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|Title:||POETIC WORKS: SOLIFIDIANISM AND POETIC VOCATION IN SPENSER, HERBERT AND MILTON|
|Authors:||Cooley, Wayne Ronald|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>The central aim of this thesis is to suggest some of the ways in which a tension between the Protestant doctrines of vocation and justification by faith shape the poetry of Spenser, Herbert and Milten. I argue that the Protestant poet displays a fundamental ambivalence toward his own art, which he views as simultaneously inspired and fallen. The Protestant theology of vocation provides a sanction for divine poetry, while solifidian dogma tends to repudiate human works, including poetry. The Protestant poet is therefore engaged in a struggle to define a stance that balances, reconciles or synthesizes these two tendencies, and the poem is the scene of that struggle. He expresses misgivings about the efficacy of language, thereby casting doubt on the reliability of his own poetry, but also claims (or aspires to) divine authority for his craft.</p> <p>In my treatment of Spenser I suggest that Book I of The Faerie Queene constitutes a successful defence of poetic vocation, while the self-doubting or self-accusatory stance associated with solifidianism becomes more prevalent in Book VI. Herbert's defence of poetic vocation consists, paradoxically, in a gradual surrender of authorship to God. I take Milton's prophetic claims, or at least aspirations, more or less for granted, and focus on the strategies he employs to undercut his own art and medium and suggest its, and his, fallen nature.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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