Questions on Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum
Try to read the whole book
(pages 3-139), but read at least the bulleted selections.
- Dedications to Queen Anne (3), "To all virtuous Ladies in general" (12),
Pembrooke (21), Cumberland (34), and the reader (48). These are starting
- Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (57-129)
- "The Description of Cooke-ham" (130-38)
Group 1 will take the Dedications, Group 2 Salve Deus, and Group 3
Here are questions to consider:
- Dedication to Queen Anne: What does Lanyer say about the connections
between women and poetry, art and nature? See especially page 10.
- Dedication to Pembrooke: What does Lanyer say about men and women,
virtue, and God?
- What sort of persona does Lanyer create for herself as a poet? See
especially the passages on the following pages: 20, 63-64, 113, 134, and 139.
- How are men portrayed, especially on pages 6 and 48?
- Track the course of three key images: triumph, mirror, and feast.
Relevant page numbers: 5, 7, 11, 14, 31, 35, 38, and 41.
Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum
- What does the poem say about the Countess of Cumberland? Note that
there are three separate encomia of the countess, which are marked on pages
51, 57, and 62.
- What virtues does the poem celebrate? See stanzas 65, 76, and 120. How do these virtues relate to
- What does the passion story tell us about men and women? About women
and Christ? What specific women are mentioned, and how are they
presented? Pay special attention to Jesus's mother, Mary. Is this
a distinctly Protestant Mary? What is the connection to the Countess?
- What is Lanyer's purpose in the section on Eve? What is she
suggesting about women and knowledge/learning?
- Is there a connection between the apology for Eve and the dedicatory
"The Description of Cooke-ham"
- How is the setting described? What does this have to do with the
- What do you make of the references to Fortune?
- The oak tree is extremely important. Discuss it especially in
connection with Psalm 92:12-13.