Spenser's The Shepeardes Calendar
English 514, Dr. Fike
"The general argument of the whole booke":
- Three types of eclogues
- Plaintive: January, June, November, December
- Recreative: March, April, August
- Moral: February, May, July, September, October
- Categories can overlap.
- Reason for starting with January
The main points in E.K.’s "Dedicatory Epistle":
- Chaucer: "well of English undefiled" ("June" 93-94);
"So the poet, consciously breaking new ground in his own time, takes care that
the classical and English springs of his art shall not be neglected…" (543).
- Pastoral poetry, related to love on pages 504-5
- “gallimaufray or hodgepodge”
- Colin = Spenser
- Shape of a poet’s career; cf. page 527
- Title: not just pastoral poetry but also a calendar
with illustrations: new features
What does “pastoral” mean?
- Setting: Arcadia 4.
A complete life
- City and country 5.
Pan vs. Jesus::nature vs. supernature
- The Fall
Whom do the characters represent?
- Colin Clout
5. Point about allegory
Discussion of the “October” eclogue:
- Central problem 6.
Futility 7. Poetry and the
- Poetry’s value 8.
- Epic poetry
9. Final point
- Decline in poetry and in men
Connections to Sidney's Defense of Poetry
- Poetry's purposes
- Poetry's ability to make a golden world
- Poetry and the Fall
Rejection of pastoral life