; Paradise Lost; poems; The Faerie Queene; poetry

Chapter.  18145 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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