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|Title:||The Thematic Use of Biblical Allegory in the Poems of the Ms. Cotton Nero A. X. 4|
|Keywords:||English;English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis studies the Biblical elements used by the Gawain-poet to create thematic and allegorical meaning in the Middle English poems Cleanness, Patience, Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The study is designed, first, to discover how Biblical paraphrase and Scriptural allusion are used in each poem to suggest certain moral themes, and, secondly, to indicate the poet's development of allegorical theme as his writing moves from the homiletic to the romantic genre. The interpretations of the poems as such are based upon the exegetical commentary and theological symbolism traditionally associated with Biblical material according to medieval scholarship. As the progression is made from the homilies to Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight there is also interpretative emphasis upon the poet's stylized adaptation of certain recurrent Biblical images.</p> <p>Chapter I deals with the less sophisticated homily, Cleanness, showing how a vocabulary for dealing with Biblical material is developed and, particularly, how the Gawain-poet endeavors to associate abstract moral concepts with the social values familiar to his contemporary audience. The second homily, Patience, is dealt with in Chapter II, wherein it is shown that the poet's elaboration upon the allegorical meaning of his source material results in a dramatically ironic vehicle for the treatment of a moral theme. Chapters III and IV are devoted to Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight respectively. It will be seen that the methods used to develop imagery and irony in Patience and Cleanness are present in these two nonhomiletic poems and that an allegorical interpretation is necessary for full understanding of the dream-vision and the romance.</p> <p>This thesis takes the approach that it is possible to discuss the four poems as correlated parts of a canon and that they represent a series of progressively sophisticated approaches to certain thematic concepts.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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