More in epic poetry

John Milton is, next to William Shakespeare, the most influential English poet, a writer whose work spans an incredible breadth of forms and subject matter. The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton celebrates this author’s genius in a thoughtfully assembled book that provides new modern-spelling versions of Milton’s texts, expert commentary, and a wealth of other features that will please even the most dedicated students of Milton’s canon. Edited by a trio of esteemed scholars, this volume is the definitive Milton for our time.

In these pages you will find all of Milton’s verse, from masterpieces such as Paradise Lost–widely viewed as the finest epic poem in the English language–to shorter works such as the Nativity Ode, Lycidas,, A Masque and Samson Agonistes. Milton’s non-English language sonnets, verses, and elegies are accompanied by fresh translations by Gordon Braden. Among the newly edited and authoritatively annotated prose selections are letters, pamphlets, political tracts, essays such as Of Education and Areopagitica, and a generous portion of his heretical Christian Doctrine. These works reveal Milton’s passionate advocacy of controversial positions during the English Civil War and the Commonwealth and Restoration periods.

With his deep learning and the sensual immediacy of his language, Milton creates for us a unique bridge to the cultures of classical antiquity and medieval and Renaissance Christianity. With this in mind, the editors give careful attention to preserving the vibrant energy of Milton’s verse and prose, while making the relatively unfamiliar aspects of his writing accessible to modern readers. Notes identify the old meanings and roots of English words, illuminate historical contexts–including classical and biblical allusions–and offer concise accounts of the author’s philosophical and political assumptions. This edition is a consummate work of modern literary scholarship.
Readers of Old English would generally agree that the poem Genesis B, a translation into Old English of an Old Saxon (that is, continental) retelling of the story of the Fall, is a vigorous and moving narrative. They would disagree, however, as to the meaning of the poem. Some hold that it reflects an orthodox Christian viewpoint and others claim that it assumes a distinctly unorthodox position in portraying Adam and Eve as not morally culpable in their disobedience but merely tricked into disobedience through the wiles of the Devil's agent. The study Genesis B and the Comedic Imperative, examining these incompatible readings, infers that the poem is essentially orthodox, that it demonstrates sufficiently the moral culpability of Adam and Eve, and that it departs from orthodoxy only insofar as it conveys a strong impression that Adam and Even will undertake what amounts to Christian penance, leading them eventually to Heaven. The poem thereby attains the happy ending typical of early medieval Christian narrative. Hence the titular "Comedic Imperative."

The inference of orthodoxy follows as a nigh-inevitable conclusion of the interpretation of several motifs: the poem's culturally imbued martiality, its allegorical bent, and also what A. N. Doane noted as its tropological bent. The argument depends heavily upon philological inquiry and on examination of prevailing beliefs and attitudes of contemporaneous Frankish society, religious and civil, leading to the reinterpretation of crucial passages. Of these, most notably, is the passage in which Adam, in refusing the Tempter's invitation to eat the fruit, observes that the Tempter has given no tacen ‘sign’ as evidence that he truly is God’s emissary. Other passages that have impeded critical perception of the poem's significance are also examined, such as the notorious micel wundor clause (lines 595-98) and the pseudo-gnomic declaration swa hire eaforan sculon after lybban (623-35). In sum, Genesis B sustains the orthodoxy otherwise of the Junius 11 manuscript.
The history of the epic-ranging from the heroic narratives of cultural origin found in Homer and Virgil to the tumultuous theological and political conflicts depicted by Dante or Milton-is nearly as old as literature itself. But the epic is also made and remade by its present, adapted to the pressures and formal necessities of its particular cultural moment. Examining modernist poetry's epic turn in the years between the two World Wars, C.D. Blanton's ambitious study charts the inversion of what Ezra Pound called "a poem including history" into a fractured and hollowed form, a "negated epic" that struggles not only to acknowledge the distant past but also to conceive its immediate present. Compelled to register the force of a larger historical totality it cannot directly represent, the negated epic reorients the function of poetic language, trading expression or signification for concrete but often buried reference, remaking the poem as an instrument of dialectical reason in the process. Epic Negation turns first to T. S. Eliot, productively pairing The Waste Land with The Criterion, the literary review it announced in 1922, to argue that Eliot's journal systematically realizes the editorial and critical method through which modernism's epochal poem sought to think its moment whole, developing a totalizing account of interwar culture. Dividing the epic's critical function from its style, The Criterion not only includes history differently, but also formulates an intricately dialectical account of the crisis facing bourgeois society, formed in the image of a Marxism it opposes. World War II's approach serves to organize the second half of Blanton's study, as he traces the dislocated formal effects of a serial epic gone underground. In the tense elegies and pastorals of W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, lyric forms cryptically divulge the determining force of unmentionable but universal events, dividing experience against consciousness, what can be said in a poem from what cannot. And, finally, with H.D.'s Trilogy-written under bombardment in a terse exchange with Freud's famous rewriting of biblical history in Moses and Monotheism--the poetic image itself lapses, consigning epic to the silent historical force of the unconscious. Uniquely conceived and deftly executed, Epic Negation transforms our understanding of modernist poetics and the concept of epic more broadly.
Literary allegory has deep roots in early reading and interpretation of Scripture and classical epic and myth. In this substantial study, Mindele Treip presents an overview of the history and theory of allegorical exegesis upon Scripture, poetry, and especially the epic from antiquity to the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, with close focus on the Renaissance and on the triangular literary relationship of Tasso, Spenser, and Milton.

Exploring the different ways in which the term allegory has been understood, Treip finds significant continuities-within-differences in a wide range of critical writings, including texts of postclassical, patristic and rabbinical writers, medieval writers, notably Dante, Renaissance theorists such as Coluccio Salutati, Bacon, Sidney, John Harrington and rhetoricians and mythographers, and the neoclassical critics of Italy, England and France, including Le Bossu.

In particular, she traces the evolving theories on allegory and the epic of Torquato Tasso through a wide spectrum of his major discourses, shorter tracts and letters, giving full translations. Treip argues that Milton wrote, as in part did Spenser, within the definitive framework of the mixed historical-allegorical epic erected by Tasso, and she shows Spenser's and Milton's epics as significantly shaped by Tasso's formulations, as well as by his allegorical structures and images in the Gerusalemme liberata.

In the last part of her study Treip addresses the complex problematics of reading Paradise Lost as both a consciously Reformation poem and one written within the older epic allegorical tradition, and she also illustrates Milton's innovative use of biblical "Accommodation" theory so as to create a variety of radical allegorical metaphors in his poem.

This study brings together a wide range of critical issues -- the Homeric-Virgilian tradition of allegorical reading of epic; early Renaissance theory of all poetry as "translation" or allegorical metaphor; midrashic linguistic techniques in the representation of the Word; Milton's God; neoclassical strictures on Milton's allegory and allegory in general -- all of these are brought together in new and comprehensive perspective.

This work is a rare cross-cultural study of one of the most universal dialogic genres: heroic flyting, or the verbal duel in which the heroes, prior to physical combat, make boastful claims that must be backed up through action in the arena of public contesting. Long recognized as an elemental behavioral paradigm in human consciousness, the contest has only recently emerged as a factor in the formation of Western intellectual traditions and modes of discourse. In presenting the verbal duel as a literary expression of the contest, Ward Parks shows how flyting interfaces words and physical action. He explores the place of flyting in the patterning of culture, both Eastern and Western, from Homeric and Old English martial narratives to current academic debate to such phenomena of popular culture as rap. Parks studies flyting from a comparative standpoint to discover major generic and structural characteristics common to this activity in both its oral and written traditions. Drawing his methodology from such fields as literary criticism, socio-biology, linguistics, and game theory, he begins with an exploration of the nature and structure of contesting as it relates to flyting interactions. He then examines the covert contract formation that binds the verbal and physical aspects of the duel, analyzes the heroic generation of speeches and their dialogic interrelation in the flyting process itself, and illustrates the adaptability of flyting patterns within a wide variety of cultural and ideological settings.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Edited and introduced by A.A.M. Duncan. A! Fredome is a noble thing Fredome mays man to haiff liking Fredome all solace to man giffis He levys at es that frely levys These are some of the most famous lines in Scottish literature. They were written c.1375 by John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, as a celebration of the Age of Chivalry – an age of bravery, valour, and above all loyalty. Its twin heroes are Robert the Bruce and James Douglas, his faithful companion. The epic sweep and scale of the poem catch the full drama of Bruce’s life – from being pursued by dogs in Galloway to his great triumph at Bannockburn, from hunted fugitive surrounded by traitors to kingship of a free nation. The poem is one of the key sources for any life of Bruce and incorporates much information not found elsewhere. The language of the poem is easy to read and its vigour and imagery provide a marvellous insight into the medieval mind. This is the first accessible modern edition of The Bruce featuring a full historical introduction, a special commentary on Bannockburn, a facing page translation with extensive annotation and six detailed maps. This edition also includes the other great nationalist statement about the reign of Robert the Bruce, The Declaration of Arbroath. A.A.M. Duncan’s work on The Bruce represents the culmination of a life-long interest and this book, comprehensively revised in 2007, marks a radical reassessment of the history of Robert the Bruce as recounted in the poem which bears his name.
The Psalms were of intense interest to Milton, who read them not only as impassioned voices conveying significant moments in life's journey, but also as examples of various genres, each containing rhetorical and poetical conventions appropriate to the expressive intent of the speaker. In this book Mary Ann Radzinowicz describes the pervasive influence of these biblical works on Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. She shows that the dramatic moments when Milton's characters respond to the numinous are shaped by his appreciation of the lyricism of the Psalms and by his studies of their thematic relationships.

This book traces the density of poetic voices in the epicsvoices arising from the echoing of psalm kindsand the ironic paralleling of important episodes in them. At the same time, Radzinowicz's book relates to each other Milton's two remarkable poetic oeuvres derived from the Old and New Testaments: one an anonymous, powerful, ancient, worship-centered, lyric work, the other an individually determined, revolutionary, heroic work.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon
Derived from the Modern Library’s esteemed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this new volume, extensively revised and updated by its editors, contains Milton’s two late masterpieces, the brief epic Paradise Regained and the tragic drama Samson Agonistes. Age after age, these works have inspired new controversy and exciting interpretive debates. With expert commentary to guide the reader through historical contexts and verbal details, as well as the larger political and philosophical implications, the concerns of these canonical pieces live once again for today’s audiences. The volume also contains Milton’s complete shorter poems, which include such major achievements as “Lycidas,” “A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634,”  “L’Allegro,” and “Il Penseroso,” and the author’s twenty-four influential sonnets. Thoughtfully edited and carefully designed, this is an essential publication of Milton’s classic poetry.
Praise for The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton
“For generations of readers Milton has been the measure of both eloquence and nobility of mind. For the next generation, this new Modern Library volume will be the standard. It brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.”—Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States
“A superb edition of the great poet, with modernized spelling, lucid introductions to each work, illuminating footnotes, and fresh prose translations in Latin, Greek, and Italian. This will surely be the edition of choice for teachers, students, and general readers too.”—Leo Damrosch, Harvard University
"This book argues that critical tradition has obscured the mutually constitutive relation between the didactic mission of Renaissance epic and the pathos of the epic self." "Critics usually see Spenser and Milton either as poets dedicated to an autonomous aesthetic that dictates indulgence in pathos for its own sake, or as Christian moralists who subordinate pathos to the didactic demands of society. The Romantic tradition that stretches from Keats to Harold Bloom exemplifies the former option. Neo-Christian, reader response, and new historicist critics assert a contrary, but similarly unbalanced, view by choosing the didactic authority of social custom, tradition, or ideology over the pathos of subjectivity." "Resisting attempts to establish an absolute priority for either pathos or moralizing, David Mikics looks to the debate between subjective passions and didactic imperatives as a sign of the complex relation between literary creation and social norms. In a study that shies away from new historicist endorsements of the force of normative ideology, as well as late Romantic celebrations of the poetic self, the author finds that Spenser and Milton develop an innovative literary subjectivity under the pressure of the Reformation's moralizing aims." "Incorporating moral force within pathos would allow poetic passion to become a worthy and clearly justifiable public stance. But Spenser and Milton, in their pursuit of this rhetorical ideal, find themselves acknowledging, instead, an enduring disjunction between affect and the discursive forms of public morality which aim to discipline or exploit it."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This carefully crafted ebook: "Collected Poetry of Edwin Arnold (With Original Illustrations)" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) was an English poet and journalist, who is most known for his work, The Light of Asia. The literary task which he set before him was the interpretation in English verse of the life and philosophy of the East. His chief work with this object is The Light of Asia, which was translated into various languages such as Hindi. The Light of Asia, subtitled The Great Renunciation, is in a form of a narrative poem. The book endeavors to describe the life and time of Prince Gautama Siddhartha, who after attaining enlightenment became The Buddha, The Awakened One. The book presents his life, character, and philosophy, in a series of verses. It is a free adaptation of the Lalitavistara. A few decades before the book's publication, very little was known outside Asia about the Buddha and Buddhism, the religion which he founded, and which had existed for about twenty-five centuries. Arnold's book was one of the first successful attempts to popularize Buddhism for a Western readership. Table of Contents: The Light of Asia Light of the World; or, The Great Consummation: At Bethlehem Mary Magdalene. The Magus. The Alabaster Box. The Parables. The Love of God and Man. The Great Consummation Indian Poetry The Indian Song of Songs (Hymn to Vishnu -11 Sargas) Miscellaneous Oriental Poems: The Rajpoot Wife King Saladin The Caliph's Draught Hindoo Funeral Song Song of the Serpent-charmers Song of the Flour-mill Taza ba Taza The Mussulman Paradise Dedication of a Poem From the Sanskrit The Rajah's Ride Two Books From The Iliad Of India "The Great Journey." "The Entry Into Heaven." "Night of Slaughter." The Morning Prayer. Proverbial Wisdom From the Shlokas of the Hitopadeśa… The Song Celestial or Bhagavad-Gita (from the Mahâbhârata) Potiphar's Wife
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