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Reading the Allegorical IntertextChaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton$
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Judith H. Anderson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.001.0001

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Spenser's Use of Chaucer's Melibee: Allegory, Narrative, History

Spenser's Use of Chaucer's Melibee: Allegory, Narrative, History

Chapter:
(p.91) 6. Spenser's Use of Chaucer's Melibee: Allegory, Narrative, History
Source:
Reading the Allegorical Intertext
Author(s):

Judith H. Anderson

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0007

Paul Alpers is totally concerned with defending Spenser's Melibee; the old shepherd was destroyed in the sixth book of The Faerie Queene by marauding brigands and the accusations of the readers that he is lazy and careless. But Alpers seeks to defend Melibee from the charge of imprudence in the style of his life. For Alpers, the name of Spenser's Melibee evidently derives from Vergil's exiled Meliboeus, and in Book VI it represents the “wisdom of fortunatus senex,” although he must represent it somewhat paradoxically, since Melibee turns out to be less fortunatus. In Alders terminology, Melibee is a poetic freeholder who is mistaken in that his only care is to attend what is his, but in Spenser's sixth book, Melibee's kindness to Pastorella and his hospitality are shown even though they contrast with his harsh fate at the hands of the brigands.

Keywords:   Melibee, Chaucer, Spenser, brigands, The Faerie Queene, Paul Alpers, imprudence

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