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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 and Milton: The Mind's Allegorical Place

Spenser and Milton: The Mind's Allegorical Place

(p.280) 19. Spenser and Milton: The Mind's Allegorical Place
Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Judith H. Anderson

Fordham University Press

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

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