Tradition and Imitation in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene
Keywords:Poetry, Renaissance, Allegory, epic
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to discuss Spenser’s use of imitation as a literary device in his allegorical epic poem The Faerie Queene, originally published in 1590. The paper begins with a synopsis of Spenser’s general intent behind the poem, as well as his use of the theoretical models of literary excellence proposed by his contemporary Sir Phillip Sidney. The paper then follows Spenser’s reinterpretation of Ariosto, his treatment of Virgil and Ovid, and chronicles his attempts to parody these imperious influences to create an epic that would give synthesis to the poetic tradition to which he belonged with his religious ethic and fervent nationalism, while paying tribute to his monarch, Elizabeth I.
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