Complete and Full with Numbers. The Narrative Poetry of by John MacQueen

By John MacQueen

This e-book offers a big re-assessment of the works of the fifteenth-century Scottish poet, Robert Henryson. Encompassing the entire diversity of the poet’s paintings, Professor John MacQueen opens up formerly unexplored components of either Henryson’s literary perform and his underlying ethical and philosophical imaginative and prescient. MacQueen argues that numerology is relevant to the highbrow panorama that formed Henryson’s improvement as a poet, and that numerological styles and constructions are embedded all through his corpus, revealing themselves now not easily in such openly allegorical works because the testomony of Cresseid, but additionally in lots of of the Fables in addition. This ebook accordingly recovers for a contemporary viewers features to which Henryson’s unique readers could were alert, whereas even as conveying whatever of the power and pleasure of his highbrow and poetic tradition. via a sequence of shut and delicate readings of the poems, the publication offers an unique and lucid account of Henryson’s paintings that won't merely interact experts in medieval Scottish literature, yet also will attract a much broader readership with broader pursuits in narrative and poetic shape.

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Additional resources for Complete and Full with Numbers. The Narrative Poetry of Robert Henryson (Scroll 5) (Scottish Cultural Review of Language and Literature)

Sample text

Obviously I disagree. Cresseid goes a stage further than anything she has previously said. A few faithful women, she says, may exist, but in general the sex is fickle. She will not base her defence on any such ground, but accepts full personal responsibility for her actions. The Testament of Cresseid 43 1 and 2, the introduction to the narrative, each of 10 stanzas, 70 lines, balance the conclusion, parts 6 and 7, each also of 10 stanzas, 70 lines. Part 4, with 9 7-line stanzas, mirrors part 5, with 7 9-line stanzas.

Andreas, De Amore: “After men reach sixty, and women fifty, … the only comfort left for them is food and drink” (Battaglia ed. : I, 5). 3. 33 also signifies Christ, often as Judge. The Testament of Cresseid 47 logically threatening; she is in direct opposition to the sun, the source of light and warmth. The angle of 180 degrees between the two planets is, as has often been noted,4 astronomically impossible, however symbolically appropriate. The planets collectively have power over “all thing generabill”, a phrase first used in stanza 22,5 power, that is to say, over everything compounded of the 4 elements and subject to generation and decay.

Consider, for instance, 8 as Justice in The Fox, the Wolf, and the Husbandman, and The Testament of Cresseid. Consider too the range of applications found in Henryson’s treatment of 23, “vengeance for sinners”. Henryson’s Aesop, like Henryson himself, is well-suited to be the poet of such a genre. He is not the deformed figure of popular Introduction 37 tradition (Gray 1979: 39–41)20, but “the fairest man that euer befoir I saw” (The Lion and the Mouse 4: 1348). He is a university graduate, grave and venerable: His gowne wes off ane claith als quhyte as milk, His chymmeris wes of chambelate purpour broun, His hude of scarlet, bordowrit weill with silk On hekillit wyis vntill his girdill doun, His bonat round, and off the auld fassoun; His heid wes quhyte, his ene wes grit and gray, With lokker hair quhilk ouer his schulderis lay.

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