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Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) Lower social class Public career: colonisation of Ireland Poetic career: 1579 The Shepheards Calendar, 12 eclogues, short pastoral.

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Presentazione sul tema: "Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) Lower social class Public career: colonisation of Ireland Poetic career: 1579 The Shepheards Calendar, 12 eclogues, short pastoral."— Transcript della presentazione:

1 Edmund Spenser ( ) Lower social class Public career: colonisation of Ireland Poetic career: 1579 The Shepheards Calendar, 12 eclogues, short pastoral poems, Colin Clout’s criticism of the court (see drama, eg As You Like It) First ‘national’ poet (poetry as a profession)

2 The Fairie Queen Epic poem, the myth of the Nation, the myth of Elizabeth (trying to achieve in English what Virgil had done for the Roman Empire in Latin) Six books, seventh book unfinished (out of the twelve he planned) Each book divided into 12 cantos 1590: publishes the first three books with ‘A Letter of the Authors’: “the generall end.. Is to fashion a gentleman or a noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline” “historicall fiction” is not historiography (The past, with King Arthur, speaks allegorically of / to the present)

3 Letter “twelve private morall vertues”, referring to Aristotle. Each book should illustrate one of these “vertues” (Holiness in the person of Red Cross, Temperance in the person of Guyon, Chastity in the person of Britomart). Faerie Queen= Elizabeth I (Gloriana and Belphoebe, political and natural body) Una (Church of England) versus Duessa (Catholicism)

4 Spenser, The Faerie Queen Book II, Canto XII Temperance Guyon, Palmer, Acrasia

5 77 Vpon a bed of Roses she was layd, As faint through heat, or dight [i.equipped for]to pleasant sin, And was arayd, or rather disarayd, All in a vele of silke and siluer thin, That hid no whit her alabaster skin, But rather shewd more white, if more might bee: More subtile web Arachne can not spin, Nor the fine nets, which oft we wouen see Of scorched deaw, do not in th'aire more lightly flee.

6 78 Her snowy brest was bare to readie spoyle Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild, And yet through languour of her late sweet toyle, Few drops, more cleare then Nectar, forth distild, That like pure Orient perles adowne it trild, And her faire eyes sweet smyling in delight, Moystened their fierie beames, with which she thrild Fraile harts, yet quenched not; like starry light Which sparckling on the silent waues, does seeme more bright.

7 79 The young man sleeping by her, seemd to bee Some goodly swayne of honorable place, That certes it great pittie was to see Him his nobilitie so foule deface; A sweet regard, and amiable grace, Mixed with manly sternnesse did appeare Yet sleeping, in his well proportiond face, And on his tender lips the downy heare Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossomes beare. 80 His warlike armes, the idle instruments Of sleeping praise, were hong vpon a tree, And his braue shield, full of old moniments, Was fowly ra'st, that none the signes might see; Ne for them, ne for honour cared hee, Ne ought, that did to his aduauncement tend, But in lewd loues, and wastfull luxuree, His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend: O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend.

8 81 The noble Elfe, and carefull Palmer drew So nigh them, minding nought, but lustfull game, That suddein forth they on them rusht, and threw A subtile net, which onely for the same The skilfull Palmer formally did frame. So held them vnder fast, the whiles the rest Fled all away for feare of fowler shame. The faire Enchauntresse, so vnwares opprest, Tryde all her arts, & all her sleights, thence out to wrest. 82 And eke her louer stroue: but all in vaine; For that same net so cunningly was wound, That neither guile, nor force might it distraine. They tooke them both, & both them strongly bound In captiue bandes, which there they readie found: But her in chaines of adamant he tyde; For nothing else might keepe her safe and sound; But Verdant (so he hight) he soone vntyde, And counsell sage in steed thereof to him applyde.

9 But all those pleasant bowres and Pallace braue, Guyon broke downe, with rigour pittilesse; Ne ought their goodly workmanship might saue Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse, But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse: Their groues he feld, their gardins did deface, Their arbers spoyle, their Cabinets suppresse, Their banket houses burne, their buildings race, And of the fairest late, now made the fowlest place. 83 Then led they her away, and eke that knight They with them led, both sorrowful and sad The way they came, the same retourn'd they right, Till they arriued, where they lately had Charm'd those wild-beasts, that rag'd with furie mad. Which now awaking, fierce at them gan fly, As in their mistresse reskew, whom they lad; But them the Palmer soone did pacify. Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes, which there did ly.

10 In Al di là del principio del piacere (Civilization and Its Discontents), Freud scrive: “E’ impossibile non considerare quanto la civiltà si costruisca su una rinuncia dell’istinto, quanto presupponga precisamente la non soddisfazione (attraverso soppressione, repressione e altri mezzi) di potenti istinti…La Civiltà si comporta verso la sessualità come un popolo o uno strato della popolazione si comporta quando assoggetta un altro popolo per sfruttarlo”. Spenser come Freud partecipa alla commistione profondamente significativa di discorso sessuale e coloniale e accetta il colonialismo della sessualità con il senso quasi tragico del suo costo. Acrasia-che avrebbe potuto essere rappresentata come una megera- rimane seduttiva fino alla fine. Non offre solo piacere sessuale ‘long wanton joys”, ma self- abandonment, estetismo erotico, la perdita della volontà, la fine di tutte le ricerche; e Spenser capisce…il richiamo di questo desiderio. Tutti i cavalieri desiderano una fine, una liberazione che viene spostata sempre. Tutto il poema è un desiderio di liberazione, chè è vinto, dominato dal sentimento ancora più intenso della paura della liberazione.

11 Paralleli della furia iconoclasta protestante sono: l’Inghilterra contro l’Irlanda, l’atteggiamento dell’europeo e degli inglesi verso le popolazioni del nuovo mondo:costruzione dell’io proiettando sull’altro tutto quanto viene rifiutato e represso in noi e costituendo come altro quello che invece era..l’io (Renaissance Self Fashioning) e deflettendolo di nuovo sull’altro. And, of course, the theatre... The closing of theatres in 1642.


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