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|Title:||Spenser's Goodly Frame of Temperance: Secret Design in The Faerie Queene, Book II|
|Authors:||Calver, Dawnan Cheryl|
|Keywords:||Spenser;parallel and symetrical patterns;hermeneutic significance;Renaissance;hidden analogies;Arts and Humanities;English Language and Literature;Literature in English, British Isles;Arts and Humanities|
|Abstract:||<p>Spenser's design for the second book of The Faerie Queene involves hidden parallel and synnnetrical patterns, previously undetected, that have serious hermeneutic significance for the study of that poem and other literature of the Renaissance. My study is of form. The first chapter considers the structural approach to literature of the Renaissance and discusses my methodology. Chapter II reveals the simultaneous existence of a parallel and a symmetrical pattern of the stanzas of Book II as a whole. Chapters III and IV explore the simultaneous operation of five patterns--three parallel and two synnnetrical--for numerous pairs of cantos. Chapter V demonstrates the simultaneous existence of parallel and symmetrical patterns within each canto of Book II.</p> <p>What is presented is a demonstration of intricate construction along consistently predictable parallel and symmetrical lines. Such patterned composition has been detected previously in shorter Spenser poems, Epithalamion and "Aprill," in particular. My discoveries result from applying a method which, from shorter Spenser poems, one has an expectation will work. The method involves counting stanzas and dividing by two to determine the midpoint or arithmetical centre, then considering the stanzas in parallel and synnnetrical arrangements.</p> <p>Spenser creates, through the parallel and symmetrical placement of the episodes, characters, images, and themes of Book II, a microcosm of hidden analogies. The patterns are intricate and readily iii predictable. Spenser must have composed his poem according to such principles. While the ordinary reader may have experienced only the superficial sense of romance rambling that Spenser obviously intends to give, his more curious readers may have been aware of patterned composition along inevitable parallel and symmetrical lines and may have used presumption of patterning as a means of interpretation. They could have predicted a pattern and used the information of comparison, contrast, and reciprocal connnent to illuminate an image, character, or episode which they did not understand. For example, a reader who discovered the pairing of Belphoebe, a known type of Elizabeth, with Medina or Alma would get the hint that the latter are types of Elizabeth, though otherwise such a conclusion might seem only guesswork. The patterns provide a useful tool for criticism, suggesting and confirming interpretation.</p> <p>The patterns I have detected may not be the only ones awaiting discovery in The Faerie Queene. There may be some underlying principle involved that we don't see at the moment. Perhaps there is a set of mathematical ratios--some sort of mathematical formula for composition--involved in making the goodly framework of the poem. Pythagorean ratios and other symbolic proportions are now known to have been used in Renaissance architecture. Spenser speaks of Book II as a building and fills it with houses and temples as major symbols. He makes his book according to a "goodly frame." The mystique of arcane construction no doubt has Pythagorean, nee-Platonic, hermetic, and numerological significance.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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